Over the past several years my support for the Iowa Core Science Standards has continued to grow.
These standards engage students in using the skills, processes, and ways of thinking that scientists use in order to explain the world around us. Whether it is asking questions, analyzing data, or constructing explanations, the standards allow students to learn by doing and to build their understanding in a way that relates to the experiences they have had in their everyday lives. Essentially, they promote the fact that we all act as scientists everyday seeking answers and solving problems in order to ultimately improve our lives.
I also appreciate how the standards push students beyond memorizing and reciting facts and definitions and into higher-order thinking and application.
Traditionally, students have focused on learning and remembering what others before them have already figured out. In contrast, the Iowa Core Science Standards give students the opportunity to think and act like scientists as they figure out the world around them and construct their own understanding of how and why the world works the way it does.
As we transition to the new Iowa Core Science Standards, I continue to see the positive impact they have on students. Most important, the standards empower students to be active participants in the construction of their own understanding rather than passive recipients of information.
As a result of these more meaningful and applicable standards, all students will have the opportunity to become better thinkers, problem solvers, and critical consumers of information, thus better equipping them to lead our ever-changing world in the future.