Following is a guide to recent reports in education and related fields.
Students often believe science is tedious and boring because it focuses on memorization and learning about the accomplishments of other people, according to a report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. But science, the report says, is something students should be actively involved in through discovery and hands-on experiences developed together by teachers and institutions such as museums, aquariums, and zoos. Among other things, the report profiles the institute's various grant-supported science education partnerships across the country. For a free copy of "Science Museums: Enlisting Communities in Science in Education Partnerships,'' write the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Office of Grants and Special Programs, 4000 Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-6789.
More education for health-care professionals and direct contact with families are the best ways to raise the immunization rates of preschoolers, the Joyce Foundation concludes in a recent report. The report stems from a yearlong study by the Chicago-based foundation to identify strategies that helped improve immunization rates in low-income and immigrant communities in that city. "Testing Strategies To Raise Immunization Rates'' is available free from the Joyce Foundation, 135 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 782-2464.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has released a report detailing its efforts to enhance education opportunities for members of the nation's fastest-growing minority group. The New York City-based organization seeks to accomplish this goal by creating educational models, demonstration projects, and pilot programs that provide Hispanic students with scholarship and internship opportunities. The "Quadrennial Report: 1991-94'' is free from HACU, National Headquarters, 4204 Gardendale St., Suite 216, San Antonio, TX 78229; (210) 692-3805.
The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights has issued a guide to help schools comply with the 1990 federal law that essentially bars all forms of discrimination against the disabled. The 278-page guide focuses on helping schools meet the Americans with Disabilities Act and the law's accompanying regulations, which cover most public and private entities. For example, the guide suggests how schools can, as required, designate an ADA coordinator; set up a grievance procedure for employees, students, and others; conduct a self-evaluation; and devise a transition plan for making building modifications. School districts may obtain a free copy of "Compliance With the Americans With Disabilities Act: A Self-Evaluation Guide for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools'' from their regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center at (800) 949-4ADA. Others may order copies for $21 each from the U.S. Government Printing Office at (202) 512-1800. Ask for item 065-000-00774-6.
Though Americans remain supportive of higher education, their support is tempered with concerns about its quality and cost, according to a study from the American Council on Education. The study contains three reports. The first, "First Impressions and Second Thoughts,'' summarizes recent public-opinion polls on higher education. "Goodwill and Growing Worry'' reports findings from focus groups with residents of Detroit; Memphis, Tenn.; Cherry Hill, N.J.; and San Antonio. "The Fragile Coalition: Public Support for Higher Education in the 1990s'' details a survey of community leaders in those cities. Copies are $10 each, or $25 for all three, from the Publications Office of the American Council on Education, 1 Dupont Circle, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 939-9385.
Girls And Schools.
In 1992, the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation chronicled the disadvantages girls face in the classroom in its report, "How Schools Shortchange Girls.'' Now the foundation has followed up with some solutions. The new report describes teaching principles and practices that lead to equitable treatment of girls in the classroom, with a particular emphasis on increasing girls' participation in math, science, and technology. The study also profiles several model programs and includes a list of related resources. "Growing Smart: What's Working for Girls in School'' is available for $12.95 from the AAUW Educational Foundation, 1111 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (800) 225-9998.
Secrets To Success.
A key element in successful schools and workplaces is a well-defined sense of purpose, the U.S. General Accounting Office concludes in a recent report. The GAO examined studies linking school or workplace practices to commonly used criteria of success and found that a clear focus was an important element in both environments. Single copies of "Schools and Workplaces: An Overview of Successful and Unsuccessful Practices'' are free, additional copies cost $2 each, prepaid, from the General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015; (202) 512-6000. Checks should be made payable to the Superintendent of Documents.