Children know a lot more than they are given credit for. The authors of the Framework for K-12 Science Education agree with me. In the two chapters we focused on, they defended the path they took to come up with their framework. They focused on core ideas, rather than several random details, to emphasize in teaching so as to promote expert, rather than novice thinking (which would be in random, isolated facts). They present topics in ways that are age appropriate, scaffolding information and activities as students get older. The framework cuts across multiple disciplines to not only save time but to make the learning process more authentic to what happens in the scientific community today. Moreover, children are encouraged to follow their interests and engage in their learning in a very real way. One of the most important factors they emphasize is the presence of engineering in the standards and the emphasis on models and real world science.
Preparing students for life and helping them enjoy interacting with the natural world, rather than memorizing vocabulary for a test, will prepare students for a life in a scientific world and will help them to appreciate the world around them. I think that the Framework writers understand this and do a good job expounding upon that philosophy. I especially wanted to congratulate them on realizing how vital engineering is to the science classroom, because in life we are encountered with questions that we need to learn how to solve, and engineering is a hands-on way to learn to do that.