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Project 2061 To Publish Its Report To Broaden Support for Reforms

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Washington--In an effort to boost public support for national reform of science and mathematics instruction, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has published a paperback version of its blueprint for developing scientific literacy.

The trade paperback edition of Science for All Americans, a "slightly revised" edition of a report that the aaas issued in 1989, is being published by the American arm of the Oxford University Press.

Plans to distribute the book nationwide were announced by F. James Rutherford, the association's chief education officer, at a press conference during the aaas annual meeting here last week.

The book was written by Mr. Rutherford and Andrew Ahlgren, the associate director of Project 2061, the association's long-term effort to define those concepts that are critical to "scientific literacy" and to design curricula that incorporate those elements.

The compilation of the report consituted the first phase of Project 2061. The program's name refers to the year of the next appearance of Halley's Comet.

The project currently is in its second phase, in which six teams of educators in school systems nationwide are devising models for reform based on the information contained in the report.

But, said Mr. Rutherford, if Project 2061 is to make lasting changes in science teaching, acceptance of its precepts must extend beyond the scientific and educational communities to lawmakers and the general public.

"What we want is a gradual increase over the rest of this century of public understanding of what science and mathematics is about," he said.

Outreach Effort

Mr. Rutherford said that the new version of the report will be a major component of an outreach effort that will also include efforts to introduce discussion of the project into the pages of newspapers and popular periodicals.

Lila Neel, a senior publicist for Oxford, said the book became available last week in such national outlets as the Walden and B. Dalton bookstore chains. It also will be available in university and other bookstores nationwide.

Ms. Neil said the first printing of the book ran to approximately 32,000 copies.

But, she added, 22,000 copies of the original run already have been purchased by the International Business Machines Corporation's Atlanta-based educational systems division. The firm plans to distribute the book to employees and to give copies to customers.

Ibm, a supporter of Project 2061, has furnished the six school-based development teams with computer systems worth a total of $1.5 million to assist them in their work, a spokesman said.--pw

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