ERIC Number: EJ1016795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
The "Next Generation Science Standards" and the Earth and Space Sciences
Wysession, Michael E.
Science Teacher, v80 n4 p31-37 Apr-May 2013
The "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS"), due to be released this spring, represents a revolutionary step toward establishing modern, national K-12 science education standards. Based on the recommendations of the National Research Council's "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" (NRC 2012), these performance expectations present a progressive approach to developing students' understanding of science. The writing of the NGSS has been supervised by Achieve, Inc., the bipartisan not-for-profit organization that also supervised the writing of the math and English language arts Common Core (NGACBP/CCSSO 2010). The "NGSS" involves significant changes from traditional standards at all levels for all of the sciences, integrating three dimensions of science content, science practices, and the crosscutting, big-picture themes of science. Nowhere are these changes more apparent than for the Earth and space sciences (ESS), which now require a year of upper-level high school coursework. The "NGSS" performance expectations, and Earth and space sciences in particular, will pose special challenges to their implementation. Most current science assessments test memorized facts. Shifting toward testing what students can do, instead, will require new approaches to assessment. Teachers may find many challenges. None of these challenges is insurmountable, however, and many efforts are underway to help address them. However they are ultimately organized, structured, taught, and assessed in all of the states that adopt them, the "NGSS" provide a remarkable opportunity to realize the long-identified potential for Earth and space sciences to be taught in exciting, engaging, encompassing, and relevant manners from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Descriptors: Earth Science, Space Sciences, Elementary School Science, Secondary School Science, Middle Schools, High Schools, Elementary Schools, Academic Standards, National Standards, Scientific Concepts, Science Process Skills
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools; High Schools; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A