Reasons for Science in the K-8 Curriculum
In the United States, science was the last of the major disciplines to be included in the K–8 curriculum. Today it is taught in those grades because (a) learning science can build attitudes that are important, (b) science learning attends to and nourishes the child’s natural curiosity about the environment, (c) science learning builds a base for important understanding, and (d) learning science develops skills necessary for survival in the adult world. As stated in Project 2061: Science Literacy for a Changing Future, “K–12 education . . . should be reformed so that all American high school graduates are science literate—that is, equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to make sense of how the world works, to think critically and independently, and to lead interesting, responsible, and productive lives in a culture increasingly shaped by science and technology. . . . The common core of learning in science, mathematics, and technology should center on science literacy . . . [and] should emphasize connections among the natural and social sciences, mathematics, and technology and between those areas and the arts, humanities, and vocational subjects.”
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