Curriculum Column

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A new book published by the Council of Chief State School Officers offers educators ways to respond to two criticisms of history instruction: its failure to promote democratic values and its heavy reliance on textbooks rather than original-source materials.

The publication, according to Duncan MacDonald, the project's director, "puts history back into history.''

"We encourage teachers to see themselves as scholars in their own right,'' he said.

"Foundations of American Citizenship'' contains course syllabi to train teachers in instruction in American democracy. It includes documents from Plato, Alexis de Tocqueville, Thomas Jefferson, and other seminal figures in American political thought.

Copies are available free of charge from the council, 370 Hall of the States, 400 North Capitol Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.

As part of a federally funded effort to boost science instruction in elementary schools, Scholastic Inc. has created two new magazines for pupils in kindergarten through the 6th grade.

"SuperScience,'' scheduled to debut in the 1989-90 school year, will include a 32-page monthly magazine for upper-elementary students and a four-page weekly publication intended for students in lower grades.

In addition, the New York-based company will provide elementary teachers with materials and software programs. The publications will focus on medicine, health, and technology, as well as such traditional disciplines as physical and earth sciences.

The publications were made possible with a $1.38-million grant from the National Science Foundation, according to Richard Robinson, Scholastic's president and chief executive officer.

The grant "will help offset our development costs,'' he said, and will "enable us to make these materials available to schools at a cost they can afford.''

In an effort to boost girls' enrollment and interest in mathematics classes, the Women's Educational Equity Act Publishing Center has issued a curriculum aimed at alleviating "math anxiety.''

The federally funded project offers activities to help girls overcome their fear of the subject and develop a clearer understanding of the field.

Based on a pilot project conducted by two Ohio State University researchers, the curriculum can be incorporated in classroom activities or after-school programs.

"A Mindset for Math: Techniques for Identifying and Working With Math-Anxious Girls'' is available for $8 from the W.E.E.A. Publishing Center, Education Development Center, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, Mass. 02160.--R.R.

Vol. 07, Issue 39

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