When ninth-graders enter their classrooms at Greenwich High School
in a few weeks, they’ll be learning from a new textbook
created specifically for the district’s unique method for teaching
Greenwich High School offers its ninth-graders an “Integrated
Science” course that combines chemistry, biology and physics rather than
teaching each subject separately. This distinctive approach left
Greenwich’s District Science Coordinator Sheila Civale searching for a
textbook that corresponded with the course.
“Because of the inquiry-based, rigorous nature of our Integrated
Science course, there wasn’t a textbook that existed that truly could
serve as a resource for our students. Yet, we knew that such a book
would help our ninth-graders improve their critical thinking skills and
their understanding of the material on the state test and in their
future educational endeavors,” says Civale.
Civale, a devoted team of Greenwich teachers, and University of
Connecticut professor Dr. David M. Moss, worked with education company Pearson to develop
an original, customized book and corresponding digital text for the
science course. The book
weaves together higher education statistics and chemistry material along
with high school science content.
“This is not your traditional textbook,” says Civale. “We literally
put this book together page-by-page to reflect our state standards,
ensuring our students have all of the right material to meet state-level
expectations. And, at the same time, we focus on the concepts that our
students will enjoy learning about—making each page of this text
relevant to their lives.”
Civale added that the district surveyed students about their
interests and used the results to develop the course and text, which
centers around four real-world themes: survival, sports and human
performance, space, and sustainability.
“We want students to react favorably to the text, using it as a
reference to help them master the concepts and identify with real-life
scenarios in science that engage them and take them beyond just the
book,” says Civale.
This school year, “Integrated Science” will enter classrooms as a
paperback and digital text. Next summer, Greenwich will work with
Pearson to modify the content, if needed, based on teacher and student