Dimension 3: The Crosscutting Concepts

The crosscutting concepts (Figure 4) provide one way of linking across the domains in science. They include concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries and/or an organizational framework for connecting knowledge across domains into a coherent view of the world. We identified three crosscutting concepts to be included in our competency model: systems thinking, cause and effect, and flow and conservation of matter and energy. We identified these crosscutting concepts from the work by Duschl et al. (2007). We focus on only three crosscutting concepts initially because we see them as having particular relevance to the content focus of our current CBAL Science work (e.g., matter in the physical sciences, and later, structures and processes and ecology in the life sciences). One crosscutting concept in particular, systems thinking, has been given some attention by researchers in the learning sciences.

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Figure 4. Crosscutting concepts.

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