Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published by the National Science Teachers Association, 2003.


Any project intending to write education standards for national dissemination and implementation is immediately confronted with the fact that education is a state function, and that the fifty states, plus Puerto Rico, each have their own ideas about what should be taught to their children. Education, unlike many professions, is a highly political act: parents and guardians are concerned about what their children are taught; and various stakeholders have their own ideas about what constitutes a good education. Whether or not they are directly engaged in setting standards, they want to know why a particular set of standards has been selected by those entrusted with their children. Similarly, regulatory agencies and educational institutions must understand why a particular set of standards has been chosen by the science education community to underlie the preparation of science teachers.