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ERIC Number: ED512106
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 66
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Taking the Lead in Science Education: Forging Next-Generation Science Standards. International Science Benchmarking Report
Achieve, Inc.
In response to concerns over the need for a scientifically literate workforce, increasing the STEM pipeline, and aging science standards documents, the scientific and science education communities are embarking on the development of a new conceptual framework for science, led by the National Research Council (NRC), and aligned next generation science standards, led by Achieve. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are also key partners in this effort. Leaders have called for U.S. standards to be internationally benchmarked--reflective of the expectations that other leading nations have set for their students. To that end, Achieve examined 10 sets of international standards with the intent of informing the development of both the conceptual framework and new U.S. science standards. Achieve selected countries based on their strong performance on international assessments and/or their economic, political, or cultural importance to the United States. The overall goal of Achieve's study on international standards is to inform the development of the NRC framework and next-generation science standards. Through a quantitative analysis of international standards, Achieve's reviewers discovered four key findings: (1) All countries require participation in integrated science instruction through Lower Secondary and seven of 10 countries continue that instruction through Grade 10, providing a strong foundation in scientific literacy; (2) Physical science content standards (physics and chemistry content taken together) receive far more attention in lower primary through lower secondary. Other countries dedicate the greatest proportion of their standards to biology and physics content and the least to Earth and space science; (3) Other countries' standards focus life science instruction strongly on human biology, and relationships among living things in a way that highlights the personal and social significance of life science for students and citizens. However, in the U.S., virtually all states also have a requirement for health and physical education from lower primary to lower secondary which could explain the difference in focus; and (4) Cross-cutting content common to all of the sciences such as the nature of science, nature of technology and engineering receives considerable attention. Inquiry skills in Primary are stressed more than in Lower Secondary. However, advanced inquiry skills receive increasing attention in Lower Secondary. (Contains 3 charts, 6 figures, 15 tables, and 62 footnotes.) [For the accompanying appendix, see ED512107.]
Achieve, Inc. 1775 Eye Street NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-419-1540; Fax: 202-828-0911; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Achieve, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: Canada; China; Finland; Hong Kong; Hungary; Ireland; Japan; Singapore; South Korea; United Kingdom (England); United States