[IAEP] Proposed New K-12 Science Framework

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 26 20:23:33 EDT 2011

Hi All...

Hey, Jameson, how exciting it must have been to watch this document take form!  I am looking forward to examining it in detail over the next couple of weeks.  For now, I have a few comments on the introductory sections. They are listed below.
It sounds like OLPC and Sugar are ideally positioned to play an important role in implementing these ideas.  My first thought is how perfect it would be to get deployments of the XO-1.5 HS model in middle school science classrooms all over the US.  I would have loved such a tool in my science classroom.   This is a place where we could target Activities and accompanying lesson plan suggestions to make it easy for teachers to use them.  It is too bad that sensors don't work with SoaS.  Any ideas there?  

Now I am going to skip over to Chapter 10 where the nitty-gritty stuff seems to be.  I'm talking about things like teacher training and student assessment.  I hope they addressed the inadequacy of the "standardized" multiple choice test where students regurgitate memorized facts which they will promptly forget. We shall see!


P.S. I used to have this quote on a sign above my chalkboard (yeah, I know, old technology).

..."I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." possibly by Confucius ca 500BC

First Thoughts and Observations on the new Science Framework

Committee:  A nice mix of scientists and educators, although most of the educators are from the university level.

Partners: The National Science Teacher's Association will work to develop standards based on the framework for proposed adoption by states.

The Academies: want to stimulate more interest in and understanding of science in students to build the skills they will need, in addition to math and language arts.

Executive Summary:  focus on a limited number of core ideas... we used to refer to these as "threads."

The Three Dimensions: So glad to see that Ecosystems are still there (LS 2 and implied in ESS 3 and, even ETS 2) it sometimes gets lost in the focus on molecular biology (eg AP Bio).
And, of course, there is the usual "elephant in the room," LS 4: Biological Evolution. That can be a sticking point in some states when they develop their standards.

From: jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 17:01:23 -0500
Subject: Re: [IAEP] Proposed New K-12 Science Framework
To: cbigenho at hotmail.com
CC: support-gang at laptop.org; iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org

Actually, my mother chaired that committee. I have been reading drafts of this for the past couple of years, and of course I'm biased, but I think that it is an important document, not just for those who are concerned with US education, but for anyone interested in science education in general. None of the ideas there are fundamentally new or revolutionary, but it integrates the best practices in science education better than anything else so far. (Of course, if a year from now, some other national or regional body from somewhere else takes these ideas a step further, all the better.)

So, as to the specifics. Forster already commented on some aspects of dimension 1. But I think he missed that also among the dimension 1 practices are argumentation and bibliographic research. That is to say, that model-building and data-gathering activities should be sharable and self-documenting, to support integrating these practices.

Jameson Quinn

2011/7/26 Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com>

Hi Everyone,

I received an email today from  eSchool News with a link to a very important document everyone at OLPC and Sugar Labs should familiarize themselves with.  It is the new K-12 Science Framework published by the National Academies of the United States.  It is still in the pre-publication stage, but pdf files of the uncorrected chapters are available for free download at this link:


We need to be aware of the content with this book as it will shape future science and engineering education in the United States.  If we want Sugar to be relevant and useful for teachers, knowing what they are charged with teaching and the methods they will be asked to use will help us better serve them.

Since it has a total of 270 pages, and I just finished downloading it (chapter by chapter), I can't comment on the contents. But, this should be fuel for some interesting discussions in the next few weeks if the rest of you take the time to download and take an in depth look at what is there.



IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)

IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org


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