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List of Benchmarks for Science

Standard 11.Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
  Level Pre-K (Grade Pre-K)
   1. Not appropriate at this level
  Level I (Grade K-2)
   1. Knows that scientific investigations generally work the same way in different places and normally produce results that can be duplicated
   2. Understands that a model of something is different from the real thing (e.g., object, event) but can be used to learn something about the real thing
  Level II (Grade 3-5)
   1. Knows that although the same scientific investigation may give slightly different results when it is carried out by different persons, or at different times or places, the general evidence collected from the investigation should be replicable by others  A 
   2. Knows that good scientific explanations are based on evidence (observations) and scientific knowledge
   3. Knows that scientists make the results of their investigations public; they describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations
   4. Knows that scientists review and ask questions about the results of other scientists’ work
   5. Understands that models (e.g., physical, conceptual, mathematical models, computer simulations) can be used to represent and predict changes in objects, events, and processes  A 
  Level III (Grade 6-8)
   1. Understands the nature of scientific explanations (e.g., use of logically consistent arguments; emphasis on evidence; use of scientific principles, models, and theories; acceptance or displacement of explanations based on new scientific evidence)  A 
   2. Knows that all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, but for most core ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation
   3. Knows that different models can be used to represent the same thing and the same model can represent different things; the kind and complexity of the model should depend on its purpose  A 
   4. Knows that models are often used to think about things that cannot be observed or investigated directly (e.g., processes that occur too slowly, too quickly, on too small a scale, or are too dangerous for direct observation)  A 
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Knows ways in which science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge (e.g., use of empirical standards, logical arguments, skepticism)
   2. Knows that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria to be considered valid (e.g., they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, make accurate predictions about systems being studied, be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, make a commitment to making knowledge public, include an adequate sample size)
   3. Understands how scientific knowledge changes and accumulates over time (e.g., all scientific knowledge is subject to change as new evidence becomes available; some scientific ideas are incomplete and opportunity exists in these areas for new advances; theories are continually tested, revised, and occasionally discarded)
   4. Knows that from time to time, major shifts occur in the scientific view of how the world works, but usually the changes that take place in the body of scientific knowledge are small modifications of prior knowledge
   5. Understands different types of scientific explanations (e.g., theories, laws, hypotheses) and their usefulness and limitations (e.g., a new theory might fit the observations just as well or better than the old theory, or might fit a wider range of observations than the old theory)
   6. Understands criteria (e.g., accuracy of predictions, appropriateness, limitations, usefulness) used to evaluate a model’s representation of the real world
   7. Knows that science is based on assumptions about the universe (e.g., nature is the same everywhere, the objects and events in the universe occur in a predictable pattern that is comprehensible through careful, systematic study)

 A  = Assessment items available