The Georgia Performance Standards are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills for proficiency in science. The Project 2061’s Benchmarks for Science Literacy is used as the core of the curriculum to determine appropriate content and process skills for students. The GPS is also aligned to the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards. Technology is infused into the curriculum.
The Performance Standards guide instruction. They are written to include four major components:
To become literate in science, students need to acquire understandings of both the Characteristics of Science and its Content. The Georgia Performance Standards for Science require that instruction be organized so that these are treated together. Therefore, A CONTENT STANDARD IS NOT MET UNLESS APPLICABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIENCE ARE ALSO ADDRESSED AT THE SAME TIME. For this reason they are presented as co-requisites incorporating hands-on, student-centered, and inquiry-based approaches.
- The Standards for Georgia Science Courses. The Characteristics of Science co-requisite standards are listed first followed by the Content co-requisite standards. Each Standard is followed by elements that indicate the specific learning goals associated with it.
- Tasks that students should be able to perform during or by the end of the course. These tasks are keyed to the relevant Standards. Some of these can serve as activities that will help students achieve the learning goals of the Standard while others can be used to assess student learning. Many of these tasks can serve both purposes.
- Samples of student work. As a way of indicating what it takes to meet a Standard, examples of successful student work are provided. Many of these illustrate how student work can bridge the Content and Characteristics of Science Standards. The Georgia DOE Standards web site will continue to add samples as they are identified and teachers are encouraged to submit examples from their own classroom experiences.
- Teacher Commentary. Teacher commentary is meant to open the pathways of communication between students and the classroom teacher. Showing students why they did or did not meet a standard enables them to take ownership of their own learning.