Friday, July 22, 2011

Powerful new science framework

The long-awaited Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas has arrived, providing the starting point for science standards that can be shared by multiple states.

As a sample of  the exciting clarity of the document, here are the questions that structure the full section on Physical Sciences:

Core Idea PS1. How can one explain the structure, properties, and interactions of matter?
PS1.A. How do particles combine to form the variety of substances one observes?
PS1.B. How do substances combine or change (react) to make new substances? How does one characterize and explain these reactions and make predictions about them?
PS1.C. What forces hold nuclei together and mediate nuclear processes?

Core Idea PS2. How can one explain and predict interactions between objects and within systems?
PS2.A. How can one predict an object’s continued motion, changes in motion, or stability?
PS2.B. What underlying forces explain the variety of interactions observed?
PS2.C. Why are some physical systems more stable than others?

Core Idea PS3. How is energy transferred and conserved?
PS3.A. What is energy?
PS3.B. What is meant by conservation of energy? How is energy transferred between objects or systems?
PS3.C. How are forces related to energy?
PS3.D. How do food and fuel provide energy?

Core Idea PS4. How are waves used to transfer energy and information?
PS4.A. What are the characteristic properties and behaviors of waves?
PS4.B. What is light? How can one explain the varied effects that involve light? What other forms of electromagnetic radiation are there?
PS4C. How are instruments that transmit and detect waves used to extend human senses

The complete Framework addresses three major dimensions: Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and  Disciplinary Core Ideas, with that last divided into a Physical Science section that sets the questions above and similar sections for Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering and Technology. 

The plan is for a new team to start work (potentially quite rapid work) to convert the Framework into standards states can adopt if they want to be part of the common approach.  

Plus, they're offering a new "embed it in your blog" option for sharing the report.  You can download a traditional PDF, or you can try out the link below for more details: 


Updates and data on Kentucky education!