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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