Science snooze

The National Research Council‘s K-12 science frameworks aren’t challenging, exciting or imaginative, complains Joy Hakim, author of books about scientists (and a very well-written U.S. history series), on Common Core. The framework will be used to develop national science standards.

In the section on biology, bacteria and viruses are mentioned briefly, but archaea not at all. That’s out of date science. Archaea are one of the three forms of life, known as domains, broadly accepted as the base of the evolutionary bush. (At the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, even t-shirts for kids now come with the three-branched bush of bacteria, archaea, and eukaryota.)

Something else that’s not mentioned in this document: scientists. You won’t find Darwin, or Newton, or Einstein. The story of science, its history, is not suggested or even hinted at here.

While the framework provides a “mostly sound overview of basic concepts,” the goals for each grade are low. 

A team of teachers has been assembled to turn the “undistinguished” framework into science standards that are supposed to make our students globally competitive. “This is really worrisome,” Hakim concludes.

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