BOX 2–2 Basic Principles and Features of National Science Educa tion Standards

Purpose (p. 17):

Define scientific literacy

Principles and Definitions (Chapter 2)

Content Standards (Chapter 6)

Provide guidance for teachers and other science educators

Teaching Standards (Chapter 3)

Assessment Standards (Chapter 5)

Professional Development Standards (Chapter 4)

Clarify the responsibility of policy makers and the community

Program Standards (Chapter 7)

System Standards (Chapter 8)

Principles (p. 19):

  • Science is for all students.

  • Learning science is an active process.

  • School science reflects the intellectual and cultural traditions that characterize the practice of contemporary science.

  • Improving science education is part of systemic education reform.

SOURCE: NRC, 1996.

professional development, and assessment at classroom, district, state, and national levels, as well as standards that address the necessary components of a comprehensive school science program, and policies and resources deemed necessary from all components of the education system to attain science literacy for all students (see Box 2–2).2


Numerous publications document the development, intended uses, and dissemination of the National Science Education Standards (Raizen, 1998; NRC and NCTM, 1997; Bybee, 1997; Collins, 1997; NRC, 1997; Kirst and Bird, 1997; Humphrey et al, 1997; CCSSO, 1997).

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