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ERIC Number: ED497331
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 59
Abstractor: ERIC
Revolutionizing Earth System Science Education for the 21st Century: Report and Recommendations from a 50-State Analysis of Earth Science Education Standards
Hoffman, Martos; Barstow, Daniel
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) commissioned TERC to complete a review of science education standards for all 50 states. The study analyzed K-12 Earth science standards to determine how well each state addresses key Earth-science content, concepts and skills. This report reveals that few states have thoroughly integrated climate, weather and oceans studies into their curriculum. Earth science integrates oceanography, meteorology, geology, biology, chemistry, physics and other disciplines to understand Earth's processes as an integrated system. In addition to practical applications in a variety of fields, Earth science also addresses environmental challenges such as climate change, hurricanes, and ocean issues. The study examined how state standards support integrating materials such as remotely sensed imaging, satellite photography, and data visualization tools into classroom education. Unfortunately, this study shows that Earth system science education in the U.S. is in need of significant improvement. The report shows a great variation in the states' Earth science education standards. This report is a call to action showing a pressing need for systematic reform. The recommendations listed in this report to revolutionize K-12 Earth science education are: (1) The concepts and approaches comprising the seven different review criteria should be viewed as an interrelated suite of perspectives, all supporting the core principles of quality Earth systems science education; (2) The ocean literacy principles and concepts could be enhanced by better incorporating a systems perspective; (3) Develop a comprehensive set of atmosphere, weather, and climate literacy principles and concepts, similar in format to the ocean literacy principles and concepts; (4) Directly participate in state science standards revision processes. (5) Ensure that Web-based access to data and analysis tools are usable by the K-12 education community; (6) Participate in the development of quality state and national science assessments; (7) Demonstrate that modern "revolutionary" Earth science perspectives and approaches to teaching result in deep student learning of science concepts and thinking skills; (8) Establish Earth system science as a science course widely viewed as being equally or more challenging as the classic high-school sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics; and (9) Tirelessly persist in promoting the revolution in Earth system science education with the understanding that improvements will occur incrementally. The following are appended: (1) Ocean Literacy Principles and Fundamental Concepts; and (2) Detailed Analysis of Ocean Literacy Concepts. (Contains 2 tables and 8 figures.)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 14th Street & Constitution Avenue NW Room 6217, Washington, DC 20230. Tel: 202-482-6090; Fax: 202-482-3154; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC), Rockville, MD.; TERC, Cambridge, MA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A