Implementing the National Science Education Standards is a large and significant process that will extend over many years. But through the combined and continued support of all Americans, it can be achieved. Change will occur locally, and differences in individuals, schools, and communities will produce different pathways to reform, different rates of progress, and different final emphases. Nevertheless, with the common vision of the Standards, we can expect deliberate movement over time, leading to reform that is pervasive and permanent.
No one group can implement the Standards. The challenge extends to everyone within the education system, including
teachers, administrators, science teacher educators, curriculum designers, assessment specialists, local school boards, state departments of education, and the federal government. It also extends to all those outside the system who have an influence on science education, including students, parents, scientists, engineers, business people, taxpayers, legislators, and other public officials. All of these individuals have unique and complementary roles to play in improving the education that we provide to our children.
Efforts to achieve the vision of science education set forth in the Standards will be time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes uncomfortable. They also will be exhilarating and deeply rewarding. Above all, the great potential benefit to students requires that we act now. There is no more important task before us as a nation.