This evening teachers from across Massahcusetts and beyond state lines will be participating in a conversation surrounding the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and its potential role in redefining science expectations for K-12 students in Massachusetts and nationwide. With the NGSS second draft open to the public through January 29th there has already been plenty of public feedback published over the blogosphere while more localized “NGSS focus groups” have been privately submitting their own insights to Achieve, the NGSS drafting body . Participants of #edchatMA will get the chance to have their own voices heard as they share in dialogue between 8PM and 9PM EST tonight.
To tackle all of the details nestled throughout the NGSS draft and its foundational literature, “A Framework for K-12 Science Education” is overly-ambitious for even the most committed science education enthusiast. Instead my co-moderators, MTA’s web content manager Meg Secatore and Burlington fifth grade classroom teacher Diana Marcus, will try to engage with participants around some of NGSS’ over-arching themes and principles while we learn and share what we think it means for Massachusetts and the nation to adopt these new benchmarks for science education.
Most notably, the questions I’d like to hear answered by our participants include the following:
- What do you feel are the goals of science education in our schools? Does NGSS align with these goals or are they different?
- Is the NGSS focus on science practices being taught seamlessly with content an improvement, digression, non-factor? Is this a reasonable goal for our science teachers?
- How will the full integration of engineering science in the standards improve / worsen the science classroom experience for kids? What kind of challenges or successes do you expect will arise?
- Crosscutting concepts are being used to maintain a theme of learning across different science core subjects. How will we build them into our science education as effectively as possible?
- Do Massachusetts teachers currently believe our science expectations and framework need to be changed? If so, does NGSS offer the changes we need?
I hope that you will join me and my colleagues tonight for this important discussion! Simply follow the #edchatMA hashtag on twitter between 8PM and 9PM this evening!