Arlington, Va.—July 19, 2011—The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) believes the Framework for K–12 Science Education, released today by the NRC, has the potential to bring about transformational changes in science education. The Framework for K–12 Science Education is the most significant and promising step forward in science education since the release of the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. The Framework builds on the strengths of these standards documents while refocusing the field on a vision to better engage students and build their understanding and appreciation for science and engineering over the K–12 years.
One significant aspect of the framework is the recommendation that new standards integrate three key dimensions: practices needed to engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design, content that includes a limited number of core ideas in four disciplinary areas, and cross-cutting concepts that bridge both the sciences and engineering.
Also noteworthy is the Framework’s inclusion of engineering which focuses on how science is utilized through the engineering design process, and the distinctions and relationships between engineering, technology and applications of science. The Framework also brings much needed attention to the practices of science, especially at the K–2 level, that will support science instruction through the interdisciplinary connection to language arts and math.
“This framework emphasizes the importance of engaging students more deeply in the process of doing science, not just learning content,” said NSTA Executive Director Dr. Francis Eberle. “NSTA applauds the NRC for its outstanding work on this document and for engaging the science education community during the development process. Much work lies ahead. We look forward to working with Achieve to translate the Framework into new science standards that can be supported by all states, and to involve science teachers in the development process.”
The Framework will serve as the basis for the development of Next Generation Science Standards, a state-led effort managed by Achieve, Inc.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), www.nsta.org, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
Kate Falk, NSTA