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Topic: "The NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education"

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MSPnet Academy Discussion
September 15 - September 27, 2011

Heidi Schweingruber, Deputy Director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC)
Philip Bell, Associate Professor of Learning Sciences, University of Washington.

Heidi Schweingruber and Philip Bell present and discuss a recently released National Research Council (NRC) report "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas." This new framework for K-12 science education calls for a shift in the way science is taught and learned in the United States.

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This topic has 7 posts, showing all.

Welcome to the discussion

posted by: Heidi Schweingruber on 9/15/2011 1:17 pm

Welcome to the discussion. Philip Bell and I will be checking in frequently during the next two weeks to facilitate the conversation.
If you missed the webinar you are still invited to take part. Please watch the webinar recording that will be made available.
We look forward to a rich dialogue,

post updated by the author 9/15/2011

Systems thinking

posted by: Brian Drayton on 9/15/2011 6:10 pm

I very much enjoyed the webinar, and am enjoying getting to know the framework. Can you address how "systems thinking" is addressed in the framework, and why it is not one of the cross-cutting themes? I see it addressed only obliquely, except in the earth systems section.

Systems thinking

posted by: Heidi Schweingruber on 9/19/2011 11:33 am

Hi Brian,

I'm glad you enjoyed the webiner. It's great to be able to interact with the MSP community. One of the crosscutting concepts is "Systems and Systems Models". Does the description of this concept not include what you would consider to be "systems thinking"? I'm wondering what is missing there that you would have expected to see.

K-12 teacher input on standards; and validation methods

posted by: Brian Drayton on 9/19/2011 8:16 am

One question that arose during the webinar, which might bear more discussion, is the amount of input to the standards from K-12 teachers. It was noted that the panel wasn't strong on such people. In my mind, this relates to another question which is, how are the standards' value to be assessed? If I were publishing a physics text book, I would expect to field test it fairly extensively, especially if it included novel content or pedagogy. How about the standards?

K-12 teacher input on standards

posted by: Heidi Schweingruber on 9/19/2011 11:38 am


I think it's important to bear in mind that that the framework is NOT the standards. In fact, there are a substantial number of classroom teachers who are included in the teams developing the standards. That said, the committee who developed the framework included 4 members with extensive experience as classroom teachers at various levels in K-12, though they are not currently in the classroom.

To the question of field testing/validating the standards, that is an excellent question to raise with Stephen Pruitt when he gives the webinar on the Next Generation Science Standards on Sept. 27th. My understanding is that the collaboration with states is designed to provide exactly this kind of opportunity for field testing. However, Stephen will be able to provide the details.

Integration Efforts and Projects

posted by: Betsy Stefany on 9/20/2011 3:27 pm

Integration was mentioned in passing during the webinar as a challenge that lay in the future. Some of us are already moving towards that future. This extension forum would seem to be a option to discuss experiences and research.
I'd like to hear about emerging integration strategies...and more from others who are designing methods to involve teachers in the changes structured by the frameworks.
Betsy Stefany
Project Manager, MSP(NHDOE) STEM Literacy Community of Practice

Moving beyond K-12

posted by: Nancy Shapiro on 9/24/2011 2:06 pm

First, Heidi and Phil, thanks so much for your very informative overview of the Framework! However, I couldn't help wondering how our pre-service teachers will build their understandings of the core concepts and inquiry practices and processes, when their college science courses are not structured to do that. What is your sense of the real investments that need to be made/will be made in redesigning college science courses so that the students in those courses who become teachers will be able to guide students into science? Who is responsible for making that transformation in higher education?