Rock-Solid Standards

By Liftig, Inez | Science Scope, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Rock-Solid Standards


Liftig, Inez, Science Scope


"There is something inherently beautiful about topography, in the rhythmic rise and fall of rolling hills, a soaring wall of rock rising to a rugged mountain peak, or the looping symmetry of a great river meandering across a wide-open floodplain. Coming to understand the forces that sculpt our world has nurtured the sense of wonder and beauty I find in nature."

David R. Montgomery, The Rocks Don't Lie

The author's love of geology and unraveling the story of the landscape is clearly evident in this passage from The Rocks Don't Lie, a recently published book investigating Noah's flood (Montgomery 2012).

As middle school science teachers, we must design instruction that will build students' curiosity about the geology around them and around the world, and that will nurture fascination with our planet's weather, history, and dynamic surface. Our teaching must also provide students with a solid foundation in Earth-science content and an understanding of the long- and short-term processes that shape the Earth's surface; demonstrate the complex interplay among the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere; and lead them to the realization that human actions affect the local environment and influence the future of the entire planet.

As many educators have long advocated, A Framework for K-12 Science (and the subsequent Next Generation Science Standards that will be built on it) demands a much greater emphasis on Earth-science content than have previous science standards. …

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