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Standards for Science Education


by Senta Raizen 1998

After providing the current rationale and historical background for educational standards, this article discusses various meanings and interpretations attached to this term. It then provides a comparative analysis of three sets of publications that are seen as providing national standards for science education, developed by the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Research Council. Next, the role of assessment in setting standards is discussed; in particular, the science frameworks used by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, the work of the New Standards Project; and the expectations built into rigorous university entrance exams, as represented by the Advanced Placement examinations. The article also addresses the current status of state science curriculum frameworks, including commonalities and variations among them. It concludes with a brief discussion of standards and framework documents, whether nationally or state developed, as policy levers for reforming science education in elementary and secondary school.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 100 Number 1, 1998, p. 66-121
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10299, Date Accessed: 5/29/2017 7:34:22 AM

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About the Author
  • Senta Raizen
    National Center for Improving Science Education
    Senta A. Raizen is director of the National Center for Improving Science Education, Washington, DC. She has written numerous books and reports on science education in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as on the pre-service education of elementary school teachers and technology education. She serves as an advisor to the National Assessment of Education Progress, the National Goals Panel, and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study.
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