Center for Curriculum Materials in Science

AAAS Project 2061, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan

CCMS Research Programs

Through its research agenda, CCMS aims to generate knowledge of national importance related to improving the quality and use of K-12 science curriculum materials. Research focuses on (1) curriculum materials for all children, (2) teacher learning and educative materials, (3) the curriculum development process, (4) assessment, and (5) policy. With the underlying principles of the Center as a shared framework, research is conducted within the context of ongoing projects at the partner institutions. Read an overview of the CCMS Research Agenda.

Click below to learn about each partner’s current Center-related research projects.

Also available:

AAAS Project 2061

AAAS Project 2061 is a leader in articulating content standards in science, mathematics, and technology and developing criteria to analyze the instructional support for that content in curriculum materials. Project 2061 is currently involved in a major research project in mathematics education and several research and development projects in science education, all funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, that (1) serve as contexts within which to conduct Center-related research and (2) can provide tools for Center-related research and for use in educating teachers. Projects include exploring how the interactions of teaching practices, curriculum materials, and professional development affect student learning in mathematics; creating a set of science curriculum components that developers can use to create K-12 goals-based materials; and aligning assessments to learning goals.

For more information on AAAS Project 2061, visit:

Michigan State University (MSU)

Current CCMS work at Michigan State University’s College of Education addresses a central challenge identified in the Center’s research agenda: How can we develop science curriculum materials that best support teachers in helping their students achieve learning goals? Building on the design processes articulated by AAAS Project 2061, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and other researchers, MSU’s work articulates, implements, refines, evaluates, and revises research and development processes in response to this challenge. The work addresses this challenge at three different levels: unit-sized sets of learning goals, a major K-12 curriculum strand, and resources for use in pre-service teacher education. One project involves developing resources for using the Project 2061 curriculum-materials analysis criteria (and materials analyzed with the criteria) in pre-service methods courses and then studying the effects of using these resources.

For more information on Michigan State University, visit:

Northwestern University (NU)

Northwestern University brings its leadership in the fields of cognitive science and learning technologies to bear on its CCMS research. The Learning Sciences group in the School of Education and Social Policy has extensive experience in the design of inquiry-based science curriculum materials and in the investigation of the principles of design for supporting student inquiry in science. Research also focuses on innovative technologies for supporting learning and teacher professional development. NU collaborates with researchers at the University of Michigan on projects like LeTUS: The Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools, which brings more effective science learning experiences to the Chicago and Detroit school districts, and IQWST: Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology, a curriculum materials development project.

For more information on Northwestern University, visit:

University of Michigan (UM)

The School of Education at the University of Michigan has strong science education research interests and expertise in (1) designing elementary and middle school project-based science curricula and (2) understanding how these materials can best be used by students and teachers to enable all students to obtain deep understanding of science content and scientific inquiry. UM is also interested in understanding how technology in the classroom might enhance or improve students' learning of science. Thus, current Center-related projects focus on materials design, student learning performances, teacher professional development and teacher learning, and new classroom technology. The Palm Project, for example, compares the quality of student work and resulting student achievement in classrooms that use handheld computers and those that do not.

For more information on University of Michigan, visit:

Text: AAAS Project 2061, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan
Text: Center for Curriculum Materials in Science