Recently, 26 States came together to form the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), with the sole objective of creating a new standard of science for the students that is “rich in content and practice, and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.” The National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, and Achieve, a nonprofit organization that was also involved in developing math and English standards, collaborated with the 26 U.S. states to form the widely acclaimed Next Generation Science Standards. The public, along with the California Science Teachers Association, got to review the newly formed Next Generation Science Standards which was finally published in April 2013.
Objective of the Next Generation Science Standards
The Next Generation Science Standards were developed with three objectives –
- Eradicating ignorance of science
- Creating a common standard for science education in the U.S.
- Encouraging students to take a greater interest in the sciences and pursue them in higher education
The objective nature of the Next Generation Science Standards help students to understand the scientific process of developing, questioning, and analyzing data and arriving at a logical conclusion. They give students the scope to deeply introspect and then experiment. The new Standards might cover fewer topics, but they certainly promise to delve more deeply into them, encouraging kids to develop the key skills of primary investigation and critical thinking. The case-study approach of the Next Generation Science Standards is deemed to be a more holistic approach to teaching and, as critiqued by teachers and educationists, it can potentially uproot the traditional high school courses such as physics, biology, and chemistry.
Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards into the curriculum –
The Next Generation Science Standards integrate three dimensions within each standard that are intentionally connected. The standards are divided into three main sections: 1) core ideas, 2) science and engineering practices, and 3) cross-cutting concepts. The core ideas consist of specific content and subject areas while science and engineering practices require the students to not just learn content but to understand the methods of scientists and engineers. The third, cross-cutting concepts, explains key underlying ideas that are common to a number of topics.
States that have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards
Your child must be following the Next Generation Science Standards if you’re in any one of the following states in the U.S. – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.