Daniel Barth is the author of The Maurice Series, a science fiction adventure series geared towards 5th-8th graders. The first three books of the ongoing series are not only scientifically accurate, but also have an educational element that has been underappreciated since the first book's publication, a little over six years. Gaining more recognition, The Maurice Series has recently been confirmed as an educational resource aligned to Common Core Standards, a state-administered foundation that focuses on core conceptual understandings and processes, fostering the ability to identify and solve real-world problems while improving classroom performance.
The Common Core Standards target inefficiency in school systems. Dr. Barth strongly believes that "the concept that we can teach a fact-heavy curriculum that is a mile wide (dozens of separate standards and sub-standards!) and then measures student learning and success by the use of a multiple choice exam is clearly a bankrupt idea."
The original philosophy behind The Maurice Series is to promote active learning; science is an activity that people do. The series motivates readers to put the book down and actively engage in a science activity, the activities are all closely tied to the adventures of the characters in the books.
Mrs. Cathy Seabourne is a reading intervention teacher in South East High School in South Gate, CA. She uses Maurice on the Moon, the first book in the series, in her classroom. Even though most of her students read at several grade-levels lower, Maurice on the Moon has had tremendous results in her classroom.
Dr. Barth's philosophy for The Maurice Series is perfectly aligned with the Common Core Standards, which seek to integrate language, problem solving, and precision technical communication skills in a framework of project/task driven instruction. The Maurice Series provides educators an interdisciplinary approach that promotes student engagement. It is neither a science nor an English lesson, but a culmination of both and more.