This list of conceptual understandings regarding the nature and process of science is aligned across grade levels to help instructors identify age-appropriate learning goals for their students and understand how concepts taught at one grade level lay the groundwork for more sophisticated concepts later on. Access a printable pdf version of this document. To search for teaching materials that address these concepts, visit the teachers’ guide for your grade level: K-2, 3-5 , 6-8, 9-12, or Undergraduate.
The conceptual framework is aligned with the 2012 Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In the table below, conceptual alignment is indicated by a code that follows each aligned concept. For example, P3 indicates correspondence to “Planning and carrying out investigations,” the third of eight Science and Engineering Practices listed in those documents, and NOS2 indicates correspondence to the second concept outlined in NGSS’s appendix on the nature of science, “Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.” Read more about Understanding Science and the NGSS/Framework alignment.
The Framework is divided into seven strands:
What is science | How science works | Hypotheses and theories | The social side of science | Science and society | What has science done for you lately | A scientific approach to life