The Program in Science and Technology
The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: Science and Technology, 2022 identifies the expectations for each grade and describes the skills and knowledge that students are expected to acquire, demonstrate, and apply in their class work and investigations, and in various other activities on which their achievement is assessed and evaluated.
Mandatory learning is described in the overall and specific expectations of the curriculum.
Two sets of expectations – overall expectations and specific expectations – are listed for each strand, or broad area of the curriculum, in science and technology for Grades 1 to 8. The strands include Strand A: STEM Skills and Connections and four other strands, lettered B, C, D, and E. Taken together, the overall and specific expectations represent the mandated curriculum.
The overall expectations describe in general terms the skills and knowledge that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of each grade. The specific expectations describe the expected skills and knowledge in greater detail. The specific expectations are organized under numbered subheadings, each of which indicates the strand and the overall expectation to which the group of specific expectations corresponds (e.g., “B2” indicates that the group relates to overall expectation 2 in strand B). This organization is not meant to imply that the expectations in any one group are achieved independently of the expectations in the other groups, nor is it intended to imply that learning the expectations happens in a linear, sequential way. The numbered headings are used merely as an organizational structure to help teachers focus on particular aspects of knowledge, concepts, and skills as they develop various lessons and learning activities for students.
In the science and technology curriculum, the overall expectations outline the fundamental knowledge, concepts, and skills that are required for engaging in appropriate scientific and technological situations in and out of the classroom at any grade or stage of development. The curriculum focuses on connecting, developing, reinforcing, and refining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students acquire as they work towards meeting the overall expectations in the elementary school program. This approach reflects and accommodates the progressive nature of development of knowledge, concepts, and skills in science and technology learning.
The specific expectations reflect this progression in skill and knowledge development through changes in the wordings of the expectations and through the introduction of new expectations, where appropriate. The progression is captured by the increasing complexity of the teacher supports (see below) associated with most expectations and by the diversity of contexts in which the learning is applied, along with the variety of opportunities presented for applying it. Note that all the skills specified in the early grades continue to be developed and refined as students move through the grades, whether or not each of those skills continues to be explicitly required in an expectation.
Specific expectations are accompanied by examples and/or instructional tips. The examples are meant to clarify the requirement specified in the expectation, illustrating the kind of skill or knowledge, the specific area of learning, the depth of learning, and/or the level of complexity that the expectation entails. The instructional tips suggest instructional strategies and authentic contexts for the effective modelling, practice, and application of science and technology concepts. The examples and instructional tips are optional supports that teachers can draw on to support teaching and learning, in addition to developing their own supports that reflect a similar level of complexity. Whatever the specific ways in which the requirements outlined in the expectations are implemented in the classroom, they must be inclusive and, wherever possible, reflect the diversity of the student population and the population of the province.