Next Gen Science Standards, adopted by 16 states and counting, make students think like scientists
In at least 16 states, science education is undergoing a serious transformation. The key is three-dimensional teaching and learning, and even districts in states that have not adopted the Next Generation Science Standards may want to consider the shift.
An important instructional shift with NGSS is changing from simply telling students information they need to know to letting them figure it out. Students, then, go from “learning about to figuring out.”
Students who grow up in classrooms organized by the Next Generation Science Standards see a natural phenomenon that sparks their curiosity and then are guided along a path of inquiry, engaging in the activities real scientists do to make sense of it. As a K-12 science framework, the NGSS encourages teachers to help students build on prior knowledge and draw connections across science disciplines and grade levels to deepen their understanding from one year to the next.
Click here to read the full story in EducationDive (August 3, 2016)
An EducationWeek video team sat down with NSTA Executive Director David Evans to get a better understanding the Next Generation Science Standards, including how the standards were developed, what makes them different from previous standards, and whether teachers are ready for the changes ahead.
“Adopting new standards is not like putting on a fresh shirt,” he says at one point. “This is a real process and it’s going to take a while to do it. It’s going to take a while for instruction and it’s going to take a while for assessment.”
The interview was part of a larger reporting project focusing on schools in Wyoming that are already implementing the standards. The program was featured last month on the PBS NewsHour.
Click here to view the video interview: Understanding the Next Genration Science Standards. (Ed Week, July 28, 2016)
The San Diego Union Tribune examines the work in San Diego to work towards new science standards.
“Students will act as scientists under a new set of science education guidelines that emphasize asking questions and solving problems, and the state is seeking input on how that will shape classroom instruction.
The draft framework for California schools outlines the ways that science education will change over the next few years, as the Next Generation Science Standards are rolled out through 2018. The framework is open for public comment until Aug. 29.
Eight California school districts and two charter schools have been testing the new science standards, and four of those are in San Diego. Vista Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, Lakeside Union School District and High Tech High School are among the 10 organizations throughout the state that have tried the new practices already.”
The framework is available to the public at www.cde.ca.gov/ci/sc, and comments can be submitted to scienceframework @cde.ca.gov.
Click here to read the full article in the San Diego Union Tribune (July 22, 2016)
Ed Week’s Liana Heiten writes about a recent Commentary by an assistant professor of elementary education at the College of New Jersey about the work to develop lessons that reflect three dimentioanal learning as recommended in the NGSS.
Heiten notes “as of now, there’s little in the way of materials aligned to the NGSS, so most teachers are forced to come up with these sorts of lessons on their own.”
She asks, “What are you doing differently with the NGSS? And where are you getting your lessons?”
Click here to read the blog in Ed Week (July 7, 2016).
Lauren Madden, an assistant professor of elementary education at the College of New Jersey, authors a commentary piece for Education Week on how she is preparing future science educators to use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
“This integrated approach to science teaching and learning may seem unfamiliar, and it certainly requires a shift in planning and teaching for many teachers and schools. But the ideas embraced by the NGSS, such as grounding science instruction in the act of doing science, have long been seen as best practices in education. Many science educators agree that the standards simply delineate what good science teaching looks like.”
Click here to read the full piece in Ed Week (July 5, 2016)
Louisiana’s top school board has endorsed a review of science standards in its public schools. The benchmarks used today were crafted in 1997, and they are the third oldest in the nation.
The panel is scheduled to make its final recommendations in February and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will review the proposed changes in March.
Click here to read the full article in The Advocate (June 21, 2016)
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was the focus of a June 21 segment on the popular news program, PBS Newshour, which included insights from NSTA’s Executive Director David Evans. The program looked at how the NGSS is redefining instruction in science classrooms across the country.
Reporter John Tulenko visited Campbell County in Wyoming. The county is leading the way with standards, which the state has yet to adopt officially. Seventeen other states <plus Washington, D.C.> are already on board, accounting for an estimated 35 percent of public school students nationwide.
“I think that the most important reason for developing new standards is that we have actually learned a lot about the way children learn. And children learn science best by actually doing it,” said David Evans.
So far, there’s been little pushback that has been seen with the Common Core.
David Evans noted that “the federal government and the Department of Education really hasn’t had anything to do with the next generation science standards. It’s really just that simple. There have not been strong incentives and there hasn’t been any arm-twisting.”
Click here to view the entire program on PBSNewsHour (June 21, 2016)
No heated debates or controversies about climate change have overshadowed the development of Wyoming’s K-12 science standards this year, which appear months away from adoption.
The language on climate change is not vastly different from the Next Generation Science Standards that caused a political storm two years ago. But the process for developing the standards has been more transparent, officials say.
Multiple public comment periods were offered, and the people who developed the standards represent a cross-section of Wyoming, from educators to industry representatives.
The proposed standards are in their final public comment period, which ends Aug. 12. Gov. Matt Mead and the State Board of Education will review comments before making a final decision to adopt or amend the standards this fall.
Click here to read the full article in the Casper Star Tribune ( June 19, 2016)
WEST CALDWELL, NJ – Introducing new standards for the upcoming Caldwell-West Caldwell school year, science teachers in the middle and high school levels gave a presentation to the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education (CWC BOE) at its public meeting on June 6.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will be implemented in grades 6-12 next year, and K-5 the following year, according to Scott Klepesch, Director of Instructional Services for the district.
“It has been fifteen years since there was a national look at science standards,” said Klepesch. “These standards are designed to create grade uniformity across the country, and prepare students to be college and career ready, similar to the language of Common Core.”
Click here to read the full article in TAP into West Essex (June 8, 2016)
For all the controversy involving the West Virginia Board of Education and the Legislature over the state’s adoption of Next Generation Science Standards, which will take effect statewide next school year, the National Science Teachers Association doesn’t recognize that West Virginia actually adopted them.
NSTA Executive Director David Evans said not labeling West Virginia a Next Generation-adopting state “doesn’t mean that we’re really finding fault with the new West Virgina standards.” He called the state’s new science standards a “terrific improvement” over its current standards, which aren’t based on Next Generation. – See more at:
Click here to read the full story in the West Virignia Gazette (May 29, 2016)