News of the WeekEDUCATION REFORM

U.S. Tries Variations on High School Curriculum

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Science  10 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5374, pp. 161-163
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5374.161

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Summary

The traditional sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics in U.S. high schools, say reformers, may be at the root of poor student performance. One proposal for reform is a program called American Renaissance in Science Education (ARISE), which would reverse the traditional order of teaching the four core disciplines (see Policy Forum); other efforts attempt to emulate Europe and Asia, where middle school students begin a cyclical curriculum that covers all the sciences each year in progressively greater detail and depth. But such changes will be tough to implement, especially given the pluralistic nature of U.S. education across some 16,000 school districts.