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NRC to Explore Teaching Social, Behavioral, Economic Sciences

A few months back, we noted that the effort to develop common standards in science sparked something of an outcry from some sectors that felt left out. In an effort aimed at addressing those concerns, the National Research Council later this week is hosting a two-day meeting to examine "the state of practice and research" in the teaching of the social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) sciences at the K-12 level, and to explore "future directions and possible roles" for the NRC in supporting the teaching of these subjects.

Here's the agenda for the Nov. 17-18 meeting in Washington. A few of the questions to be considered include:

• What are the goals and rationales for including SBE sciences in K-12 education?

• To what extent (and how) are the SBE sciences currently included in K-12 education and in state standards?

• What are options for strengthening and expanding school coverage of in these areas across the K-12 curriculum?

As we explained in a July blog post, many organizations representing the social and behavioral sciences had complained that their disciplines should have been included as "core sciences" in the draft blueprint for new science standards developed by the NRC. In the final version of the blueprint, the NRC panel acknowledged some of the concerns and promised to hold a workshop this fall to take a closer look at the SBE sciences.

Now, that meeting is at hand. The question, of course, is whether the gathering will lead to further action.

For more on this event, keep an eye on our Inside School Research blog. My colleague Sarah D. Sparks is attending the meeting and will likely be sharing some of what she learns.

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