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content accurately and appropriately at all grades, with increasing precision and more scientific nomenclature from kindergarten to grade 12.
The second criterion is an obligation to develop content standards that appropriately represent the developmental and learning abilities of students. Organizing principles were selected that express meaningful links to direct student observations of the natural world. The content is aligned with students' ages and stages of development. This criterion includes increasing emphasis on abstract and conceptual understandings as students progress from kindergarten to grade 12.
Tables 6.8, 6.9, and 6.10 display the standards grouped according to grade levels K-4,
TABLE 6.9. CONTENT STANDARDS, GRADES 5-8
UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
SCIENCE AS INQUIRY
Systems, order, and organization
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
Properties and changes of properties in matter
Structure and function in living systems
Evidence, models, and explanation
Understandings about scientific inquiry
Motions and forces
Reproduction and heredity
Change, constancy, and measurement
Transfer of energy
Regulation and behavior
Evolution and equilibrium
Populations and ecosystems
Form and function
Diversity and adaptations of organisms
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
SCIENCE IN PERSONAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES
HISTORY AND NATURE OF SCIENCE
Structure of the earth system
Abilities of technological design
Science as a human endeavor
Understandings about science and technology
Populations, resources, and environments
Nature of science
Earth in the solar system
History of science
Risks and benefits
Science and technology in society
5-8, and 9-12, respectively. These tables provide an overview of the standards for elementary-, middle-, and high-school science programs.
The third criterion is an obligation to present standards in a usable form for those who must implement the standards, e.g., curriculum developers, science supervisors, teachers, and other school personnel. The standards need to provide enough breadth of content to define the domains of science, and they need to provide enough depth of content to direct the design of science curricula. The descriptions also need to be understandable by school personnel and to accommodate the structures of elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as the grade levels used in national standards for other disciplines.
Marking the culmination of a three-year, multiphase process, on April 10th, 2013, a 26-state consortium released the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a detailed description of the key scientific ideas and practices that all students should learn by the time they graduate from high school.