Best Practice Framework: Middle School Science

Research teams investigated seven consistently higher- and three consistently average- performing middle schools in science to determine differences in practices along the five themes of the framework below. For more information about each finding, follow the Learn More link.

High School Completion (2013) Critical Needs, Elementary (2011) Middle School Science (2009) High School (2008) Middle School (2007)
Organizing Themes Best Practices
Curriculum & Academic Goals
  • Delving deep into essential content in science facilitated by continual review of the K-12 curriculum and rooted in an ethic of providing all students a fair chance at succeeding and being engaged in advanced science in high school and beyond.

  • Learn more...
Staff Selection, Leadership, & Capacity Building
  • Teachers who are interested in working with middle school kids and have preparation in science content and pedagogy sought after and hired. A well-established professional learning community supports new teachers and the science department in connecting to other content areas.

  • Learn more...
Instructional Programs, Practices, & Arrangements
  • Heterogeneous grouping and differentiated instruction used to ensure all students gain knowledge and skills to pursue science at the high school level. Instruction designed to make science fun, relevant to students’ lives, and connected to building literacies across the curriculum.

  • Learn more...
Monitoring: Compilation, Analysis, & Use of Data
  • Wide variety of data from multiple sources collected analyzed, and acted upon. Continual review of state assessments and benchmarks to inform changes to curriculum and instruction

  • Learn more...
Recognition, Intervention, & Adjustments
  • Enrichment and special help offered through after-school clubs and activities. Effective use of TAs and other support staff within classrooms; focused on keeping students on track before intervention are used.

  • Learn more...