Deep Respect for the Present Moment

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.— William Falkner Requiem for a Nun “Fathoming deep time is arguably geology’s single greatest contribution to humanity,” claimed geologist Marcia Bjornerud in her book, Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save World (Princeton University Press, 2018). Whether on a trail along the rim ofContinue reading “Deep Respect for the Present Moment”

Neither Eeyore nor Pollyanna Be

All too often in dinner conversation, book group discussions, or even my church men’s group meetings, people freely (and sadly) share dire (and confident) thoughts about the future. Humanity, it seems, has doomed life on earth. The promise of America was a charade. How lucky, my age-cohort friends say, were we to live in suchContinue reading “Neither Eeyore nor Pollyanna Be”

Errata in Beyond Science Standards

Alas, I’ve found 2 embarrassing errors in the first printing of my Beyond Science Standards: Play, Art, Coherence, Community. Anyone reading the book who was confused by these errors will find corrections in this post. And please alert me to any others you encounter! With good fortune, there will be a 2nd printing and thusContinue reading “Errata in Beyond Science Standards”

Beyond the 3D Conception of an Orbital Model

Dr. Carolyn Keys argues ( that standards should embody “a language that connects the learning objectives with the types thinking and reasoning to achieve them.” They do not because “separation” is the hallmark of standards writing. Science education has intentionally separated content from process for a long time. Content objectives appeared as specific propositions andContinue reading “Beyond the 3D Conception of an Orbital Model”

The Fundamental Flaw of 3D Teaching

Of course you can have your standards and creativity too, but that’s a poor reason to accept their flaws. In Beyond Science Standards, I tell stories of actual teaching in grades 4 and 10. These lessons align with the NGSS—but go well beyond. I also share experiences teaching graduate students in Beijing, leading a summerContinue reading “The Fundamental Flaw of 3D Teaching”

Accept or Reject the NGSS? A More Fundamental Question

Recently, Diane Ravitch posted on her blog Jack Hassard’s review of Beyond Science Standards ( The post prompted exchanges about the standards and reform politics, mostly tangential to my perspectives. I have responded as follows: To their credit, the NGSS has elevated the status of engineering education—a dramatic improvement in school science. In the 1990sContinue reading “Accept or Reject the NGSS? A More Fundamental Question”

Beyond science standards: play, art, coherence, community

by Charles “Kip” Ault (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) Read Reviews at Rowman & Littlefield For over 150 years the science education community  has pursued the holy grail of scientific literacy predicated upon a unified nature of science. That vision has failed. Curriculum needs to embody the basis for placing trust in the sciences society dependsContinue reading “Beyond science standards: play, art, coherence, community”