Ohio’s Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science (2018) serve as a basis for what all students should know and be able to do in order to become scientifically literate citizens equipped with knowledge and skills for the 21st century workforce and higher education. Ohio educators are provided with the content and expectations for learning upon which to base science curriculum at each grade level. By the end of high school, students should graduate with sufficient proficiency in science to:
• Know, use and interpret scientific explanations of the natural world;
• Generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations, distinguishing science from pseudoscience;
• Understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge;
• Participate productively in scientific practices and discourse.
Ohio’s student-centered goals (Duschl et. al., 2007; Bell et. al. 2009) for science education include helping students:
- Experience excitement, interest and motivation to learn about phenomena in the natural and physical world.
- Come to generate, understand, remember and use concepts, explanations, arguments, models and facts related to science.
- Manipulate, test, explore, predict, question, observe and make sense of the natural and physical world.
- Reflect on science as a way of knowing; on processes, concepts and institutions of science; and on their own process of learning about phenomena.
- Participate in scientific activities and learning practices with others, using scientific language and tools.
- Think about themselves as science learners and develop an identity as someone who knows about, uses and sometimes contributes to science.
Evaluation of the skills and knowledge gained through the implementation of the Science Course of Study is a critical component necessary to determine the growth of the students as well as the effectiveness of the curriculum. Common formative assessments will be used to inform teachers and students about progress toward meeting learning targets and to plan for remediation and enrichment. Common summative assessments will be used to evaluate mastery of the standards.
Additionally, Fairfield City School District is subject to Ohio’s state-wide testing program and accountability system. Students are assessed by the state at grade five, grade eight and Biology. Staff will analyze the data from the state and local assessments to focus and provide intervention at each grade level.