Resource Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards
- Vetting Authority:
- Art Sussman
- A Framework for K-12 Science Education identifies the key scientific practices, concepts and ideas that all students should learn by the time they complete high school. It is intended as a guide for those who develop science education standards, those who design curricula and assessments, and others who work in K-12 science education.
This document can be read online or downloaded for free from the nap.edu link that is part of this record. Because of copyright restrictions, we did not upload the document into the PCEP website.
The framework organizes science education around three dimensions:
* Scientific and engineering practices. The framework identifies eight key practices that students should learn, such as asking questions and defining problems, planning and carrying out investigations, and engaging in argument from evidence.
* Crosscutting concepts. The framework also specifies seven concepts students should learn --such as “cause and effect” and “patterns” -- that have explanatory value across much of science and engineering.
* Disciplinary core ideas. The framework identifies ideas in four disciplinary areas – life sciences; physical sciences; earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and the applications of science. Students’ knowledge of these ideas should deepen over time, and the framework specifies aspects of each idea that students should know by the end of grades two, five, eight, and 12.
These three dimensions should not be taught separately from one another. Rather, they should be integrated in standards, assessment, curricula and instruction. . For example, students should use the practices – such as conducting investigations and then analyzing and interpreting the data – to learn more about the core ideas.
A key purpose for the framework is to serve as the basis for new science education standards. The framework lays out broadly the core ideas and practices that students should learn, and the standards will build upon that foundation, explaining in detail what students should learn at various grade levels. A group of states will lead the development of the standards, in a process coordinated by nonprofit education organization Achieve Inc. (see http://www.achieve.org/next-generation-science-standards for further information about the next steps in this process) When the standards are done, states can voluntarily adopt them to guide science education in their public schools.
The framework is also meant to be useful to others who work in science education, including:
Curriculum developers and assessment designers
Schools and educators who train teachers and create professional development materials for them
State and district science supervisors, who make key decisions about curriculum, instruction, and professional development
Science educators who work in informal settings, such as museum exhibit designers
- National Research Council: Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards
AuthorsName of an author associated with this resource
- Resource Type:
- Regional/National Standards or Framework
- Publication Date:
- July 2011
- The National Academies Press
PublisherName of publisher associated with this resource
- Grade Levels:
- Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
- Climate Science, Systems, Changes in Systems, Science of Learning, Processes of Teaching & Learning, STEM Learning Environments, Learning Objectives, STEM Practices, STEM National Learning Objectives