Over the past several months I’ve been paying attention the discourse between educators around the Next Generation Science Standards or NGSS. The #NGSS hashtag has been of particular value in gaining perspectives from voices around the country.
With #EdcampBOS fast approaching, I’m plotting a conversation around the direction of science education, what we as educators feel are “best-practices” in science education and whether the NGSS drives educators towards such practices or we should strive for something greater.
|Will the NGSS power our country to greater scientific literacy, or is it riddled with tragic flaws like the Deathstar?|
As an elementary science educator, I relish the opportunity to connect with middle and high school science educators along with those in the K-5 realm to help personally develop a more complete picture of science education and our diverse opinions about the standards / expectations set before us.
Some points I hope to mull over with the forward-thinking educators of #EdcampBOS include:
- What do you feel is the goal of science education? Does NGSS align with these goals or are they different? Is that a good or a bad thing?
- What do we perceive to be the “best-practices” in science education? NGSS focus on science practices being taught seamlessly with content. Is this a reasonable goal for our science teachers? Do they lend themselves to great science teaching or lead us astray?
- Engineering goals are expected to be fully integrated into science classrooms. How will this improve or diminish the science classroom experience for kids? What kind of challenges 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?
- As local teachers, do we believe our science expectations / framework need to be changed? If so in what ways? Does NGSS address these ways?
I want to stress that it will not be necessary for participants to be familiar with NGSS to be a part of the conversation. We all have thoughts, visions, and models of what great science teaching looks like and these very things will be the most important contributions to the conversation. That being said, for those interested in attaining a rough background on the NGSS before or after the discussion can look to the National Science Teacher’s Association resources website or my own NGSS resources GoogleDoc.