Science Education in the 21st Century "Today more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation" (Obama, 2008). With that being said, the Curriculum Department at the Little Silver Public School District has worked diligently to align the existing science curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for adoption and implementation for the start of the 2016-2017 school year. The Next Generation Science Standards will improve science education within the district and the conceptual shifts within the NGSS will ultimately increase student achievement.
The updated district curriculum reflects the shift to the NGSS Framework in which learners engage in the 3 dimensions of science education:
- Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
Utilizing this integrated approach, student performance expectations will include a student’s ability to apply a practice to content knowledge. Focussing on the understanding and application of content in the real world opposed to the memorization of facts devoid of content.
The vision of the Framework for K-12 science education and the NGSS will include more of following:
- Facts and Terminology are learned to support arguments and reasoning just reasoning
- Systems thinking and modeling to explain phenomena
- Teachers provides guidance to facilitate student problem solving
- Student discuss open ended questions and use evidence to support claims
- Student synthesize understanding through reading multiple sources
- Students develop questions to be answered through scientific investigation
- Students written work includes journaling, reports, posters and presenting arguments
- Provisions to support all learners
For further details and information about the Next Generation Science Standards follow see the resources below.