Recently, my junior high school (aka middle school) reorganized their curriculum. Instead of teaching middle school physics, chemistry, and biology in that order, they reversed it. The logic was that older children have more mathematical knowledge and therefore are better able to absorb concepts in the physical sciences later. This parallels how I was taught in high school but I found it surprising my middle school made this observation so late.
Upon further reflection I realized, given that my middle school teachers were not as educated as my high school teachers, I am not surprised it took longer for them to discover this order was better. Most of the middle school science teachers I had were not particularly talented at mathematics. But I feel if they had more mathematical knowledge, they would have realized this order was better in the first place. I personally found learning Newton's law in sixth grade excruciating. It was as though my teacher use the concept of energy carelessly without ever defining it. I had no idea what it was! Now I study quantum fields. So clearly the problem was that teachers were dodging around the mathematics because they didn't think we could handle it.
My middle school's reorganization got me thinking: what if mathematics teachers had played an earlier role in helping to structure the science curriculum? For science teachers with less mathematical experience, suggestions from the math department could prove very useful.
My question: Do junior high math mathematics educators frequently establish dialogue with their science departments? How is this received by the science departments? Across junior high schools, is it often that the two departments work together to give kids the best math and science education possible? If not, why?