Curriculum News

December 05, 1990 4 min read

In an effort to promote the teaching of economics, the Federal Reserve Bank in California has begun training high-school teachers in several states in ways to improve their presentation of the subject to students.

The free workshops are open to teachers in California and the eight other Western states in that Federal Reserve district. Lasting from a half-day to a full day, the sessions are designed to show teachers how to make use of a wide range of curricular materials on economics put out by the California bank.

“Teachers are always looking for new materials to help teach economics because most of them have not been trained in how to do this,” said Donna Drake, supervisor of the Los Angeles branch of the bank.

Although the educational programs of the California Federal Reserve may be among the most active of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, Ms. Drake said, many of the other Federal Reserve banks offer their own curricular materials on economics.

The New York Federal Reserve, for example, publishes comic books on economics issues for high-school students, Ms. Drake noted.

For more information on the California bank’s materials, call Ms. Drake at (213) 683-2901, or Brian Duckworth at (415) 974-3233.

The Journal of High School Science Research--a new publication that showcases exemplary research of precollegiate science students--is accepting submissions for its third issue, which will be published in February.

Typical of the papers in the 62-page September issue of the semiannual journal is “The Marble and the Fly,” a comparison of theoretical probability and actual results in the experimental breeding of fruitflies, by Ashley Wilkerson, a student at Eastside High School in Taylors, S.C.

A special section is set aside in each edition for abstracts of student research projects.

Submissions to the journal, which should not have been published elsewhere, should be addressed to M.H. Farmer, the publication’s editor.

The deadline for submissions is the end of January.

Submissions, as well as inquiries about subscriptions and advertising, should be sent to Applied Educational Technology, P.O. Box 193, Tigerville, S.C. 29688.

A subscription to the publication costs $15 a year.

A national senior citizens’ group has announced plans for a major expansion of an unusual program that recruits and trains older adults to tutor young schoolchildren who are having trouble learning to read.

Older Adult Services and Information System, or oasis, launched its tutoring program on a pilot basis last year in school districts in St. Louis and Denver. This year, with expanded funding from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and other corporate sponsors, the St. Louis-based group plans to double the number of schools participating in those cities and launch new efforts in Phoenix and Rochester, N.Y.

Terry Williams, who oversees the program in the St. Louis schools, said the effort is unusual because the older volunteers receive 18 hours of training in a particular strategy for teaching reading.

The strategy, known as the “language experience approach,” encourages children to tell stories based on an experience, and then write and read them. The volunteers work at least once a week for an hour with individual 6- to 9-year-olds who are having trouble reading.

“Many of them form bonds that are much more than tutorial relationships,” Mr. Williams said. “For a lot of these children, this is their only opportunity to experience any kind of relationship with an older adult.”

The National Association of Biology Teachers has published a monograph on marine science for educators who may feel inadequately trained in oceanography or who teach at inland schools.

“Oceanography for Landlocked Classrooms” contains practical information about how to set up a marine aquarium, as well as background for lessons on such topics as marine vegetation, crab dissection, and whale communication.

Copies of the 104-page book cost $15 each, or $10 for nabt members, plus a $2 charge for postage and handling.

For more information, write Alison Rasmussen, Education Project Director, National Association of Biology Teachers, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, #19, Reston, Va. 22090, or call (703) 471-1134.

The National Audubon Society, meanwhile, has released a new interactive software program about whales that allows students to “track” whale migrations, to “rescue” a stranded whale, or to “investigate” the death of a manatee.

“Whales!” is the second title in the society’s Wildlife Adventures software series.

It comes in versions for the computers manfactured by Apple Computer Inc., the International Business Machines Corporation, and the Tandy Corporation.

It is also available in a networked version.

A teacher’s edition of the software, which includes several classroom-activity guides, is available for $79 from Top Ten Software Inc., 40308 Greenwood Way, Oakhurst Calif. 93644; (209) 683-7577.

--dv & pw

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 1990 edition of Education Week as Curriculum News