Draft K-12 Science Education Framework Open for Comment

The National Research Council released a draft framework that proposes the science content and concepts students should learn for grades K-12.

Microscope-2WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Research Council released a draft framework that proposes the science content and concepts students should learn for grades K-12. The independent, nonprofit Research Council is seeking comment on the draft from the science and education communities and the public. The final framework will serve as the basis for new science education standards, to replace those based on documents developed over 10 years ago.

“In the past decade, the community has learned important lessons from implementing the existing science education standards, and there is a new and growing body of research on learning and teaching in science that can inform the development of new ones,” said Helen Quinn, chair of the 18-member committee that drafted the framework, and professor emerita of physics at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford, Calif. “This draft framework will be revised based on input we receive, and a final framework, to be issued early next year, is intended to provide guidance to improve and update science education standards across the nation. We welcome feedback from those in the science and science education communities, who can help us ensure that the framework is of the highest quality and meets the needs of teachers and students.”

The framework describes in broad terms the core ideas in science and engineering that students should understand and be able to apply, and the progression of ideas that students need to experience in order to comprehend them. The nonprofit education group Achieve, working with a group of state leaders, will use the final framework to develop new K-12 science education standards, which explain what students should learn in detail. The framework is also intended to be useful to others who work in science education — curriculum designers and assessment developers, state and district science administrators, and teacher educators.

The comment period will run from July 12 through August 2. During this time, the National Research Council will partner with the National Science Teachers Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Achieve, and the Council of State Science Supervisors to solicit feedback through meetings and focus groups. Individuals also can read the draft online and submit comments at www.nas.edu/BOSE.

After the comment period ends, the study committee will consider the submitted comments and make appropriate revisions to the framework. And as with all Research Council reports, the framework will undergo a rigorous, internal review process before its release, which is expected to be in early 2011.

The framework project is sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.

Click here to read the full article.

Source: News from the National Academies