Science: A Process Approach (SAPA) - American Education
An elementary school science curriculum developed in the early 1960s that replaced rote memorization of scientific facts, figures and formulae with a reasoned, hands-on, sensory approach to learning. The K–6 curriculum was developed by a team of teachers, psychologists and scientists working under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Although the content of the curriculum remained unchanged, the approach to learning was shifted to an activities-oriented process involving experiment and reasoning as the primary method of developing a permanent understanding of scientific phenomena. The program was divided into two broad segments, one for K–3 students and the other for grades 4–6. K–3 students learned to observe, classify, measure, infer, predict and formulate basic experiments, using numbers and timespace relationships. The curriculum for older students involved formulating hypotheses, defining procedures, controlling variables, interpreting data and, in effect, participating in simplified versions of the experimental processes they would encounter in secondary school and college. SAPA used no specific textbooks, depending instead on kits and on materials available at home, school and in the environment.