2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

August 2011

NRC Releases Science Education Framework

The release by the National Research Council of a new conceptual framework to guide science education has focused attention once again on the critical importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the future of the nation and its young people. Marking the release, AAAS issued the following statement:

The new "Framework for K-12 Science Education" can help ensure that all students in the United States have access to high-quality education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and are well prepared to pursue a wide range of technical and non-technical careers. It breaks significant new ground by placing a greater emphasis than ever before on the importance of engaging students in science and engineering practices as a way to motivate their interest in these fields. This has long been a challenge for science educators, and the new report offers a road map to achieve that vision.

The Framework has succeeded in its primary goal of providing a clearly articulated and authoritative starting point for the standards-writing process that will now be undertaken by the states in partnership with Achieve, Inc. The National Research Council has built well on prior work in developing the Framework, drawing extensively on earlier documents such as the National Academies' "National Science Education Standards" and AAAS's own "Benchmarks for Science Literacy" and the "Atlas of Science Literacy."

To accomplish all of the goals of the Framework requires leaders at every level who understand the Framework and its intent; curriculum, assessment, and professional development resources that support the Framework; and teachers who are able to use those resources to help all students make progress in their STEM learning.  We welcome the opportunity to work with the NRC and with the larger science education community to develop and test the needed resources and help teachers to use them effectively.

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For more information, please contact:
Communications Director: Mary Koppal, (202) 326-6643

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