Ocean Literacy & Standards

Ocean Literacy Principles

NESS programs reflect the principles set forth by “Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences K – 12” published in June 2005 by the National Geographic Society, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, National Marine Educators Association, College of Exploration. The following Ocean Literacy description comes from this brochure which can be found at: www.oceanliteracy .org.


“Ocean Literacy is an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean.”

An ocean-literate person:

  • understands the Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts about the functioning of the ocean;
  • can communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way; and
  • is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources.”

The Essential Principles of Ocean Sciences:

  1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
  2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth.
  3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  4. The ocean makes Earth habitable.
  5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
  6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
  7. The ocean is largely unexplored.”


Next Generation Science Standards & Common Core

NESS is committed to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State

Standards Initiative to help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning. Please see the insert in this

Discover at Sea Level 2014 – 2015 for the most up to date alignment of standards or visit our website at www.nessf.org.

The Next Generation Science Standards

Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The Next Generation Science Standards are based on the Framework for K–12

Science Education developed by the National Research Council (description taken from www.nextgenscience.org )

  • Every NGSS standard has three dimensions: disciplinary core ideas (content), scientific and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts. Currently, most state and district standards express these dimensions as separate entities, leading to their separation in both instruction and assessment.The integration of rigorous content and application reflects how science and engineering is practiced in the real world.
  • The NGSS content is focused on preparing students for college and careers.
    The NGSS are aligned, by grade level and cognitive demand with the English Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core State Standards. This allows an opportunity both for science to be a part of a child’s comprehensive education as well as ensuring an aligned sequence of learning in all content areas. The three sets of standards overlap and are reinforcing in meaningful and substantive ways.
What is the difference between the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and the NGSS?

The CCSS Literacy Standards were written to help students meet the particular challenges of

reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields-in this case,

science. The literacy standards do not replace science standards – they supplement them.

The NGSS will lay out the core ideas and practices in science that students should master in

preparation for college and careers.