- Focuses on making sense of real-world phenomena and solving real-world problems;
- Dives into meaningful concepts and the practice of science, not just memorizing science facts humankind already discovered; and
- Engages all students equitably, providing room for all of their voices, ideas, and wonderings.
Truth be told, reaching that summit is not a simple task, even for teachers who are excited about the prospect of it. Handing teachers the new standards and giving them a quick walk-through isn’t going to cut it. To teach science with a next generation approach, teachers need chances to learn science in a next generation way for themselves and be supported in transferring those experiences to their classrooms.
Over the past few years we've watched teachers begin their journey into NGSS-shifted instruction, and in response we've honed the supports we provide — from professional learning that gives teachers a chance to learn in the same way students are expected to learn, to new NGSS-shifted student units that offer engaging and thought-provoking activities, to the new choose-your-own-adventure Classroom Innovation PLC protocol that allows teachers to dive into the areas of NGSS together as they work to build stronger teaching skills over time. It's been a joy to watch teachers make progress and hear what contributes to their success.
The world of science education is moving away from the type of science classrooms that only expect students to memorize already-discovered science facts, and moving swiftly toward classrooms that engage students in science and set students off on the adventure of becoming scientists. And for me that means that after 40+ years on Earth, I am even more excited to be a science educator.