Available Tools, Option D:
Features of Science for All Americans
and Benchmarks for Science Literacy

Estimated Time: 30 minutes.

List of Materials

Sample Presentation
Presenter: This option is designed to help participants understand the organization of Science for All Americans and Benchmarks for Science Literacy, identify the major features of these tools, and counter some common misconceptions about them.

TRANSPARENCY: Cartoon: Goals.

Presenter: Remember that Science for All Americans sets clear goals for us; this book tells us what we want all Americans to know when they graduate from high school.

TRANSPARENCY: Science for All Americans - Table of Contents.

Presenter: It will be valuable for us to review the content of SFAA. What does it define as necessary for adult science literacy? Understanding this is essential as we use both SFAA and Benchmarks to shape frameworks and curricula. As we move through this workshop, we should clarify in our discussions the hard choices that framing curricula around SFAA and Benchmarks will demand.

Which chapter do you (or do you believe you would) find especially interesting? Using think-pair-share, explain your reasoning to your partner.  

Have some responses shared with the whole group.

TRANSPARENCY: Possible Misconceptions.

Presenter: One of the things we want to do throughout this workshop is to identify and correct misconceptions about Science for All Americans and Benchmarks for Science Literacy that have come to the attention of Project staff.  

Discuss some of the misconceptions briefly, particularly any that have been expressed by participants.

TRANSPARENCY: Principles of Effective Learning and Teaching.

Chapter 13 lays out the principles of effective learning and teaching that underlie all Project 2061 tools. Chapters 1 through 12 recommend what students should learn; Chapter 13 recognizes that how science is taught is equally important.  

TRANSPARENCY: Cartoon: Teaching Dog To Whistle.

Presenter: Chapter 13 reminds us that learning is not necessarily an outcome of teaching.

TRANSPARENCY: Making Changes in the Classroom.

Presenter: Since SFAA was published, educators have been using its recommendations to stimulate thought and discussion about changes in the classroom; for example:

We will use some of these principles of teaching and learning during this workshop.

States, school districts, and teacher education programs have been using SFAA to rethink their curricula. As school district teams struggled with the challenge of sketching out alternative K-12 curricula around the SFAA literacy goals, Project staff realized that curriculum planners needed smaller chunks around which they could develop very different sorts of learning experiences for students of different ages. And so, the Project sought to describe some intermediate steps toward adult science literacy. Out of four years of effort, Benchmarks for Science Literacy emerged.

TRANSPARENCY: SFAA/Benchmarks Correspondence.

Presenter: Each of the 70 or so SFAA sections has a corresponding section in Benchmarks that describes the progress students should make towards a particular learning goal by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.

TRANSPARENCY: Benchmarks Features

Presenter: For each section you will find the following features:

TRANSPARENCY: Benchmarks 5E Also See Box.

TRANSPARENCY: Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Table of Contents).

Benchmarks has some chapters not found in SFAA.

Take questions from the audience.