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ERIC Number: ED536834
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 163
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Developing Learning Progressions in Support of the New Science Standards: A RAPID Workshop Series
Rogat, Aaron
Consortium for Policy Research in Education
The hypothetical learning progressions presented here are the products of the deliberations of two working groups of science education researchers, each group also including a state science curriculum supervisor, organized by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), with support from the National Science Foundation. Their charge was to produce hypothetical learning progressions describing the pathways students might be expected to follow as they acquire deep understanding of two of the core learning goals set by the National Research Council's (NRC) Committee on a Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards. The goals in question address students' understanding of the structure, properties, and transformations of matter in the physical sciences and of the flow of matter and energy in ecosystems in the life sciences. These two core goals were chosen because a good bit of research has been done on children's learning in these areas, some of it carried out by members of the working groups. These hypothetical learning progressions are intended to inform those who are working on the new national science standards, to serve as tools for those charged with developing curriculum and assessments to implement the new standards, and to encourage others to undertake the theoretical and empirical work needed to fill important gaps in the knowledge about learning progressions. At the end of July 2011 the NRC's Framework Committee released its report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas (NRC, 2012). The Framework was the first step in a two-step process to produce a new set of science standards for voluntary adoption by states. The second step--the development of a set of standards based on this framework--is being led by Achieve Inc., working in collaboration with the states and offering opportunities for input from science educators and the public. Accordingly, the Framework is a parsimonious description of what every student should know and understand by the end of high school in order to be scientifically literate, able to function as a responsible citizen and participant in the modern economy, and able to pursue further learning as his or her career and life interests might require. The Framework identifies core ideas in four key disciplinary areas--physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering, technology, and the application of science-along with cross-cutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering through their common application across fields and the scientific and engineering "practices" that are central to the ways in which knowledge in these fields is produced, tested, and used. However, the committee's report makes it clear that they consider the evidence base for their recommendations--particularly those that concern how students learn the core ideas and practices of science and how to support that learning--to be incomplete. In the final chapter they outline an agenda for research and development that would over time result in a firmer basis for setting standards and designing supportive curricula, assessments, and professional development. Appended are: (1) Consultants Working on Hypothetical Learning Progressions; (2) List of science practices and design principles to use in developing hypothetical learning performances; (3) Relationship Between NRC Framework and Learning Progression for Structure, Properties & Transformation of Matter; and (4) Relationship Between NRC Framework and Learning Progression for the Flow of Matter & Energy in Ecosystems. Individual sections contain references. (Contains 2 figures and 3 footnotes.) [This paper was prepared with Charles Anderson, Jacob Foster, Fred Goldberg, Jennifer Hicks, David Kanter, Joseph Krajcik, Richard Lehrer, Brian Reiser, and Marianne Wiser.]
Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-593-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education