National Framework for K-12 Science Education Overview
by Heather A. Marshall
If you have not heard yet, the new National Framework for K-12 Science Education came out in late July from the National Research Council. You can download the framework here. I have looked at the framework and reviewed their published overviews so that I can give you an overview of the framework.
The overriding visions of the National Research Council (NRC) are science for all students and coherent learning. They have three dimensions to direct their vision: scientific and engineering processes, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Some of this includes developing and using models, asking questions and defining problems, planning and carrying out investigations, and more. Their idea is that students will DO more science instead of rote learning of science concepts. Students should come up with their questions, plan an investigation, and develop the model to test their ideas. The team came up with “Disciplinary Core Ideas” for physical, life, and earth and space sciences and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
The NRC also put together some guidelines for standards developers, the next step in this journey. We now have a framework, lets develop the standards, develop the curriculum and assessments, plan and prepare pre-service preparation and professional development to train teacher. For the standards development, they need to think about the following: setting rigorous learning goals, emphasize all three dimensions mentioned earlier, include performance expectations, organize standards in a way that progressions support learning over multiple grades (not repeat- but build), and attend to issues of diversity and equity.
One of the features of the new framework that I like is that the framework is focusing more on depth of science knowledge rather than breadth. There are more narrow core ideas to cover, enabling teachers and students to go further into the material than we currently can. If the standards end up similarly, we will have more depth to cover in the future, enabling us as teachers, to really get our students interested in science.
Visit http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165 for a free pdf version of the Framework.
For more on news on the framework visit Ed Week.
Heather Marshall teaches CP geology at Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill and is CSTA’s high school director.
by Michelle French
Since the public reviews of the Next Generation Science Standards have come to a close, like many primary teachers, I’ve been wondering what science will look like in kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms. Learn More…
“SOL Grotto, 2012. 1368 glass tubes, paint. Fabrication: Matarozzi Pelsinger, Rael San Fratello Architects. SOL Grotto is a contemporary take on a grotto or Throeau’s cabin – a spartan retreat that is a space of solitude and close to nature – where one is presented with a mediated experience of water, coolness and light. The SOL Grotto also explores Solyndra’s role as a company S#@t Out of Luck. 1,368 of the 24 million high tech glass tubes destined to be destroyed as a casualty of their bankruptcy, are used in the installation. The tube’s original role as a light concentrating element is extended to transmit cool air into the space via the Venturi effect, to amplify sounds from the adjacent waterfall via the vibrations of the tubes cantilevering over the creek, and to create distorted views of the garden. The form of the electric blue array evokes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave where shadows, light and sounds can call reality into question.”
Responses from Readers:
Peter A’Hearn: Rush hour in little blue circle land.
by Valerie Joyner
Congratulations to CSTA member and STEM Educator, Katherine Schenkelberg, of West High School, in Torrance, CA! Katherine was recently awarded one of the 2013 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. An appointed panel of experts selected her for her innovative use of data-collection technology. “The use of data-collection technology in the classroom helps foster students’ interest in STEM education and provides them with engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation,” said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and a former physics teacher. “For ten years Vernier and NSTA have recognized innovative STEM educators through this award and this year’s winners are no exception – their projects and programs truly utilize the power of data-collection technology as part of the teaching and learning process.” Learn More…
by Tim Williamson
Members of the California Science Teachers Association are now in the process of voting for qualified CSTA members to fill the seven openings on the CSTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term.
The election is being conducted electronically and opened for voting on April 16, 2013. Voting will close on May 16, 2013. All CSTA members were sent links to the online ballot. Members for whom we do not have current email addresses or who request a paper ballot have been mailed a ballot and candidate statements. Learn More…