Washington State just recently revised their science standards- in 2009. During that revision process a copy of the 1957 Washington State Grade 4-6 Science Curriculum Guide was discovered. Click WA Science Standards 1957 to download a pdf of the 1957 Curriculum Guide (standards).
As I read over the 1957 document I’m struck with how little the core expectations have changed in 52 years. We still want elementary students to know some basics about plants & animals. We still want kids to know some central ideas in Earth & Space science. We still want elementary learners to understand ideas about energy, matter, and forces. And we still want kids to be logical thinkers and to conserve natural resources.
It makes me wonder if the standards are the “problem” or if we should be focusing on something more to increase student learning in science.