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Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. But the leak can be fixed, with a little grit, and as the story unfolds I'll tell you how to do it.The prelude to our story begins in September 1974 when my eldest daughter came home with her 2nd grade science book.
So, David Boulanger in the College of Education at UIC and I, in Physics, decided to do something about it, and started a teacher education course that tried to show how math and science could be integrated into the curriculum through hands on quantitative experiments in grades 1 through 8. Soon Phil Wagreich from the math department joined us, and by 1978 we had our first NSF grant to train classroom teachers in the Chicago area on the experiments and ideas we had developed.
The teachers in turn tried them out in their classrooms and came up with new ideas for experiments. Besides the idea of integrating math and science, TIMS focuses on the fundamental variables of science (length, area volume and mass and graduates to density, velocity, acceleration, force, work and energy), stresses the processes of carrying out an experiment, works hard to develop higher level thinking skills such as multi step logic, all the while using mathematics as the language of science. Balls bounce, drops spread out on paper towels, carts roll, as the children immerse themselves into the whirlpool of math and science.TIMS tries to present a very systematic picture of science. In the case of the two primary variables, the children set up the appropriate values of the manipulated variable, say the drop height of a ball, and measure the value of the responding variable, the bounce height.
Height or plant growth)3) Classification experiments (how do I organize systems with multiple properties like color, size and shape)4) Probability experiments (like rolling dice, flipping coins, counting pockets). TIMS supplies the student lab write up with room for pictures, tables, graphs and with questions, and for the teachers a Teacher Lab Discussion (TLD) for each experiment and a TIMS tutor for each variable.

Four schools placed in the upper end of the achievement scale, three in the middle and four at the low end.
The participating children turned out to be 5% Asian, 41% Black, 22% Hispanic and 32% White. Thus we had a nice mix of students and a broad range of scores on the standardized tests.Before the children started doing the experiments we gave them a TIMS pre-test (Sept '88) to see how well they knew the ideas we wanted to teach. We then administered 4 post-tests (in June '89,'90,'91,'92) to measure what we hoped would be the sustained intellectual growth of the children. The children are shown a ruler and a rod placed parallel to and at the center of the ruler. You can imagine our amazement when only 2% of the 2nd graders and only 30% of the 8th graders could answer the question. But, after one year of TIMS, 30% of the 2nd graders and 70% of the 8th graders could answer the question correctly. The 2nd graders become 3rd graders but continue to see new experiments that probe the same basic concepts but in a wide variety of settings. By the 5th grade 80% of our starting 2nd grades could now answer the question correctly (and most others too), but we began to notice some odd things going on and this is where our story takes a couple of strange turns.Two years into the program one of our lead teaches asked us to write a letter of recommendation so that she could move to a higher paying teaching position at another school. Greener pastures, early retirement, transfer by the district of other school, you name it, we saw it. But the end of the five years only half the lead teachers remained; we had no inkling this would happen.
You can imagine our shock and disappointment to find only 3 of the 11 principals remained in the schools after 4 years. Taken together only one of the eleven schools retained both its lead teachers and its principal. Talk about a leaky boat, after four years we could account for only 837 children who had taken 4 consecutive exams. After careful checking we found that they were really gone and the teachers were not surprised.
Thus, throughout the Chicago area there is this enormous mobility on the part of principals, teachers and students.
And the differences in the TIMS test scores between these two groups of children were amazing. But for those who stopped , the scores either stayed the same or fell often by as much as two years!The degree of decrease depended on the type of school.

For the high scoring IGAP schools the TIMS scores stayed about the same, but for the low scoring IGAP schools the TIMS scores went down even after one year of no experiments. Apparently, these children have a harder time retaining what they have learned when the source is shut off. Interestingly enough, when they moved to another room next year and were back on the experimental trail again, their TIMS scores started back up. So, for all the children, continuity is important, but for our inner city children it is essential.This leads to a troubling question about education in our metropolitan area and, for that matter, the entire nation. How can we maintain educational progress when children, teacher and principals change schools at such a high rate?
An inner-city child who moves out of a quantitative hands-on program (and 90% do so every four years) and into an ineffective conventional curriculum will lose, as we have shown above, much of what he or she has learned in just one year.
The very group that needs help the most is the most at risk.And this risk is exacerbated by the trend in many metropolitan areas, including Chicago, to decentralize in the name of school reform. Grassroots control of schools sounds fine in theory, but it doesn't work very well when teachers, principals and students have no roots.It is clear that children, particularly those in the inner city, need stability and continuity at school. Yet our education reformers push decentralization, which promotes instability and discontinuity. How do you achieve wide use of successful programs, such as TIMS, when each school is allowed to do pretty much whatever it wants? We certainly can't stop people from moving, but we can ensure that there is a continuity of instruction. With a national curriculum, no matter where the children, teachers or principals go, they would all have to come to terms with specific content—say, the TIMS bouncing ball experiment in the third grade, along with graphing, data taking, questions and math that the experiment poses.
Schools of education would have to prepare future teachers to teach this basic math-science curriculum and principals would have to organize the school accordingly.Before all the local school boards and school councils go through the roof, let me add that I'm not recommending a national curriculum for everything that is taught in school. The rest of the time could be devoted to tackling a textbook, helping those who are slow, enriching those we are ahead and dealing with regional or cultural specialties.

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