Project: Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), National Academy for Curriculum Leadership (NACL), National Science Foundation (NSF)

Authors: Mark St. John, Judy Hirabayashi, Pam Tambe, Jenifer V. Helms

With assistance of: Allison Murray, Laurie Senauke

Type: Report

Publication: September 2006

The Landscape of High School Science Curriculum Decision Making

Executive Summary (pdf, 5 pages)

Full Report (pdf, 63 pages)


In 1996, the National Science Foundation (NSF) solicited proposals for the first Implementation and Dissemination Centers to facilitate the dissemination and implementation of curriculum materials developed with Foundation funding.

BSCS, with its long history of curriculum and professional development in secondary science, seemed a natural agent for facilitating the dissemination and implementation of high-quality instructional materials in science. Believing that secondary science was in particular need of support and improvement, BSCS wrote and received a grant in 2000. A major activity of the BSCS implementation and dissemination center was the establishment and support of the National Academy for Curriculum Leadership (NACL) by BSCS. Between 2001 and 2005 BSCS worked with district teams seeking to improve their secondary science programs – and particularly their selection, adoption and implementation of textbooks and other instructional materials – with support from the NACL’s three-year program.

Inverness Research Associates evaluated that program. BSCS also asked Inverness Research to undertake a complementary line of work to help it and the field better understand the support that is available for secondary science education and the context within which high school science curricular decisions are made.

This report focuses on results from a survey we conducted in spring 2005. Selected findings from a study we conducted five years earlier are included to permit a discussion of changes and continuities over the five years.

Intended Audience

Science Educators, Science Curriculum Supervisors/Leaders, School and District Administrators, Teachers, Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) Education Leaders, Funders, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Distribution Policy

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