“The production of this report has done a very good job in the charge that they had,” Eberle said. “Of course there’s still much to do, but it’s a good start to the journey.”
The framework is the first step in a two-step process to develop new K-12 science education standards. Nonprofit educational organization Achieve Inc. will lead a group of states to create more specific standards based on the broad ideas and practices proposed by the framework.
Once Achieve Inc. finishes the standards, states may voluntarily use them to guide science education in public schools in the same way that they previously used Science for All Americans and Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993) developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as well as the National Science Education Standards (1996) developed by the National Research Council.
The new framework distinguishes itself from older standards by offering justification for the inclusion of certain ideas in science education, rather than merely providing long lists that can be time-consuming for teachers to work with, Eberle said.
“There’s a wonder and a curiosity in the sciences that we’ve lost because we’re getting caught up in all these standards,” Eberle said. “But in this report they’ve left room for that, left room and flexibility for teachers in what and how they teach.”