Framework for K-12 Science Education
(National Academy of Sciences)
As the title implies, the general basis of the reading this week deals with providing a framework for K-12 science education. The framework has a few overarching goals, some of the most notable include a hope by the end of 12th grade students have enough science and engineering knowledge to participate in public discussions, can decipher what information is credible (related to their everyday lives), and have skills to enter careers of their choice. The reading implies that currently where K-12 education is failing is by focusing too much on breadth over depth and not providing engaging opportunities to show students how science is really done. The framework suggests K-12 science education should be built around three dimensions: scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting across fields, and core ideas in physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering, technology, and applications of science. One section dives into discussion comparing and contrasting science versus engineering, aiming to highlight the importance of both in K-12 education. Most of the reading goes into more depth about the structure and importance of their framework and how it can be used successfully.
The reading connects a lot with what we have been learning about the process of modeling so far in class. In the section Principles of The Framework, references to inquiry, models, representations, development of explanations and claims, argumentation and analysis, critique, review, revision, collaboration, and community are all mentioned. The reading really hones in on the importance of building and revising knowledge and abilities, which is a focus in modeling as well. The reading ties in well with discussions we have been having in class. One of the goals being that students should be able to engage in public discussion of sciences and be able to decipher what information around them is credible is huge. We had a long discussion on the importance of science literacy and communication among not only the scientific community, but also every other community and the world as a whole. The idea of less breadth and more depth in core ideas, with a focus on engaging students in opportunities to experience how science is actually done is something I hope to see more of in the future. We have discussed how difficult effective modeling seems with so many standards and expectations to be covered in place in such a small amount of time. I think this revised framework would allow for more effective modeling to take place and allow students to get a lot more out of a science class.