The State Board of Education voted 8-2 on Tuesday for standards developed by Kansas, 25 other states and the National Research Council. The new guidelines are designed to shift the emphasis to doing hands-on projects and experiments and blending material about engineering and technology into lessons.
Kansas uses its standards to develop statewide tests to judge how well schools are teaching, which in turn influence what happens in classrooms.
“I can concentrate on teaching processes — teaching kids how to think like scientists,” said Cheryl Shepherd-Adams, a physics teacher at Hays High School who traveled to Topeka to publicly endorse the new standards as vice president of Kansas Citizens for Science.
“I'm more concerned whether they can design and analyze an experiment. That's what science is all about.”