As research develops and science protocols shift and morph, so do the way we need to teach our children. Currently, most of our nation’s educators are teaching under the Common Core standard for science, but there is another set of standards in development. As always, with new standards come new pros and, inevitably, cons. This blog post will study the pros of the Next Generation Science Standards which were recently completed.
What Are the Pros?
In 2009, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in mathematics on the PISA test. Our educators didn’t like this, and they shouldn’t. So, as a means of revamping the standards set in place almost two decades ago, NGSS was drafted with intentions of bringing classroom education up-to-date. The efforts of the NGSS will support the constant growth in the fields of science, reading, and math among students in the classroom. To observe the pros, we can take closer looks at the three dimensions employed by the standards-
The core ideas meet certain criteria which prove to be important to the learning and adaptation of the sciences. These can include having broad importance over multiple disciplines, providing key tools for understanding or investigating complex ideas, relating to the interests and life experiences, and more. The focus of the ideas is to iterate key principles that span across multiple studies. The NGSS gives teachers clear-cut teaching expectations.
As the concepts are taught, teachers supply students with means of practical use. Literally, they opt into physical practices to show how the content the students are learning can be used. These practices would mimic those that professionals use to engage the natural world. Students will feel engaged with the materials as they initiate hands-on learning. Getting students away from the too-often used note-taking standpoint of the classroom can allow them to recharge their minds around the materials they are being taught. This can also spark more interest.
Perhaps the most innovative dimension, the NGSS establishes a concern with teaching the separate areas together. This way, learning can take place on a double layer by linking the different domains of science. For example: while students engage in the concepts of physical law, they can be configuring mathematics alongside it with equations and problems. This gives students a wide array of usage of the fields addressed in the NGSS as well as a peaked amount of time spent with the concepts learned. With crosscutting, students can engage learning objectives by making connections
When it comes down to it, the strongest aspect of the NGSS is how it is designed to establish connection and preserve learning objectives by its modes of practice and intermingling of studies. With emphasis on hands-on learning and practice, the NGSS gives teachers incentive to update their pedagogy styles to allow for a more in-your-face type of learning transaction for students. The NGSS gives more than just objectives; it provides the sense of security that students all over the country will be given the same opportunities, regardless of where they live.