National Research Council (2012). "A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas". H. Quinn, H. Schweingruber, and T. Keller (eds.), Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards. ISBN 978-0-309-21441-4. 400 pp.
The overarching goal of this Framework for K-12 science education is to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives; are able to continue to learn about science outside school; and have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology.
The Framework recommends that science education in grades K-12 be built around three major dimensions:
- Scientific and engineering practices;
- Crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering through their common application across fields; and
- Core ideas in four disciplinary areas: physical sciences; life sciences; earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
The framework represents the first step in a process that should inform state-level decisions and provide a research-grounded basis for improving science teaching and learning across the country. It is intended to guide standards developers, curriculum designers, assessment developers, state and district scienceadministrators, professionals responsible for science teacher education, and science educators working in informal settings.
The report also identifies the challenges inherent in aligning the components of K-12 science education with this new vision for science and engineering education, provides recommendations for standards development, and lays out a research agenda that would generate the insights needed to update the framework and inform new standards in the future.