“Our Goal Is a Scientifically Capable Society”


Education Week brings us last week’s most-clicked ASCD SmartBrief story on recent work to revise national science standards.

A 16-member panel of experts convened by the National Research Council is tasked with identifying and articulating “a small set of ‘core ideas’ in each of the major science disciplines, as well as those ideas that cut across disciplines.” Some of the group’s considerations on this rewrite:

  • focus on deep, conceptual understanding rooted in thinking and reasoning skills, as opposed to wide coverage of science facts
  • compose standards that reflect changes in how students learn, and new developments in science
  • better cumulative development of science curriculum articulated across grades, instead of discrete topics given equal weight

After the 16-member panel conceives a framework, teams from three national organizations—the National Science Teachers Association; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Achieve, a group formed by governors and business leaders—will use it as a basis for writing a final set of national science standards.

Look for draft science standards available for public comment early summer 2010 and final standards to be released in two years.