The New Curriculum Standards for for Astronomy in the United States
There is widespread interest in constraining the wide range and vast domain of the possible topics one might teach about astronomy into a manageable framework. Although there is no mandated national curriculum in the United States, an analysis of the three recent national efforts to create an age-appropriate sequence of astronomy concepts to be taught in primary and secondary schools reveals a considerable lack of consensus of which concepts are most age-appropriate and which topics should be covered. The most recent standardization framework for US science education, the Next Generation Science Standards, suggests that most astronomy concepts should be taught only in the last years of one’s education; however, the framework has been met with considerable criticism. A comparison of astronomy learning frameworks in the United States, and a brief discussion of their criticisms, might provide international astronomy educators with comparison data in formulating recommendations in their own regions.