do without describing the organization of the program of study, program standards A, B, and C focus on criteria for the design of the program, course of study, and curriculum. In contrast, standards D, E, and F describe the conditions necessary to implement a comprehensive program that provides appropriate opportunities for all students to learn science.

The Standards

The program standards are rooted in the assumptions that thoughtful design and implementation of science programs at the school and district levels are necessary to provide comprehensive and coordinated experiences for all students across grade levels, and that coordinated experiences result in more effective learning. But a balance must be maintained. To the extent that district and school policies and consequent decisions provide guidance, support, and coordination among teachers, they can enhance the science program. However, if policies become restrictive and prescriptive, they make it difficult for teachers to use their professional ability in the service of their students.

Program Standard A

All elements of the K-12 science program must be consistent with the other National Science Education Standards and with one another and developed within and across grade levels to meet a clearly stated set of goals.

  • In an effective science program, a set of clear goals and expectations for students must be used to guide the design, implementation, and assessment of all elements of the science program.

  • Curriculum frameworks should be used to guide the selection and development of units and courses of study.

  • Teaching practices need to be consistent with the goals and curriculum frameworks.

  • Assessment policies and practices should be aligned with the goals, student expectations, and curriculum frameworks.

  • Support systems and formal and informal expectations of teachers must be aligned with the goals, student expectations and curriculum frameworks.

  • Responsibility needs to be clearly defined for determining, supporting, maintaining, and upgrading all elements of the science program.

[See Teaching Standard A]

IN AN EFFECTIVE SCIENCE PROGRAM, A SET OF CLEAR GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS MUST BE USED TO GUIDE THE DESIGN, IMPLEMENTATION, AND ASSESSMENT OF ALL ELEMENTS OF THE SCIENCE PROGRAM. A science program begins with the goals and expectations for student achievement; it also includes the selection and organization of science content into curriculum frameworks, ways of teaching, and assessment strategies. The goals for a science program provide the statements of philosophy and the vision that drive the program and the statements of purpose that the program is designed to achieve.

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