Standards

Science Framework Seen as Valued Resource for Educators

May 22, 2013 2 min read

As science educators look at the Next Generation Science Standards, some experts and fellow teachers have a piece of advice: Don’t forget to read—and reread—the National Research Council framework.

While the standards are often described as a “technical document,” the framework, published in 2011, is an accessible narrative that not only served as a blueprint for the standards, but also explains the ideas behind them, makes the case for why they are needed, and says what they aim to accomplish.

“Teachers need to have their hands on that framework because it is very helpful,” said Denise M. Truver, a 3rd grade teacher at Walter E. Ranger Elementary School in Tiverton, R.I., who has been engaged in professional development to better understand the new standards.

“The framework has kind of been our bible during this work,” she said. “I think it’s an amazing text.” She added: “It gives me a ton of background content knowledge, while it also gives me what students should know at the end of each grade span.”

The congressionally chartered NRC assembled an 18-member panel of experts in science and science education to craft the framework, led by Helen R. Quinn, a professor emeritus of physics at Stanford University.

“The standards themselves are best understood in the context of the framework, so those two documents should be traveling the world together,” said Philip Bell, a professor of the learning sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, who served on the NRC panel.

The document isn’t billed just as a guide for the standards, but also as an aid for curriculum designers, assessment developers, state and district administrators, leaders in science teacher education, and science educators in “informal settings.”

Its 13 chapters cover a lot of terrain, from guiding assumptions to a careful explanation of the three dimensions of the standards: science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. It also devotes a chapter to implementation issues.

“Standards provide a vision for teaching and learning, but the vision cannot be realized unless the standards permeate the education system and guide curriculum, instruction, teacher preparation and professional development, and student assessment,” it says.

Coverage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education is supported by a grant from the Noyce Foundation. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2013 edition of Education Week as NRC Framework Seen as Valued Resource for Educators

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Hiring Bilingual and Special Education Teachers NOW!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Senior Business Analyst - 12 Month Contract
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Standards How to Assess English-Learners' Needs From a Distance? Here's Some Help
With schools unable to conduct in-person evaluations, schools must find new ways to determine if students need English-language-learner support services.
2 min read
Standards Fact Check: Trump Administration Didn't 'Get Rid' of Common Core
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos implied at the Conservative Political Action Conference that President Donald Trump has fulfilled a pledge to "get rid of" the Common Core State Standards. That's not true.
2 min read
Standards People Keep on Saying They're Killing the Common Core. How Dead Is It?
Florida's governor declares a standards overhaul would "remove all vestiges" of the common core. But it remains unclear how much is really changing under the Florida Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking.
4 min read
Standards Mismatch Seen Between New Science Tests and State Requirements
Teachers in some states worry students may face questions on topics they haven't studied on new science tests rolling out across the country.
6 min read