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Status of K–12 Earth Science Education in the U.S., with an Emphasis on the Gulf States

Ann E. Benbow
American Geosciences Institute, 4220 King St., Alexandria, Virginia 22302

Since the National Science Education Standards (National Research Council, 1996) were published, the earth sciences were deemed to be on a par in the grades K–12 science curriculum with biology, chemistry and physics. However, this equality did not play out in states’ science standards, which are decided by each state, sometimes with little regard to national standards. In many states, earth science concepts are often relegated to the K–8 level, leaving no earth science courses available at the grades 9–12 level (Benbow and Lewis, 2011). Other reasons for the exclusion of earth science in the school curriculum are described below.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012