New Jersey Department of Education

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New Jersey Student Learning Standards

Science
Michael Heinz, Coordinator

The New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) are reviewed and revised every five years. The 2020 NJSLS in Science were adopted by the State Board of Education on June 3, 2020. Districts are required to implement by September 2022. The 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards webpage provides links to the 2020 NJSLS and information regarding curriculum implementation dates.

Science, engineering, and technology influence and permeate every aspect of modern life. Some knowledge of science and engineering is required to engage with the major public policy issues of today as well as to make informed everyday decisions, such as selecting among alternative medical treatments or determining how to invest public funds for water supply options. In addition, understanding science and the extraordinary insights it has produced can be meaningful and relevant on a personal level, opening new worlds to explore and offering lifelong opportunities for enriching people's lives. In these contexts, learning science is important for everyone, even those who eventually choose careers in fields other than science or engineering.

2014 New Jersey Student Learning Standards – Science

Mission: Scientifically literate individuals possess the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision-making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.

Vision:  The science standards are designed to help realize a vision for education in the sciences and engineering in which students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in scientific and engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in these fields. The learning experiences provided for students should engage them with fundamental questions about the world and with how scientists have investigated and found answers to those questions. Throughout grades K-12, students should have the opportunity to carry out scientific investigations and engineering design projects related to the disciplinary core ideas (pp. 8-9, NRC, 2012).

Featured Resources

  • Science Model Curriculum Framework: provides concrete examples and resources for the development of local science curriculum. The courses and units were developed through the work of consortia of practicing teachers, science supervisors, and higher education faculty.
  • Science Instruction Companion to the Danielson Framework: serves two purposes. First, the document provides science specific observable evidence that supervisors of science teachers can reference during and after classroom observations. Second, the document is envisioned to be used as a common reference for professional conversations with and among the science faculty.
  • Science Program Rubric: is designed to help teams of educators answer the following questions. To what extent is the science program consistent with the letter, spirit, and intent of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science? and What should our goal(s) be for continued improvement?