A Paradigm Shift in Science Education Delivery
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were introduced in 2013 with an integrated approach to help the next generation of Americans have the tools to understand their world and make informed decision.
Implementation of the NGSS requires a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we deliver science education. Educators are moving from imparting scientific knowledge and content material to encouraging scientific thinking and argumentation. The integration of core ideas (science content), science and engineering practices (methods), and cross-cutting concepts (themes) creates a three-dimensional approach to learning vs. a linear approach.
How to begin making the shift starts with learning the pedagogical approach first in order to understand how to guide a lesson before focusing on the content. It takes a partnership of teachers, administrators, and often parents working together to create a multi-year plan of learning through professional development, practice, and dedicated time for meaningful conversations and reflection.
It is well worth the efforts and investment of time. Below is a list of resource links.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education recommends three major dimensions:
Earth and Space Sciences
Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Cause and Effect: Mechanism & Prediction
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Systems and System Models
Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation
Structure and Function
Stability and Change