Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Next Generation Science Standards Draft Available

With the push for higher test scores and the implementation of the Common Core Standards in the majority of states across the country, came a push for new Science standards as well. The standards that most science teachers are following at this point are upwards of 15 years old and need at least a refresher if not a full overhaul. The National Research Council and its affiliates decided to take this under their wing and have really put some time into creating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The Science standards are still in the draft/review phase and they are taking feedback from the public. The latest standards were developed by the National Research Council (NRC) with the help of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The NGSS are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education which was developed by the NRC and released in July of 2011. The Framework is split up into three dimensions: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. The Disciplinary Core Ideas are grouped into four domains we are all familiar with: physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering/technology.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of the NGSS on here because you can go see and download the draft for yourself:
Next Generation Science Standards
I have looked through, and even printed a copy of the NGSS (which I don't recommend unless you have a hefty printer). They are very in depth and read like the standards we all know, but they seem very complicated for the everyday teacher. It will be difficult to be an elementary school teacher without a science background and be able to fully understand and teach the standards in their classroom. I realize this isn't the final draft, some science concepts can be difficult to spell out in an easy-to-read manner, there are so many science concepts to cover, etc. I'm not knocking the standards. I think that our standards should be raised for all students and I applaud the NRC for having done that. I am just saying that many teachers will have a little work ahead of them to implement these standards into the everyday classroom science lesson.

Has anyone else looked into the new science standards? I recommend that you do and give your feedback to the National Research Council. The more feedback they receive, the better the Next Generation Science Standards will be! Give me your thoughts in the comment section below:

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UPDATE!
The second public draft of the NGSS will be out before the new year. Read more here:
http://smartblogs.com/education/2012/11/27/lesson-learned-next-generation-standards-build-challenges-encountered-1990s-douglas-f-haller-ed-m/


4 comments:

  1. Do you know where I can download or obtain a copy of the NGSS now that they have been removed from the website?

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    1. Hi Rebecca,
      I think you can still download the free PDF here:
      http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165
      I had to create an account (its free) and then you can download them. Let me know if you can still get them. Thanks for reading!

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    2. Actually you don't have to register. You can do it as a guest, but you still have to enter your email address.

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    3. Thanks! I'm looking forward to reading through it now.

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