Connecticut Science Supervisors Association
Position Paper

Science Teachers For the "Wonder Years"

(The Critical Role of Middle School Science Teachers)
 
 

Introduction
 

Preparing scientifically literate citizens for responsible and productive living in the 21st Century is surely a crucial goal for a society so shaped by and so dependent on scientific and technologic advances.  Achieving this goal will depend in large measure on the quality of the science education we provide to American youth.  While science education needs to be strengthened and improved at all levels, the need is nowhere greater than at the middle school:
 


Teacher Qualifications

The role of the middle school science teacher is exceedingly complex and demanding in large part because of the rapid and often unpredictable advances in science and the equally rapid and often unpredictable changes in adolescents.

 The effective middle school science teacher:
 


 Professional Characteristics and Credentials

Becoming an effective science teacher means being committed to lifelong learning. At the outset, however, the middle school science teacher should possess the following basic preparation:
 


Final Thoughts

The most successful and experienced teachers should be teaching at the middle school level. This would bring students in contact with the best role models at a time when they are most impressionable. By recognizing the pivotal importance of the middle school years, and by seeking middle school science teachers possessing the preparation and attributes described in this position paper, school  systems can effectively respond to the renewed interest and urgency in improving science education for citizens of the twenty-first century.
 
This position paper was prepared under the aegis of the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association and incorporates recommendations of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association.

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