Ohio's Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science

Ohio educators, many of whom engage daily with Ohio students, drove the process to make improvements to Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science and Model Curriculum as part of a periodic review. In many cases, the changes reflect instruction already taking place in Ohio’s classrooms. The clarifications in the revised standards will guide districts in modifying, but not replacing, their existing local curricula, instructional plans and materials. In addition to the standards and model curriculum, the work of updating the instructional supports for each grade/course is currently ongoing and will provide additional resources to assist educators in their daily instruction of standards-based science content. 

Ohio's Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science (adopted 2018-2019)

The State Board of Education adopted Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science as a part of Ohio’s learning system. The Ohio Department of Education’s current state assessments are also created in accordance with these standards. 

The Nature of Science - One goal of science education is to help students become scientifically literate citizens that are able to use science as a way of knowing about the natural and material world.  All students should have sufficient understanding of scientific knowledge and scientific processes to enable them to distinguish what is science from what is not science and to make informed decisions about career choices, health maintenance, quality of life, community and other decisions that impact both themselves and others.  Each grade band features specific components that are appropriate for focus.  These may be found throughout the Ohio Learning Standards for Science document.  The grade band-specific guidance may also be found at  Ohio's Nature of Science

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released by Achieve on April 9, 2013. The structure of Ohio’s Learning Standards for Science is somewhat different from NGSS, but the research that provided A Framework for K-12 Science Education, from which each was developed, is the same. Both address similar science content, skills and ways of thinking. Many of the related resources and strategies designed for use by NGSS can be useful when implementing the Ohio Learning Standards. Teachers are encouraged to use NGSS to support classroom instruction. 

For districts who are considering the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or are desiring to use NGSS aligned instructional materials, but want to ensure that all Ohio Learning Standards for Science are covered adequately at each grade level, this Ohio Crosswalk to NGSS document has been created to use as a reference tool. 

Instructional Supports for Ohio's Learning Standards and Model Curriculum

The instructional supports are intended to provide resources for educators to: 
• Increase their own content/pedagogical knowledge; 
• Choose high-quality materials for use with students; 
• Incorporate disciplinary literacy into instruction; 
• Make connections within and across disciplines; 
• Identify and address common misconceptions/naïve thinking; 
• Attend to equity issues in order to address the needs of diverse learners; 
• Locate databanks and other primary sources. 
The resources listed in these documents are provided to enhance planning, instruction and assessment and are not mandatory. Local districts are responsible for crafting their local curricula and identifying appropriate instructional resources and materials. These supports are curated by Ohio educators. These documents are intended to be fluid in nature and feedback on the usefulness of any of the materials it contains is greatly appreciated. The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce encourages educators statewide to submit best practice instructional strategies to be added to the instructional supports. The Department will review these submissions and update the instructional supports on a regular basis. Please send suggestions and comments via email to the Department’s Science Team. 


Physical Science 

Last Modified: 6/25/2024 4:08:31 PM