California Science Requirements

Published May 1, 2008

Sixth graders in California are supposed to learn about hard science in their science classes.

One of those hard scientific truths, according to teaching guidelines developed by more than 40 California teachers, school administrators, university faculty members, businessmen, and parents, is that “the sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth’s surface.”

The guidelines were set out in 2004 in the Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, by the California State Board of Education. The framework also recommends students be taught scientific ethics:

“There are certain attitudes about science and scientists that a teacher must foster in students. Scientists are deeply knowledgeable about their fields of study but typically are willing to admit that there is a great deal they do not know. In particular, they welcome new ideas that are supported by evidence. In doing their research good scientists do not attempt to prove that their own hypotheses are correct but that they are incorrect. Though somewhat counterintuitive, this path is the surest one to finding the truth.”

Maureen Martin