ASPIRATIONS FOR FRAMEWORK-DRIVEN RESEARCH ON NATIONALLY DEVELOPED STANDARDS

The Framework is offered in the hope that it will be useful to producers, consumers, and sponsors of research regarding central questions about the influence of nationally developed standards on mathematics, science, and technology education. Applications of the Framework described earlier will help to inform opinions and debate about those standards.

Three major aspirations of the Committee regarding use of the Framework are highlighted below.

  1. The Framework should be regarded as an evolving conceptual picture, rather than a definitive final statement. In that spirit, the Framework should continue to evolve, informed by accumulating knowledge about standards-based reforms. It is essential that researchers build their understanding of the influence of nationally developed standards in terms of some overarching model of the education system (or subsystem) within which standards play out. The schematic of the Framework presented in this document can be regarded as one sketch of such a system, including the dynamics of influence contained within it.

  2. The Framework should stimulate different forms of inquiry into influences of nationally developed standards. Given the complex and interactive nature of the territory within which standards have been enacted, a mosaic of evidence from many different types of studies is more likely to build overall understanding of the influence of standards than the results of a few purportedly comprehensive studies.

  3. The Framework should help guard against the superficiality that often permeates debate about high-visibility national policies by stimulating a critical view of claims regarding either the success or the failure of the standards. Strong conclusions about effects or implications of nationally developed standards presume an understanding of the entire education system (encompassed by the Framework) and



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