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Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting concepts are essential for making   connections between the different domains of science. These include   recognizing patterns, understanding cause and effect, analyzing scale and   proportion, modeling systems, understanding energy and matter dynamics,   observing structure and function, as well as monitoring stability and change.   The Framework emphasizes that these ideas need to be explicitly taught so   that students can develop a coherent scientific worldview.

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July 12, 2023 at 12:04:26 PM

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Cross-cutting concepts are important because they promote a communicative, inquiry-based, and collaborative approach to teaching. A curriculum that includes cross-cutting concepts promotes understanding of the interconnectedness of a variety of subjects and how they relate to one another. This can help students become more well rounded, open minded thinkers.


Cross-cutting concepts are those which cut across traditional subject matter boundaries and are taught as part of a general or foundational education. Research shows that teachers who incorporate cross-cutting concepts into their curriculum not only improve student's knowledge of the concept but also increase students' interest in the topic. These concepts are often taught across a variety of subjects and include topics such as perspective taking, forgiveness, and empathy.


The following are some key objectives of cross-cutting concepts:

  1. To provide students with a common set of fundamental principles that can be applied to any discipline

  2. To promote a shared sense of culture and belonging as citizens

  3. To help socialize students into an ever-changing society.


In the science classroom, for example, the curriculum should include cross-cutting concepts like hypotheses testing or cause and effect. This way students will be able to differentiate the different scientific methods. The engineering design process can also be a cross cutting concept that can help scaffold instruction across disciplines.


The Framework for Teaching Cross-Cutting Concepts in the Science Curriculum was developed by the AAAS to provide educators with a list of essential skills that students must master to be scientifically literate and ready for STEM careers. The framework has three strands: The four cross-cutting concepts (Big Idea, Evidence and Explanation, Patterns and Mechanisms, and Systems), Specific concept applications (the Big Ideas applied in earth science, physics, chemistry and biology), tools for teaching cross-cutting concepts in science courses.


Framework is a great way to teach students these essential skills. The topics are broad enough so that they are not just limited to one science subject., but also provide teachers with a framework that can be adapted to fit their specific curriculum.The Big Ideas are underpinning scientific theories and understanding of how the world works. They help students see connections between concepts, patterns, and systems in the natural world.


References

​Other Standards that Use This Crosscutting Concept
1. Patterns.
2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation.
3. Scale, proportion, and quantity.
4. Systems and system models.
5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.
6. Structure and function.
7. Stability and change.

July 12, 2023 at 12:04:26 PM

Last Updated: 

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Exploring Crosscutting Concepts: Enhancing Three-Dimensional Learning in K-12 Science Education

Enhancing Three-Dimensional Learning in K-12 Science Education" discusses the significance of Crosscutting Concepts in K-12 science educati

 Enhancing Three-Dimensional Learning in K-12 Science Education" discusses the significance of Crosscutting Concepts in K-12 science educati

Exploring Crosscutting Concepts: Enhancing Three-Dimensional Learning in K-12 Science Education

Enhancing Three-Dimensional Learning in K-12 Science Education" discusses the significance of Crosscutting Concepts in K-12 science educati

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