In this weblog entry, I will explore the vision and the goal described in part one of the Framework. A vision is a utopian dream for the future, while a goal defines in measureable and realistic terms what it takes to realize the vision. The vision and the goal of the Framework are what I call the “big ideas” about science education.
A vision for K-12 science education is articulated in part one of the Framework as follows:
“The framework is designed to help realize a vision for education in the sciences and
engineering in which students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in science and
engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in these fields.”
1) actively engage in science and engineering practices (SEPs)
2) apply crosscutting concepts (CCs)
3) deepen their understanding of the core ideas (DCIs)
The SEPs, CCs, and DCIs are the three “dimensions” of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are the most recent science standards. I’ll write weblog entries about these dimensions later.
Wait a minute…. ENGINEERING? Huh?
But this is the vision for SCIENCE education? What does engineering have to do with it?
Putting engineering aside (for now) …
The Framework then goes on to describe what the student learning experiences should look like:
“The learning experiences provided for students should engage them with fundamental questions about the world and with how scientists have investigated and found answers to those questions. Throughout the K-12 grades, students should have the opportunity to carry out scientific investigations and engineering design projects related to the disciplinary core Ideas.”
The goal of the Framework is stated in the summary on page 1 as follows:
“The Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards was charged with developing a framework that articulates a broad set of expectations for students in science. The overarching goal of our framework for K-12 science education is to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives; are able to continue to learn about science outside school; and have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology.”
1) have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science
2) possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues
3) are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives
4) are able to continue to learn about science outside school
5) have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education has broad implications for science education. In addition to identifying what students are expected to learn, it includes recommendations for components of science education including curriculum, instruction, professional development of educators, and assessment. Each component of science education needs to work together towards realizing the vision and achieving the goal of the framework.
The goal and vision of the Framework just make sense to me. As a result I have embraced these as my own - for the students I teach and for whom I design instructional materials.
Now, about those dimensions…..
And ENGINEERING? Huh?
These will be the subject of future weblog entries. Stay tuned…
Last Updated: 7/20/2017