Arizona Science and Social Studies Standards Are Evolving

The Arizona Board of Education met Sept. 24, 2018, and adopted new Science and Social Studies standards, updating their 2004 and 2005 standards, respectively. Bruce Jones, president of the Arizona Science Teachers Association, regarding the science adoption, stated "Compared to the standards we've been operating under for the last 10 years, it's a huge step forward." 

These new science standards include evolution and climate change, and add more depth to the standards as a whole, emphasizing "three-dimensional learning". According to Arizona's Department of Education, students will ideally be able to 1) understand a core idea, 2) put the idea into practice, and 3) connect the idea with other concepts". Same model as the NGSS.

The revised standards also incorporate what Arizona calls the "engineering design process", which follows the NGSS approach of encouraging students to investigate problems and find solutions to those problems using science. However, the science standards do not appear to contain the "disciplinary core ideas" found in the shared Next Generation Science Standards.

Arizona's History and Social Science subject area standards will now focus on students "building on the facts to look at the larger picture", as well as adding more religion and financial literacy standards. The new standards will give students two consecutive years of U.S. history in fourth and fifth grade, and two consecutive years of global history in sixth and seventh grade.

Arizona will fully implement these new science and social studies standards by the 2019-2020 school year.

EdGate will continue to keep a watchful eye. 

By: Larry Johnson
Project Manager