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A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Looking Toward the Future of Science Education


"It is an exciting time for K-12 science and engineering education in the United States; a new vision for teaching science and engineering promises to transform the experiences of students in all grades across the country. This vision, articulated in a new report from the National Research Council (NRC), calls for classrooms that bring science and engineering alive for students, emphasizing the satisfaction of pursuing compelling questions and the joy of discovery and invention. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC 2012) provides a blueprint for new state standards in science education. Based on this framework a consortium of educators and scientists from 26 states is developing Next Generation Science Standards, which will be available in April 2013 for states to use in guiding what students learn in science for the next decade or more.

In this article we provide an overview of the framework and briefly describe its development process. Our goal is to help readers become familiar with the framework, understand how it differs from existing standards, and appreciate its potential for transforming science and engineering education in K-12. We end by emphasizing that the framework alone will not lead to the changes envisioned. For those to occur, all stakeholders in science and engineering education must work in concert toward this new vision."