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Behavioral Studies

The following process was used to identify standards and benchmarks for behavioral studies:

Identification of Significant Reports

Four reports were found useful for the identification of standards in behavioral studies, by which we mean content related to sociology, psychology, and social anthropology. These reports are Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993), Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994), and Psychology (1996j) and Social Anthropology (1996k) from the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Selection of the Reference Documents

Project 2061's Benchmarks document was selected as the reference document. This report provides content information in the behavioral sciences that is articulated across four grade ranges. The NCSS social studies book, by contrast, is more oriented to the development of curriculum; that is, the content is more generally stated and geared toward the organization rather than the description of specific knowledge and skills.

Identification of Standards and Benchmarks

Benchmarks for Science Literacy shares a number of features with our model for the identification of standards. Statements labeled "Literacy Goals" are pitched at a level of generality that accords with our level for standards, which means that material beneath each "Goal" is articulated across K12. In addition, Benchmarks provides developmentally appropriate content at grade levels K2, 35, 68, and 912, a range that corresponds with our preference for benchmarks at primary, upper elementary, middle, and high school.

Much material in Benchmarks focuses on earth and space, physical, and life science. But the work also contains useful material in other areas, including the behavioral sciences; hence, this section on behavioral studies. Material from the Benchmarks document was altered primarily when the original statements carried more than one basic idea, or when stylistic changes helped the sense of the statement.

Integration of Information from Other Documents

Once the benchmarks and standards were identified from the Benchmarks document, the material was compared with NCSS's Curriculum Standards. Though somewhat more generally stated, the information from the NCSS standards was found to support many of the same ideas. Citations to that document are provided for those who use the Curriculum Standards but would like more specifically stated content. Finally, the International Baccalaureate Organization's curriculum materials on psychology and social anthropology were cited wherever benchmark topics were addressed. This was done to provide readers with another view on what topics are considered important for coverage in a curriculum.