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Creating virtual reality in the classroom: What do these terms mean?
XR- Extended Reality
the emerging umbrella term for all immersive computer virtual experience technologies. These technologies AR, VR, and MR.
Augmented Reality (AR)
When virtual information and objects are overlaid on the real world. This experience enhances the real world with digital details such as images, text, and animation. This means users are not isolated from the real world and can still interact and see what’s going on in front of them.
In this example, while looking through my cell phone we can see this three dimensional CRISPR enzyme floating in three dimensions.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Users are fully immersed in a simulated digital environment. Individuals must put on a VR headset or head-mounted display to get a 360 -degree view of an artificial world. This fools their brain into believing they are walking on the moon, swimming under the ocean or stepped into whatever new world the VR developers created.
Mixed reality (MR), aka Hybrid Reality
Digital and real-world objects co-exist and can interact with one another in real-time. This experience requires an MR headset… Microsoft’s HoloLens is a great example that, e.g., allows you to place digital objects into the room you are standing in and give you the ability to spin it around or interact with the digital object in any way possible.
Excerpts of these definitions from Bernard Marr, What Is Extended Reality Technology? A Simple Explanation For Anyone, Forbes, 8/12/2019
Augmented reality in science class
When students actively participate in augmented reality learning, the class is effectively a lab, as opposed to being a lecture. Here we are studying ecosystems with an app from the World Wildlife Foundation, WWF Rivers.
This student has their head in the clouds 😉
Here we are using the Google Expeditions app, on a Pixel 3A smartphone. The plug-in is “Earth Geology” by Vida systems. For more details see Google Expeditions – Education in VR.
As we walk around the room, we see the Earth and all of it’s layers in a realistic 3D view. Here we stood above the arctic circle, and took screenshots as we moved down latitude, until we were above the antarctic.
What kind of learning standards do students address when using augmented reality science lessons?
NGSS Cross-Cutting Concepts
6. Structure and Function – The way an object is shaped or structured determines many of its properties and functions: Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts; therefore, complex natural and designed structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function
Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) Curriculum Framework
Modeling and Simulation [6-8.CT.e] – 3. Select and use computer simulations, individually and collaboratively, to gather, view, analyze, and report results for content-related problems (e.g., migration, trade, cellular function).
Digital Tools [9-12.DTC.a] – 2. Select digital tools or resources based on their efficiency and effectiveness to use for a project or assignment and justify the selection.
American Association of School Librarians: Standards Framework for Learners
1. Inquire: Build new knowledge by inquiring, thinking critically, identifying problems, and developing strategies for solving problems
Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles
AP-CSP Curriculum Guides
LO 3.1.3 Explain the insight and knowledge gained from digitally processed data by using appropriate visualizations, notations, and precise language.
EK 3.1.3A Visualization tools and software can communicate information about data.
EK 3.1.3E Interactivity with data is an aspect of communicating.
As we all know the NGSS are more about skills than content. Confusingly, though, they ended up also listing core content topics as well – yet they left out kinematics and vectors, the basic tools needed for physics in the first place.
The NGSS also dropped the ball by often ignoring the relationship of math to physics. They should have noted which math skills are needed to master each particular area.
Hypothetically, they could have had offered options: For each subject, note the math skills that would be needed to do problem solving in this area, for
* a standard (“college prep”) level high school class
* a lower level high school class, perhaps along the lines of what we call “Conceptual Physics” (still has math, but less.)
* the highest level of high school class, the AP Physics level. And the AP study guides already offer what kinds of math one needs to do problem solving in each area.
Yes, the NGSS does have a wonderful introduction to this idea, (quoted below) – but when we look at the actual NGSS standards they don’t mention these skills.
In some school districts this has caused confusion, and even led to some administrators demanding that physics be taught without these essential techniques (i.e. kinematic equations, conceptual understanding of 2D motion, kinematic analysis of 2D motion, vectors, etc.)
To help back up teachers in the field I put together these standards for vectors, from both science and mathematics standards.
– Robert Kaiser
Massachusetts Science Curriculum Framework (pre 2016 standards)
1. Motion and Forces: Central Concept: Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation describe and predict the motion of most objects.
1.1 Compare and contrast vector quantities (e.g., displacement, velocity, acceleration force, linear momentum) and scalar quantities (e.g., distance, speed, energy, mass, work).
Mathematical and computational thinking in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.
- Apply techniques of algebra and functions to represent and solve scientific and engineering problems.
Although there are differences in how mathematics and computational thinking are applied in science and in engineering, mathematics often brings these two fields together by enabling engineers to apply the mathematical form of scientific theories and by enabling scientists to use powerful information technologies designed by engineers. Both kinds of professionals can thereby accomplish investigations and analyses and build complex models, which might otherwise be out of the question. (NRC Framework, 2012, p. 65)
Students are expected to use mathematics to represent physical variables and their relationships, and to make quantitative predictions. Other applications of mathematics in science and engineering include logic, geometry, and at the highest levels, calculus…. Mathematics is a tool that is key to understanding science. As such, classroom instruction must include critical skills of mathematics. The NGSS displays many of those skills through the performance expectations, but classroom instruction should enhance all of science through the use of quality mathematical and computational thinking.
Common Core Standards for Mathematics (CCSM)
High School: Number and Quantity » Vector & Matrix Quantities. Represent and model with vector quantities.
Represent and model with vector quantities.
(+) Recognize vector quantities as having both magnitude and direction. Represent vector quantities by directed line segments, and use appropriate symbols for vectors and their magnitudes (e.g., v, |v|, ||v||, v).
(+) Find the components of a vector by subtracting the coordinates of an initial point from the coordinates of a terminal point.
(+) Solve problems involving velocity and other quantities that can be represented by vectors.
Perform operations on vectors.
(+) Add and subtract vectors.
Add vectors end-to-end, component-wise, and by the parallelogram rule. Understand that the magnitude of a sum of two vectors is typically not the sum of the magnitudes.
Given two vectors in magnitude and direction form, determine the magnitude and direction of their sum.
Understand vector subtraction v – w as v + (-w), where –w is the additive inverse of w, with the same magnitude as w and pointing in the opposite direction. Represent vector subtraction graphically by connecting the tips in the appropriate order, and perform vector subtraction component-wise.
(+) Multiply a vector by a scalar.
Represent scalar multiplication graphically by scaling vectors and possibly reversing their direction; perform scalar multiplication component-wise, e.g., as c(vx, vy) = (cvx, cvy).
Compute the magnitude of a scalar multiple cv using ||cv|| = |c|v. Compute the direction of cv knowing that when |c|v ≠ 0, the direction of cv is either along v (for c > 0) or against v (for c < 0).
Operating with Symbols and Equations
- Become fluent in generating equivalent expressions for simple algebraic expressions and in solving linear equations and inequalities.
- Develop fluency operating on polynomials, vectors, and matrices using by-hand operations for the simple cases and using technology for more complex cases.
9B9-12#5: When a relationship is represented in symbols, numbers can be substituted for all but one of the symbols and the possible value of the remaining symbol computed. Sometimes the relationship may be satisfied by one value, sometimes more than one, and sometimes maybe not at all.
12B9-12#2: Find answers to problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and judge whether the answer is reasonable by reviewing the process and checking against typical values.
12B9-12#3: Make up and write out simple algorithms for solving problems that take several steps.
#vectors #teaching #standards #kinematics #physics #kaiserscience #pedagogy #education #NGSS #Benchmarks #scalors #highschool
NGSS has three distinct components: 1. Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2. Cross Cutting Concepts, and 3. Science & Engineering Practices.
A Way to Think About Three-Dimensional Learning and NGSS
From Carolina Biologica Supply Company,, by Dee Dee Whitaker
The National Research Council (NRC) went to science and engineering practitioners and gathered information on how they “do” science and engineering. That information was organized and the resulting framework is the Next Generation Science Standards.
- What scientists do is Dimension 1: Practices
- Concepts applied to all domains of science is Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts
- Big, important concepts for students to master is Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas
Each dimension is further refined into specific behaviors, concepts, and ideas. Below is a list of the three dimensions with an accompanying explanation and a brief rationale for each.
|Scientific and Engineering Practices
||Disciplinary Core Ideas
The broad, key ideas within a scientific discipline make up the core ideas. The core ideas are distributed among 4 domains:
Applicable to all science disciplines, crosscutting concepts link the disciplines together.
Tangible evidence of demonstrated student learning. Artifacts need to be durable. A report, poster, project, and an audio recording of a presentation can all serve as artifacts.
Resources from New York City
The flipped classroom intentionally shifts instruction to a learner-centered model. Students take responsibility to learn the content at home, usually through video lessons prepared by the teacher or third parties, and readings from textbooks. In-class lessons include activity learning, homework problems, using manipulatives, doing labs, presentations, project-based learning, skill development, etc.
An early example of this was called Peer Instruction by Harvard Professor Eric Mazur, in the early 1990s.
Physlets (Physics apps, flash, JAVA, HTML5)
Any interactive computer simulations for teaching and learning physics, chemistry, math, and other sciences. They help make the visual and conceptual models of expert scientists accessible to students.
PhET Interactive Simulations
PhET are modern, refined Physlets. A suite of research-based interactive computer simulations for teaching and learning physics, chemistry, math, and other sciences. They are animated, interactive, and game-like environments where students learn through exploration. They emphasize the connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, and help make the visual and conceptual models of expert scientists accessible to students.
Teaching with Clickers/Classroom response systems
A classroom response system (sometimes called a personal response system, student response system, or audience response system) is a set of hardware and software that facilitates teaching activities such as the following.
- A teacher poses a multiple-choice question via an overhead or computer projector.
- Each student submits an answer to the question using a clicker.
- Software collects the answers and produces a bar chart showing how many students chose each of the answer choices.
- The teacher makes “on the fly” choices in response to the bar chart.
Ranking Task Exercises in Physics
Conceptual exercises that challenges readers to make comparative judgments about a set of variations on a particular physical situation. Exercises encourage readers to formulate their own ideas about the behavior of a physical system, correct any misconceptions they may have, and build a better conceptual foundation of physics.
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs)
See Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, Active Learning in Introductory Physics, by David R. Sokoloff (Author), Ronald K. Thornton (Author)
Start with a scripted activity in a traditional lecture format. Because the activity causes students to confront their prior understanding of a core concept, students are ready to learn in a follow-up lecture. Interactive Lecture Demonstrations use three steps in which students:
Predict the outcome of the demonstration. Individually, and then with a partner, students explain to each other which of a set of possible outcomes is most likely to occur.
Experience the demonstration. Working in small groups, students conduct an experiment, take a survey, or work with data to determine whether their initial beliefs were confirmed (or not).
Reflect on the outcome. Students think about why they held their initial belief and in what ways the demonstration confirmed or contradicted this belief. After comparing these thoughts with other students, students individually prepare a written product on what was learned.
GIFs: Using short, step-by-step animations to help students visualize a complex process.
There are many scientific phenomenon traditionally taught with textbook and lecture. These have static diagrams, and for many students it is hard to visualize the process. As such, with GIFs specifically targeted to the idea or equation at hand, it becomes easier for students to grasp the essential ideas.
For instance, one can model an electric series circuit with two resistors with math, a circuit diagram, or a GIF. With the GIF we can see how the battery adds potential energy to the electrons in a circuit, while the electrons lose this potential energy as they go through any circuit element with resistance.
Rtotal = R1 + R2
V = I/R = I / Rtotal
Cooperative Group Problem-solving – Students work in groups using structured problem-solving strategy. In this way they can solve complex, context-rich problems which could be difficult for them to solve individually. This was developed by the University of Minnesota Physics Education Research Group.
Students in introductory physics courses typically begin to solve a problem by plunging into the algebraic and numerical solution — they search for and manipulate equations, plugging numbers into the equations until they find a combination that yields an answer (e.g. the plug-and-chug strategy). They seldom use their conceptual knowledge of physics to qualitatively analyze the problem situation, nor do they systematically plan a solution before they begin numerical and algebraic manipulations of equations. When they arrive at an answer, they are usually satisfied — they rarely check to see if the answer makes sense.
To help students integrate the conceptual and procedural aspects of problem solving so they could become better problem solvers, we introduced a structured, five-step problem solving strategy. However, we immediately encountered the following dilemma:
If the problems are simple enough to be solved moderately well using their novice strategy, then students see no reason to abandon this strategy — even if the structured problem-solving strategy works as well or better.
If the problems are complex enough so the novice strategy clearly fails, then students are initially unsuccessful at using the structured problem-solving strategy, so they revert back to their novice strategy.
To solve this dilemma, we (1) designed complex problems that discourage the use of plug-and-chug strategies, and (2) introduced cooperative group problem solving. Cooperative group problem solving has several advantages:
- The structured problem-solving strategy seems too long and complex to most students. Cooperative-group problem solving gives students a chance to practice the strategy until it becomes more natural.
- Groups can solve more complex problems than individuals, so students see the advantage of a logical problem-solving strategy early in the course.
- Each individual can practice the planning and monitoring skills they need to become good individual problem solvers.
- Students get practice developing and using the language of physics — “talking physics”.
- In their discussion with each other, students must deal with and resolve their misconceptions.
- In subsequent, whole-class discussions of the problems, students are less intimidated because they are not answering as an individual, but as a group.
Of course, there are several disadvantages of cooperative-group problem solving. Initially, many students do not like working in cooperative groups. They do not like exposing their “ignorance” to other students. Moreover, they have been trained to be competitive and work individually, so they lack collaborative skills.
Just-in-Time Teaching: Students answer questions online before class, promoting preparation for class and encouraging them to come to class with a “need to know.
Context-Rich Problems: Students work in small groups on short, realistic scenarios, giving them a plausible motivation to solve problems.
Open Source Physics Collection: Open source code libraries, tools, and compiled simulations.
Tutorials in Introductory Physics: Guided-inquiry worksheets for small groups in recitation section of intro calculus-based physics. Instructors engage groups in Socratic dialogue.
RealTime Physics: A series of introductory laboratory modules that use computer data acquisition tools to help students develop physics concepts and acquire lab skills.
Modeling Instruction – Instruction organized around active student construction of conceptual and mathematical models in an interactive learning community. Students engage with simple scenarios to build, test and apply the handful of scientific models that represent the content core of physics.
Force Concept Inventory – “The FCI is a test of conceputal understanding of Newtonian mechanics, developed from the late 1980s. It consists of 30 MCQ questions with 5 answer choices for each question and tests student understanding of conceptual understanding of velocity, acceleration and force. Many distracters in the test items embody commonsense beliefs about the nature of force and its effect on motion. ” Developed by Hestenes, Halloun, Wells, and Swackhamer (1985.) Sample question:
ASU Modeling Instruction
The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality)
Jon Henschen, intellectualtakeout.org, August 16, 2018
Throughout grade school and high school, I was fortunate to participate in quality music programs. Our high school had a top Illinois state jazz band; I also participated in symphonic band, which gave me a greater appreciation for classical music. It wasn’t enough to just read music. You would need to sight read, meaning you are given a difficult composition to play cold, without any prior practice. Sight reading would quickly reveal how fine-tuned playing “chops” really were. In college I continued in a jazz band and also took a music theory class. The experience gave me the ability to visualize music (If you play by ear only, you will never have that same depth of understanding music construct.)
Both jazz and classical art forms require not only music literacy, but for the musician to be at the top of their game in technical proficiency, tonal quality and creativity in the case of the jazz idiom. Jazz masters like John Coltrane would practice six to nine hours a day, often cutting his practice only because his inner lower lip would be bleeding from the friction caused by his mouth piece against his gums and teeth.
His ability to compose and create new styles and directions for jazz was legendary. With few exceptions such as Wes Montgomery or Chet Baker, if you couldn’t read music, you couldn’t play jazz. In the case of classical music, if you can’t read music you can’t play in an orchestra or symphonic band. Over the last 20 years, musical foundations like reading and composing music are disappearing with the percentage of people that can read music notation proficiently down to 11 percent, according to some surveys.
Two primary sources for learning to read music are school programs and at home piano lessons. Public school music programs have been in decline since the 1980’s, often with school administrations blaming budget cuts or needing to spend money on competing extracurricular programs. Prior to the 1980’s, it was common for homes to have a piano with children taking piano lessons.
Even home architecture incorporated what was referred to as a “piano window” in the living room which was positioned above an upright piano to help illuminate the music. Stores dedicated to selling pianos are dwindling across the country as fewer people take up the instrument. In 1909, piano sales were at their peak when more than 364,500 were sold, but sales have plunged to between 30,000 and 40,000 annually in the US. Demand for youth sports competes with music studies, but also, fewer parents are requiring youngsters to take lessons as part of their upbringing.
Besides the decline of music literacy and participation, there has also been a decline in the quality of music which has been proven scientifically by Joan Serra, a postdoctoral scholar at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona. Joan and his colleagues looked at 500,000 pieces of music between 1955-2010, running songs through a complex set of algorithms examining three aspects of those songs:
1. Timbre- sound color, texture and tone quality
2. Pitch- harmonic content of the piece, including its chords, melody, and tonal arrangements
3. Loudness- volume variance adding richness and depth
The results of the study revealed that timbral variety went down over time, meaning songs are becoming more homogeneous. Translation: most pop music now sounds the same. Timbral quality peaked in the 60’s and has since dropped steadily with less diversity of instruments and recording techniques.
Today’s pop music is largely the same with a combination of keyboard, drum machine and computer software greatly diminishing the creativity and originality.
Pitch has also decreased, with the number of chords and different melodies declining. Pitch content has also decreased, with the number of chords and different melodies declining as musicians today are less adventurous in moving from one chord or note to another, opting for well-trod paths by their predecessors.
Loudness was found to have increased by about one decibel every eight years. Music loudness has been manipulated by the use of compression. Compression boosts the volume of the quietest parts of the song so they match the loudest parts, reducing dynamic range. With everything now loud, it gives music a muddled sound, as everything has less punch and vibrancy due to compression.
In an interview, Billy Joel was asked what has made him a standout. He responded his ability to read and compose music made him unique in the music industry, which as he explained, was troubling for the industry when being musically literate makes you stand out. An astonishing amount of today’s popular music is written by two people: Lukasz Gottwald of the United States and Max Martin from Sweden, who are both responsible for dozens of songs in the top 100 charts. You can credit Max and Dr. Luke for most the hits of these stars:
Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Jessie J., KE$HA, Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, Taio Cruz, Ellie Goulding, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Nick Minaj, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Usher, Adam Lambert, Justin Bieber, Domino, Pink, Pitbull, One Direction, Flo Rida, Paris Hilton, The Veronicas, R. Kelly, Zebrahead
With only two people writing much of what we hear, is it any wonder music sounds the same, using the same hooks, riffs and electric drum effects?
Lyric Intelligence was also studied by Joan Serra over the last 10 years using several metrics such as “Flesch Kincaid Readability Index,” which reflects how difficult a piece of text is to understand and the quality of the writing. Results showed lyric intelligence has dropped by a full grade with lyrics getting shorter, tending to repeat the same words more often.
Artists that write the entirety of their own songs are very rare today. When artists like Taylor Swift claim they write their own music, it is partially true, insofar as she writes her own lyrics about her latest boyfriend breakup, but she cannot read music and lacks the ability to compose what she plays. (Don’t attack me Tay-Tay Fans!)
Music electronics are another aspect of musical decline as the many untalented people we hear on the radio can’t live without autotune. Autotune artificially stretches or slurs sounds in order to get it closer to center pitch. Many of today’s pop musicians and rappers could not survive without autotune, which has become a sort of musical training wheels. But unlike a five-year-old riding a bike, they never take the training wheels off to mature into a better musician. Dare I even bring up the subject of U2s guitarist “The Edge” who has popularized rhythmic digital delays synchronized to the tempo of the music? You could easily argue he’s more an accomplished sound engineer than a talented guitarist.
Today’s music is designed to sell, not inspire. Today’s artist is often more concerned with producing something familiar to mass audience, increasing the likelihood of commercial success (this is encouraged by music industry execs, who are notoriously risk-averse).
In the mid-1970’s, most American high schools had a choir, orchestra, symphonic band, jazz band, and music appreciation classes. Many of today’s schools limit you to a music appreciation class because it is the cheapest option. D.A. Russell wrote in the Huffington Post in an article titled, “Cancelling High School Elective, Arts and Music—So Many Reasons—So Many Lies” that music, arts and electives teachers have to face the constant threat of eliminating their courses entirely. The worst part is knowing that cancellation is almost always based on two deliberate falsehoods peddled by school administrators: 1) Cancellation is a funding issue (the big lie); 2) music and the arts are too expensive (the little lie).
The truth: Elective class periods have been usurped by standardized test prep. Administrators focus primarily on protecting their positions and the school’s status by concentrating curricula on passing the tests, rather than by helping teachers be freed up from micromanaging mandates so those same teachers can teach again in their classrooms, making test prep classes unnecessary.
What can be done? First, musical literacy should be taught in our nation’s school systems. In addition, parents should encourage their children to play an instrument because it has been proven to help in brain synapse connections, learning discipline, work ethic, and working within a team. While contact sports like football are proven brain damagers, music participation is a brain enhancer.
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For teachers in Massachusetts: Special Education MCAS accommodations
And Supplemental Reference Sheets, for use by students with disabilities.
The approved graphic organizers, checklists, and supplemental reference sheets listed in the table below are for use by students with disabilities who have this MCAS accommodation (A9 from the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual for the 2018–2019 MCAS Tests/Retests) listed in their IEPs or 504 plans.
The Department encourages schools to familiarize students with these tools, since students should be comfortable using their graphic organizer or reference sheet during MCAS testing.
Only the approved organizers and supplemental reference sheets listed below may be used for next-generation ELA and Mathematics MCAS testing and text or graphics may not be added. It is permissible to remove selected text or graphics.
The sample Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) reference sheets listed below may be used as is, or may be used with selected text and graphics removed; however, additional Department approval is required if any text or graphics are added, or if a different reference sheet is created.
|Approved Supplemental Mathematics
|MCAS Grades 3 and 4: Short Response Questions||MCAS Grade 3||MCAS Grade 5|
|MCAS Grades 3-4: Essay||MCAS Grade 4||MCAS Grade 8|
|MCAS Grades 3-4: Story||MCAS Grade 5||MCAS High School Biology|
|MCAS Grades 5: Essay||MCAS Grade 4||MCAS High School Physics|
|MCAS Grades 5: Narrative||MCAS Grade 5|
|MCAS Grades 6-8: Essay||MCAS Grade 6|
|MCAS Grades 6-8: Narrative||MCAS Grade 7|
|MCAS Grade 10: Essay||MCAS Grade 8|
|MCAS Grade 10: Narrative||MCAS Grade 10|
Note: If you have a problem printing a graphic organizer please call Student Assessment at 781-338-3625.
MCAS Test accommodations
Here are both the standard and non-standard MCAS test accommodations. The IEP team should work with the parent to set up accommodations that best fits the student’s needs.
MCAS is designed to measure a student’s knowledge of key concepts and skills outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
A small number of students with the most significant disabilities who are unable to take the standard MCAS tests even with accommodations participate in the MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt).
MCAS-Alt consists of a portfolio of specific materials collected annually by the teacher and student.
Here are some samples of alternate assessments, and how teachers would grade them:
Evidence for the portfolio may include work samples, instructional data, videotapes, and other supporting information.
- Commissioner’s Memo: Information and Resources for MCAS-Alt and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- Learn about the MCAS-Alt. View an overview and frequently asked questions.
- Access resources for conducting MCAS-Alt and on upcoming training sessions, including MCAS-Alt Newsletters, the Resource Guide, Educator’s Manual, MCAS-Alt Forms and Graphs, and registration information.
- See sample portfolio strands from students’ MCAS-Alt portfolios.
- Find information on scoring portfolios and view reports of results. Also view information on the MCAS-Alt score appeals process.
Notes for teachers who are covering the age of the Enlightenment
For now, this introduction has been loosely adapted from the Wikipedia article.
International historians often say that the Enlightenment began in the 1620s, with the start of the scientific revolution.
Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included Bacon, Descartes, Locke, and Spinoza.
Many of the Enlightenment thinkers are known as Les philosophes -French writers and thinkers – who – circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffee houses, and in printed books and pamphlets.
The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church. These ideas paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Major figures of the Enlightenment included Beccaria, Diderot, Hume, Kant, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith, and Voltaire.
Some European rulers, including Catherine II of Russia, Joseph II of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia, tried to apply Enlightenment thought on religious and political tolerance, “enlightened absolutism.”
Benjamin Franklin visited Europe and contributed to the scientific and political debates there; he brought these ideas back to Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson incorporated Enlightenment philosophy into the Declaration of Independence (1776). James Madison, incorporated these ideas in the United States Constitution during its framing in 1787
Secondary section (to be re-titled)
In his famous 1784 essay “What Is Enlightenment?”, Immanuel Kant defined it as follows:
“Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if its cause is not lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Have courage to use your own intelligence!”
By mid-Century the pinnacle of purely Enlightenment thinking was being reached with Voltaire.
Born Francois Marie Arouet in 1694, he was exiled to England between 1726 and 1729, and there he studied Locke, Newton, and the English Monarchy.
Voltaire’s ethos was: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” – that is, if people believed in what is unreasonable, they will do what is unreasonable.
The Enlightenment sought reform of Monarchy by laws which were in the best interest of the subjects, and the “enlightened” ordering of society. In the 1750s there would be attempts in England, Austria, Prussia and France to “rationalize” the Monarchical system and its laws. When this failed to end wars, there was an increasing drive for revolution or dramatic alteration. The Enlightenment found its way to the heart of the American Declaration of Independence, and the Jacobin program of the French Revolution, as well as the American Constitution of 1787.
Many values were common to enlightenment thinkers, including:
✔ Nations exist to protect the rights of the individual, instead of the other way around.
✔ Each individual should be afforded dignity, and should be allowed to live one’s life with the maximum amount of personal freedom.
✔ Some form of Democracy is the best form of government.
✔ All of humanity, all races, nationalities and religions, are of equal worth and value.
✔ People have a right to free speech and expression, the right to free association, the right to hold to any – or no – religion; the right to elect their own leaders.
✔ The scientific method is our only ally in helping us discern fact from fiction.
✔Science, properly used, is a positive force for the good of all humanity.
✔ Classical religious dogma and mystical experiences are inferior to logic and philosophy.
✔ Theism – the belief in a God that wants morality – was held by most Enlightenment thinkers to be essential for a person to have good moral character.
✔ Deism – to be added
✔ Some classical religious dogma has been harmful, causing crusades, Jihads, holy wars, or denial of human rights to various classes of people.
Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework
High School World History Content Standards
Topic 6: Philosophies of government and society Supporting question: How did philosophies of government shape the everyday lives of people? 34. Identify the origins and the ideals of the European Enlightenment, such as happiness, reason, progress, liberty, and natural rights, and how intellectuals of the movement (e.g., Denis Diderot, Emmanuel Kant, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Cesare Beccaria, Voltaire, or social satirists such as Molière and William Hogarth) exemplified these ideals in their work and challenged existing political, economic, social, and religious structures.
New York State Grades 9-12 Social Studies Framework
9.9 TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA:
9.9d The development of the Scientific Revolution challenged traditional authorities and beliefs. Students will examine the Scientific Revolution, including the influence of Galileo and Newton.
9.9e The Enlightenment challenged views of political authority and how power and authority were conceptualized.
10.2: ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, AND NATIONALISM: The Enlightenment called into question traditional beliefs and inspired widespread political, economic, and social change. This intellectual movement was used to challenge political authorities in Europe and colonial rule in the Americas. These ideals inspired political and social movements.
10.2a Enlightenment thinkers developed political philosophies based on natural laws, which included the concepts of social contract, consent of the governed, and the rights of citizens.
10.2b Individuals used Enlightenment ideals to challenge traditional beliefs and secure people’s rights in reform movements, such as women’s rights and abolition; some leaders may be considered enlightened despots.
10.2c Individuals and groups drew upon principles of the Enlightenment to spread rebellions and call for revolutions in France and the Americas.
History–Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools
7.11 Students analyze political and economic change in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason).
1. Know the great voyages of discovery, the locations of the routes, and the influence of cartography in the development of a new European worldview.
2. Discuss the exchanges of plants, animals, technology, culture, and ideas among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the
major economic and social effects on each continent.
3. Examine the origins of modern capitalism; the influence of mercantilism and cottage industry; the elements and importance of a market economy in seventeenth-century Europe; the changing international trading and marketing patterns, including their locations on a world map; and the influence of explorers and map makers.
4. Explain how the main ideas of the Enlightenment can be traced back to such movements as the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution and to the Greeks, Romans, and Christianity.
5. Describe how democratic thought and institutions were influenced by Enlightenment thinkers (e.g., John Locke, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, American founders).
6. Discuss how the principles in the Magna Carta were embodied in such documents as the English Bill of Rights and the American Declaration of Independence.
The 18th century marked the beginning of an intense period of revolution and rebellion against existing governments, and the establishment of new nation-states around the world.
I. The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought that questioned established traditions in all areas of life often preceded the revolutions and rebellions against existing governments.