As such, the States approach scientific literacy as a skill that can be transferred to other areas of students' lives, and so broaden their ability to interact with the world as well as enhance their future prospects as tertiary students or member of the workforce(Massachusetts Board of Education, 2000; New York State Education, 2001).
This paper aims to identify the State curriculum that best meets the needs of students in the 21st century in regards to a science education. Firstly, the curriculum for year 8 science students attending Thomas A. Edison Middle School (Massachusetts) will be detailed. Secondly the curriculum for year 8 science students at Benjamin N. Cardozo (New York) will be presented. A comparison of similarities and differences between the two curricula shall then be discussed. Next, the strengths and weaknesses of each outlined. The curriculum considered most appropriate for year 8 science students shall be identified. A conclusion will summarise the main points of the paper and make recommendations for future research.
The students attending Thomas A. ...
As such, they are inspired to think, question and communicate in order to provide meaning to their personal experiences and interactions in the physical world (Thomas A. Edison Middle School, 2005) . They are encouraged to gain and to apply knowledge by investigating their ideas, and reflecting on their experiences. Also, the student is encouraged to view their studies in the subject of science as being of value to themselves, to their school and to the wider community (Thomas A. Edison Middle School, 2005). The curriculum objectives of Thomas A. Edison Middle School were designed to meet the Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Framework (2000) (Massachusetts Board of Education, 2000), as such student would:
Attain a level of scientific literacy that provide them access to tertiary education, workforce, and contribute to a democratic community.
Learn scientific literacy incorporates scientific content as well as inquiry skills.
Take part in solving problems, analysing information, assessing evidence, linking information, and the process of scientific investigation.
Hence, the science curriculum is structured into four strands: 1) Earth and Space Science; 2) Life Science (Biology); 3) Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics); and
4) Technology/Engineering Science (Thomas A. Edison Middle School, 2005).
As in line with the Massachusetts Education Framework, Thomas A. Edison Middle School's science curriculum has grouped its learning standards accordingly: 1) mapping the earth, earth's structure, heat transfer in the earth's system, earth's history, the earth in the solar system; 2) classification of organisms, structure and function of