Frameworks organize standard content around a few scientific principles and practices associated with principled reasoning. The point is to make the principle and practices explicit and central for students during instruction with the ultimate goal of providing them with a few powerful tools for learning biology or geology. Rather than moving from topic to topic, students can work throughout the course on their ability to use the principles and practices. The frameworks provided here are meant to illustrate for instructors how standard content can be distilled around a subset of the following practices:

  • Tracing matter
  • Tracing energy
  • Tracing information
  • Keeping track of location and/or scale.

In the frameworks for the geochemical cycles (water, rock, calcium, and carbon), all of the processes (such as evaporation and metamorphism) move or changie a particular substance. In the biology frameworks, each different scale (ecosystem through cellular) is described in a row. Changes in matter, information, energy, and/or location are described in columns.

Diagnostic Question Clusters assessing students' principled reasoning in each domain are linked to the framework and are also available for download.

Instructional Resources are linked to the organismal, cellular, and sub-cellular levels in the biology frameworks. They are also available for download.

Geochemical cycle frameworks