The Next Generation Science Standards: A potential revolution for geoscience education

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Abstract

The first and only set of U.S.-nationally distributed K-12 science education standards have been adopted by many states across America, with the potential to be adopted by many more. Earth and space science plays a prominent role in the new standards, with particular emphasis on critical Earth issues such as climate change, sustainability, and human impacts on Earth systems. In the states that choose to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), American youth will have a rigorous practice-based formal education in these important areas. Much work needs to be done to insure the adoption and adequate implementation of the NGSS by a majority of American states, however, and there are many things that Earth and space scientists can do to help facilitate the process.

Summary

The first and only set of U.S. national K-12 science education standards are currently being adopted by states across America. Earth and space science plays a prominent role in the new standards. The majority of future Americans could soon have rigorous practice-based formal education in critical Earth issues such as changes to climate systems, human impacts on Earth systems, and human sustainability.

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