To develop students’ capacity for science and to engage them productively in science and engineering practices, science education reform efforts have focused on supporting teachers’ development of conceptual understandings through engagement with both disciplinary content and practices, including science teaching at the primary level. One topic of importance for primary science instruction focuses on Earth systems and, in particular, hydrological phenomena. Scientific modelling provides an effective, practice-based strategy for students’ conceptual development of water.
We report on one teachers’ efforts to re-design an entire instructional unit as a coherent storyline about forces and motion as a part of a multiyear professional development (PD) project around the NGSS. Designing coherent storylines demands that teachers create opportunities for students to meaningfully engage in science practices in order to develop their knowledge over time.
The success of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar reforms is contingent upon the quality of teaching, yet the shifts in teaching practice required are substantial. In this study, we propose and validate a model of adaptive expertise needed for teachers to successfully deliver NGSS-informed computer-supported complex systems curricula in high school science classrooms.
Ambitious efforts are taking place to implement a new vision for science education in the United States, in both Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-adopted states and those states creating their own, often related, standards. Inservice and pre-service teacher educators are involved in supporting teacher shifts in practice toward the new standards. With these efforts, it will be important to document shifts in science instruction toward the goals of NGSS and broader science education reform.
Developing scientific literacy about water systems is critical for K‐12 students.
Bhattacharya, D., Carroll-Steward, K., Sutter, A., Chandler, M., & Forbes, C.T. (2018). Climate literacy: Insights from research on K-16 climate education. Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, V(4), 26-35.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) on which they are based, describe a new vision for science education that includes having students learn science in a way that more closely aligns to how scientists and engineers work and think. Accomplishing this goal will require teacher educators to make important shifts in the ways they prepare future science teachers (NRC, 2012). Many science teaching methods courses are being reformed to better support future science teachers to meet the ambitious goals of the NGSS.
Critical evaluation underpins the practices of science. In a three-year classroom-based research project, we developed and tested instructional scaffolds for Earth science content in which students evaluate lines of evidence with respect to alternative explanations of scientific phenomena (climate change, fracking and earthquakes, wetlands and land use, and formation of Earth’s Moon).
American Museum of Natural History. (2018). Writing a Scientific Explanation. Retrieved from https://www.amnh.org/explore/curriculum-collections/integrating-literacy....