A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Book cover: A Framework for K-12 Science Education
National Research Council
July 2011 | National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Book cover: A Framework for K-12 Science Education

This book outlines a broad set of expectations for students in science and engineering in grades k–12. These expectations will inform the development of new standards for k–12 science education and, subsequently, revisions to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development for educators. Three dimensions are identified that convey the core ideas and practices around which science and engineering education in these grades should be built: (1) crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science through their common application across science and engineering; (2) scientific and engineering practices; and (3) disciplinary core ideas in the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences and for engineering, technology, and the applications of science. The overarching goal is for all high school graduates to have sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on science-related issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technical information, and enter the careers of their choice.

A Framework for K–12 Science Education is the first step in a process that can inform state-level decisions and achieve a research-grounded basis for improving science instruction and learning across the country. The book will guide standards developers, teachers, curriculum designers, assessment developers, state and district science administrators, and educators who teach science in informal environments.