for students to engage in scientific and engineering practices increases participation of underrepresented minorities in science [8-12].
The importance of addressing both knowledge and practice is not unique to this framework. In 1993, the Benchmarks for Science Literacy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science provided standards for students’ engagement in scientific inquiry . In 1996, the National Science Education Standards of the NRC emphasized five essential features of scientific inquiry . Two more recent NRC reports also recommended that students’ learning experiences in science should provide them with opportunities to engage in specific practices [4, 5]. The contribution of this framework is the provision of a set of scientific and engineering practices that are appropriate for K-12 students and moreover that reflect the practices routinely used by professional scientists.
Recommendation 5: Standards should include performance expectations that integrate the scientific and engineering practices with the crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas. These expectations should include criteria for identifying successful performance and require that students demonstrate an ability to use and apply knowledge.
Chapter 9 further provides two examples of how performance expectations for particular life science and physical science component ideas could be integrated with core ideas, as well as with concepts and practices, across the grades (see Tables 9-1 and 9-2).
Developing performance expectations is a major task for standards developers, but it is an effort worth making; performance expectations and criteria for successful performance are essential in order for standards to fulfill their role of supporting assessment development and setting achievement standards . An exhaustive description of every performance level for every standard is unrealistic, but at a minimum the performance expectations should describe the major criteria of successful performance .
Recommendation 6: Standards should incorporate boundary statements. That is, for a given core idea at a given grade level, standards developers should include guidance not only about what needs to be taught but also about what does not need to be taught in order for students to achieve the standard.