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Conceptual Understanding

The NAEP science framework suggests that students should learn—and be assessed on—how to apply conceptual understanding efficiently in the design and execution of scientific investigations and in practical reasoning. Based on the framework, the NAEP 2005 science assessment measures the following areas of conceptual understanding:

  • facts and events learned from science instruction and through experiences with the natural environment;
  • scientific concepts, principles, laws, and theories that scientists use to explain and predict observations of the natural world;
  • information about procedures for conducting scientific inquiries;
  • procedures for the application of scientific knowledge in the engagement of practical tasks;
  • propositions about the nature, history, and philosophy of science; and
  • kinds of interactions between and among science, technology, and society.

Last updated 21 December 2010 (RF)
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education