4. Strand Maps
Ocean Map from 2061
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Comment from Greg DeBoer

Response 7:9 George DeBoerOct 25, 2004 14:13
I would like to make a few clarifying comments about the AAAS oceans map and about Benchmarks and NSES. First, the map is a "special topic map" and for that reason does not appear in the Atlas of Science Literacy. The Atlas maps are generally organized around the chapter sections in Benchmarks. As you can from the oceans map, however, specific benchmarks can be selected and organized for special purposes such as a course on ecology, marine science, etc. When I look at the map, I am impressed by how many of the ideas that the workshop participants have been talking about are present on this map.
My second comment has to do with the standards and benchmarks and science literacy. Actually, it is more of a question than a comment. The benchmarks and standards are about science literacy for all. When we say "ocean literacy," do we mean something that is within the boundaries of what has been defined as science literacy or something over and above science literacy? What can we reasonably expect all students to know about the ocean? Certainly it is appropriate to use ocean phenomena to teach, for example, scientific principles having to do with the flow of matter and energy in living systems, but do we expect all students to learn about matter and energy flow from ocean phenomena or is it enough that they understand general principles, perhaps learned in contexts other than the oceans? Or, on the other hand, when we talk about ocean literacy are we talking about something that a smaller number of people will acquire, i.e., a fairly specialized knowlege of the oceans? I offer these only as questions to help clarify our thinking about what we mean by ocean literacy and to whom it applies.
Dep Dir AAAS Project 2061
I have been Deputy Director of AAAS Project 2061 for almost three years. Before that I spent two years at NSF and before that I had a career as a professor of Science Education at Colgate University. I am interested in the current and historic goals of science education, specific statements of what all students should know, accountability issues, and student assessment. I think what happens in the ocean provides many important opportunities to teach important ideas in science.
Project 2061 Atlas of Science Literacy
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