Has your state signed up for the Next Generation Science Standards? Is your state intending to use a modified version of the Next Generation Science Standards and call them something different? If yes to either of these questions, here are a few things you need to know.
What are the Next Generation Science Standards?
Next Generation Science Standards for Today’s Students and Tomorrow’s Workforce: Through a collaborative, state-led process managed by Achieve, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education. The NGSS is based on the Framework for K–12 Science Educationdeveloped by the National Research Council.
How were they developed and what organizations participated?
The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences managed the first of two steps in the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards by developing the A Framework for K-12 Science Education, which was released July 2011.
After releasing a public draft in July of 2010, the NRC reviewed comments and considered all feedback prior to releasing the final Framework. The Framework is now being used as the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards in a collaborative, state-led process that is managed by Achieve.
What are the three dimensions that will be a key component of the standards?
- Have broad importance across multiple sciences or engineering disciplines or be a key organizing concept of a single discipline;
- Provide a key tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems;
- Relate to the interests and life experiences of students or be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technological knowledge;
- Be teachable and learnable over multiple grades at increasing levels of depth and sophistication.
My personal response to NGSS:
I like the Next Generation Science Standards which seem to have a greater emphasis on students understanding complex ideas than on memorizing a bunch of facts. I love that the practices are based in research and encourage higher level thinking. I also like that an emphasis on doing science exists and also an emphasis in having students explain their thinking both verbally and in writing. As an educator I am glad to see inquiry based lessons with hands-on materials being encouraged. Personally, I am also happy that some of my favorite things to do in science instruction like the 5-e learning cycle model of instruction and the interactive notebooks will dovetail nicely with the NGSS.
Thank you for reading. I would be interested in hearing your comments.
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