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

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

LIFE SCIENCE

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

Personal health

Science as a human endeavor

Earth's history

Understandings about science and technology

Populations, resources, and environments

Nature of science

Earth in the solar system

 

Natural hazards

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.



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