Framework Conversations Begin

Schools are already hosting formal conversations about A Framework for K-12 Science Education.  Early last week I joined teachers at Biddeford Middle School for an early morning presentation and discussion about the Framework. The staff at Biddeford Middle School were eager to understand the organization of the Framework document and the implications for classroom instruction. Five Towns CSD also hosted a mini workshop on the Framework.  Margo Murphy, who attended the day-long September 14, 2011 Framework Conference led this conversation using slides from the Maine Science Teachers Association (MSTA) conference and an activity from the Orono conference.  Robin Kennedy, a member of the MSTA Board,  will be leading a day-long workshop in the Newport schools at the end of this week using these same resources.  This is just the beginning.

Late this fall and early this winter MSTA will host regional Dine and Discuss sessions around the state to provide teachers with additional  opportunities to learn about the A Framework for K-12 Science Education.  The members of the MSTA Board and other interested educators will work together to design and deliver a common presentation for these MSTA hosted events.  This format is modeled after similar events hosted last year by ATOMIM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine) in the effort to raise awareness of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. MSTA will make more information about these regional events available in November 2011.

And don’t forget… there is a webinar on the A Framework for K-12 Science Education THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM.  Once again, I have the pleasure of co-presenting information about the Framework with Tom Keller from the National Academy of Science.  The webinar will be available to the first 100 individuals to join the session on Thursday and will be recorded. You can join the webinar on October 20 by logging in at the link below.
URL:         Dial-in 1-866-910-4857 / passcode 140893

As you talk with people about this new vision for K-12 Science education, I encourage you reinforce the following ideas.

  • The Framework advances our thinking about science eduction and we have a year to become students of the Framework.
  • The Framework is NOT the new standards.  It is the blueprint for the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Only individuals who really understand the Framework will be prepared to provide informed feedback about drafts of the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Schools should refrain from using the Framework document to refine their science curricula, the Next Generation Science Standards is the correct resource for this part of the work and should be available at the end of 2012.

You can download the six-page brief of the A Framework for K-12 Science Education from the National Academy of Sciences.