National Science Education Standards

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
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--> National Science Education Standards NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, DC

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by the Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The study was supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and a National Academy of Sciences president’s discretionary fund provided by the Volvo North American Corporation, The Ettinger Foundation, Inc., and the Eugene McDermott Foundation. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Science Education Standards. p. cm. “National Research Council.” Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-05326-9 1. Science—Study and Teaching—Standards—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Q183.3.A1N364 1996 507.1’0973—dc20 95-45778 CIP First Printing, December 1995 Second Printing, March 1996 Third Printing, July 1996 Fourth Printing, October 1996 Fifth Printing, February 1998 National Science Education Standards is available for sale from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Box 285, Washington, DC 20055. Call 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). It is also available via internet at http://www:nas.edu. Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover by Grafik, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia.

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--> Acknowledgments The National Science Education Standards are the product of the efforts of many individuals and groups. We want to acknowledge The National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment The Chair's Advisory Committee The Executive Editorial Committee The Content Working Group The Teaching Working Group The Assessment Working Group The Focus Groups The National Review Groups The many individuals who have served as consultants to the project All who have diligently reviewed the drafts The National Science Education Standards Development Team    Angelo Collins, Director    Rodger Bybee, Chair, Content Working Group    Karen Worth, Chair, Teaching Working Group    Audrey Champagne, Chair, Assessment Working Group    Harold Pratt, Senior Program Officer The National Research Council Staff    Donna M. Gerardi, Special Assistant for New Initiatives    Patrice Legro, Senior Program Office    Lee R. Paulson, Managing Editor    Douglas K. Sprunger, Senior Project Assistant    Suzanne White, Senior Project Assistant    Tina M. Winters, Editorial Assistant See Appendix for members of the above groups. Major funding for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and a National Academy of Sciences president's discretionary fund provided by the Volvo North American Corporation, The Ettinger Foundation, Inc., and the Eugene McDermott Foundation. National Science Education Standards is available for sale from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Box 285, Washington, DC 20055. Call 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). It is also available via internet at http://www:nas.edu.

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--> Contents     Call to Action   vii     National Science Education Standards: An Overview   1     Organization of the Standards   3     Science Teaching Standards   4     Professional Development Standards   4     Assessment Standards   5     Science Content Standards   6     Science Education Program Standards   7     Science Education System Standards   8     Toward the Future   9 1   Introduction   11     Why National Science Education Standards?   12     Goals for School Science   13     History of the National Science Education Standards   13     Organization   15     Guidance for Readers   17     References for Further Reading   17 2   Principles and Definitions   19     Perspectives and Terms in the National Science Education Standards   22     References for Further Reading   24 3   Science Teaching Standards   27     The Standards   29     Standard A   30     Standard B   32     Standard C   37     Standard D   43     Standard E   45     Standard F   51     Changing Emphases for Teaching   52     References for Further Reading   53 4   Standards for Professional Development for Teachers of Science   55     The Standards   58     Standard A   59     Standard B   62     Standard C   68     Standard D   70     Changing Emphases for Professional Development   72     References for Further Reading   73

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--> 5   Assessment in Science Education   75     The Standards   78     Standard A   78     Standard B   79     Standard C   83     Standard D   85     Standard E   86     Assessments Conducted by Classroom Teachers   87     Improving Classroom Practice   87     Planning Curricula   87     Development Self-directed Learners   88     Reporting Student Progress   88     Researching Teaching Practices   89     Assessments Conducted at the District, State, and National Levels   89     Data Analysis   90     Teacher Involvement   90     Sample Size   90     Representative Sample   90     Sample Assessments of Student Science Achievement   91     Assessing Understanding of the Natural World   91     Assessing the Ability to Inquire   98     Changing Emphases for Assessment   100     References for Further Reading   101 6   Science Content Standards   103     Rationale   104     Unifying Concepts and Processes Standard   104     Science as Inquiry Standards   105     Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science Standards   106     Science and Technology Standards   106     Science in Personal and Social Perspectives Standards   107     History and Nature of Science Standards   107     Form of the Content Standards   108     Criteria for the Content Standards   109     Use of the Content Standards   111     Changing Emphases for Contents   113     Content Standard: K-12   115     Content Standards: K-4   121     Science as Inquiry   121     Physical Science   123     Life Science   127     Earth and Space Science   130     Science and Technology   135     Science in Personal and Social Perspectives   138     History and Nature of Science   141

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-->     Content Standards: 5-8   143     Science as Inquiry   143     Physical Science   149     Life Science   155     Earth and Space Science   158     Science and Technology   161     Science in Personal and Social Perspectives   166     History and Nature of Science   170     Content Standards: 9-12   173     Science as Inquiry   173     Physical Science   176     Life Science   181     Earth and Space Science   187     Science and Technology   190     Science in Personal and Social Perspectives   193     History and Nature of Science   200     References for Further Reading   204 7   Science Education Program Standards   209     The Standards   210     Standard A   210     Standard B   212     Standard C   214     Standard D   218     Standard E   221     Standard F   222     Changing Emphases for Programs   224     References for Further Reading   225 8   Science Education System Standards   227     The Standards   230     Standard A   230     Standard B   231     Standard C   231     Standard D   232     Standard E   232     Standard F   233     Standard G   233     Changing Emphases for Systems   239     References for Further Reading   240     Epilogue   243     Appendix   246     Index   254     Credits   261

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--> The world looks so different after learning science. For example, trees are made of air, primarily. When they are burned, they go back to air, and in the flaming heat is released the flaming heat of the sun which was bound in to convert the air into tree. [A]nd in the ash is the small remnant of the part which did not come from air, that came from the solid earth, instead. These are beautiful things, and the content of science is wonderfully full of them. They are very inspiring, and they can be used to inspire others. Richard Feynman

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--> Call to Action This nation has established as a goal that all students should achieve scientific literacy. The National Science Education Standards are designed to enable the nation to achieve that goal. They spell out a vision of science education that will make scientific literacy for all a reality in the 21st century. They point toward a destination and provide a roadmap for how to get there. All of us have a stake, as individuals and as a society, in scientific literacy. An understanding of science makes it possible for everyone to share in the richness and excitement of comprehending the natural world. Scientific literacy enables people to use scientific principles and processes in making personal decisions and to participate in discussions of scientific issues that affect society. A sound grounding in science strengthens many of the skills that people use every day, like solving problems creatively, thinking critically, working cooperatively in teams, using technology effectively, and valuing life-long learning. And the economic productivity of our society is tightly linked to the scientific and technological skills of our work force. Many types of individuals will play a critical role in improving science education: teachers; science supervisors; curriculum developers; publishers; those who work in museums, zoos, and science centers; science educators; scientists and engineers across the nation; school administrators; school board members; parents; members of business and industry; and legislators and other public officials. Individuals from all of these groups were involved in the development of the National Science Education Standards, and now all must act together in the national interest. Achieving scientific literacy will take time because the Standards call for dramatic changes throughout school systems. They emphasize a new way of teaching and learning about science that reflects how science itself is done, emphasizing inquiry as a way of achieving knowledge and understanding about the world. They also invoke changes in what students are taught, in how their performance is assessed, in how teachers are educated and keep pace, and in the relationship between schools and the rest of the community—including the nation's scientists and engineers. The Standards make acquiring scientific knowledge, understanding, and abilities a central aspect of education, just as science has become a central aspect of our society. The National Science Education Standards are premised on a conviction that all students deserve and must have the opportunity to become scientifically literate. The Standards look toward a future in which all Americans, familiar with basic scientific ideas and processes, can have fuller and more productive lives. This is a vision of great hope and optimism for America, one that can act as a powerful unifying force in our society. We are excited and hopeful about the difference that the Standards will make in the lives of individuals and the vitality of the nation. RICHARD KLAUSNER, CHAIRMAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENT BRUCE ALBERTS, PRESIDENT NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

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