Exploring the Use of Project 2061 Tools, 2:
To Analyze Curriculum Frameworks


Educators responsible for developing or revising state or district curriculum frameworks or choosing curriculum materials will want to take advantage of the work already done by Project 2061 and by the National Research Council (NRC), the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS). All four of these groups contribute to the standards-based reform movement and, taken together, their recommendations provide a powerful mandate for curriculum reform.

The single workshop option in this section shows participants how they can use Science for All Americans (SFAA) and Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Benchmarks), as well as standards documents, to analyze state and district science, mathematics, and technology frameworks. Participants examine relevant documents in terms of the subjects included, how they are treated, and how student expectations differ over grades. Examples are presented from Project 2061’s detailed comparisons of Benchmarks to national standards. To inform participants about issues that may arise in writing a framework, they study the nature of a case-study benchmark and Benchmarks Chapter 14: Issues and Language.

To inform its own research and development efforts, Project 2061 has analyzed the standards produced by the NRC, NCTM, and NCSS and compared them to Project 2061’s SFAA and Benchmarks. (The complete comparisons are available on this disk.)

Although the standards documents differ in many ways—in their organization, purpose, and coverage, for example—in the area of content they are all highly consistent with the science literacy and learning goals presented in SFAA and Benchmarks. This consensus on content among experts in the natural and social sciences, mathematics, and technology can provide states and school districts with a solid conceptual basis for reforming K-12 education. (For brief workshop presentations on the standards comparisons, see Overview of Available Tools, Option H: Comparison of Benchmarks and National Science Education Standards; Option I: Comparison of Benchmarks and Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics; and Option J: Comparison of Benchmarks and Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.)

Exploring the Use of Project 2061 Tools, 2: To Analyze Curriculum Frameworks, Generic Plan