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Understanding Next Generation Science Standards

Understanding Next Generation Science Standards


In this lesson you will learn the basics of the NGSS Science Standards

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Hello everyone and welcome. My name is Gino Sangiuliano, and in today's lesson we'll be looking at the Next Generation Science Standards. We'll begin with a little background information. The Standards where the result of the efforts of three organizations, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve.

Science is an ever changing field, so they developed a framework based on the most current research. They included what students in grades K through 12 should know. Next, states led by Achieve, an organization dedicated to standards based education, developed the K-12 content and practice standards across science disciplines.

You can find more detailed information about the framework on the National Academy of Engineering website which is listed at the bottom of this page. You'll also find a four minute video there giving an overview of the framework. The framework is broken down into three dimensions. They are disciplinary core ideas, content, and cross cutting concepts. Let's take a look at each one of them.

The disciplinary ideas are grouped into four large domains. They are the physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, engineering, technology and application of science. In order to be considered "core," the ideas should meet at least two of the following criteria, but ideally all four. They should have broad importance across multiple sciences or engineering disciplines or be a key organizing concept of a single discipline. They should provide a key tool for understanding or investigating more complex ideas and solving problems. That should relate to the interest and life experiences of students or be connected to societal or personal concerns that require scientific or technological knowledge. And finally, they should be teachable and learnable over multiple grades at an increasing level of depth and sophistication.

Cross cutting concepts are those ideas that have application across all domains of science. So they are really a way of linking the different domains. Those concepts are listed here on this page.

The framework emphasizes that these concepts need to be made explicit for students. This will help students to see the connections across various science fields, therefore giving them a more scientifically broad based view of the world. This is quite a shift from first grade will learn about simple machines, second grade weather, third grade electricity, and so on.

Let's take a look at the science and engineering practices. These practices clearly describe behaviors that scientist engage in and are much more in line with 21st century learning. The thing I like most about them is that they're written in a way that makes them relevant and accessible to any grade level. Asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Here are some things to consider, even though 26 states led the work in writing them, these standards have not been adopted by the majority of states yet. Most of the resources available will indicate that they are aligned to the next generation science standards, but you can also find the equipped rubric on the website listed below. That will help you to evaluate the alignment of materials, lessons, and units.

The NGSS are written as performance standards, what students are expected to know how to do. Which is different from the Common Core State Standards, which are written as content standards, what students need to know. And there is an option to follow the Standards using a topical or disciplinary core idea approach. The link to both is listed here. Again, you can find more information on the Next Generation Science Standards website.

It's time to summarize what we covered in today's lesson. We began by going over the history of the next generation science standards. We introduced the framework. Talked about science and engineering practices, and looked at some other things to consider.

And now for today's food for thought. Whether you are a science teacher or not, think about how the cross cutting concepts listed in this presentation can impact the learners that you work with. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with the video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Thanks so much for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Understanding Next Generation Science Standards"

(00:00-00:07) Intro

(00:08-00:54) Origin of NGSS

(00:55-02:34) Dimensions of the Framework

(02:35-03:17) Science and Engineering Practices

(03:18-04:08) Considerations

(04:09-04:26) Summary

(04:27-04:56) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The NGSS site is a comprehensive website that includes the NGSS standards, resources for teachers and embedded professional learning videos and resources. It is important to note that when searching the standards, you can search by topic or by disciplinary core idea (dci). Most school districts make a collective decision on which method to use when incorporating the standards into their curriculum and instruction. This link provides you access to both the topic view and the dci view.

How to Read the Next Generation Science Standards

The NGSS are challenging to read at first. Their structure is different than most standards that teachers work with on a regular basis. In an effort to help teachers understand how to read the standards, NGSS has developed this useful video on how to read the standards.

Bozeman Science Next Generation Science Standards

Videos from Bozeman Science on lessons connected to the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers can click on topics for instructional videos matching NGSS topics. These videos can be used in classroom instruction or as integral components in flipped lessons.

EQuIP Quality Review Process

This Equip Rubric is for the review of math lessons and units aligned to the CCSS math standards. Currently there are many resources available with a CCSS sticker attached, yet very few of these resources are actually aligned. As an educator it can be difficult to know if a resource is aligned. The Equip rubric provides an easy to use rubric for educators to use in selecting and developing resources and lessons aligned to the CCSS. 

Educators Evaluating Quality Instructional Products (EQuIP)

This is a video on how to use the Equip Rubric resource. Scroll to the bottom of page and click on tab labeled "Equip Training Materials."