- Science is for all students
- All students, regardless of gender, cultural, or ethnic background, physical or learning disabilities, aspirations, or interest and motivation in science, should have the opportunity to attain high levels of scientific literacy
- Learning is an active process
- The curiosity-level and interactive involvement of students must be maintained throughout the grades. Students describe objects and events, ask questions, construct explanations, test explanations in many different ways, and communicate their ideas to others. This implies physical and mental activity. Hand-on activities are not enough. Students must also have "minds-on" experiences. Science teaching must involve students in inquiry-oriented investigations in which they interact with teachers and peers. They must establish connections between their current knowledge of science and real world events. They must apply science content to new problems as they engage in problem-solving, planning, decision-making, and group discussion. Learning science is something students do, not something that is done to them. This principle indicates a need to shift emphasis from teachers presenting information and "covering" science topics to students learning science through active involvement and the teacher becoming a partner in that learning.
- An in-depth understanding of science concepts, processes, and investigations will be emphasized. Essential aspects of increasing scientific literacy include a greater understanding of science subject matter, the nature and relevance of science inquiry, and the place of science in society and personal life.
- All students will have access and opportunity to learn about each of the science concepts which will be taught through the Frameworks
- The essential science concepts identified in the Frameworks are for all students. The structure of Frameworks emphasizes the equal value of each of the four main science content areas. It is an understanding that teachers and students will look for the natural connections among these sciences in their investigations of natural and societal issues.
- There is a vertical integration of spiraling that revisits concepts and prepares students at higher levels for more complex concepts and skills.
- Encourages good teaching practices
- The Frameworks emphasizes science process skills. It encourages students to gain knowledge by doing science: observing, questioning, exploring, making and testing hypotheses, comparing predictions, evaluating data through a variety of methods including graphs, tables, charts, and communicating conclusions. The objectives encourage the students to connect the lessons with their daily lives and with their society. The Frameworks mandates experiential science instruction for all students. Direct instruction and using texts and other resources for reference are also expected parts of the science program.
- Encourages good testing practices
- Student achievement of the Frameworks is best assessed using a variety of assessment instruments. Portfolio and performance task assessments are particularly appropriate to the evaluation of student mastery of science content, science process skills, and critical thinking based on evidence. A variety of assessment approaches should be used in conjunction with standard assessment instruments.
- System reform in science education
- In schools and education in general, change must occur at several levels before all children can benefit from it. The Frameworks, developed in cooperation with national and state reform initiatives, will provide the unity, purpose, and vision that supports the improvement of science programs, teaching, professional development, assessment and student learning.
- Common language
- In every discipline there is an essential terminology to be learned to facilitate understanding of the discipline and to allow specific communication related to the discipline. Students should learn the "art of scientific language."
Last updated: Monday, June 10, 2013 4:44 PM