In spring of 2013, the Next Generation Science Standards were released for review and adoption. The NGSS call for major changes in curriculum and instruction. These standards can profoundly improve science education and scientific literacy in the U.S. However, their success depends on teachers and administrators deeply understanding these standards and their implications all aspects of science teaching.
Learning with the NGSS entails integrating three key dimensional learning: disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and cross cutting concepts. This integration means that students are learning content (core ideas) through engagement with scientific practices such as: questioning, designing investigations, and developing explanatory models; and using the cross cutting concepts as a lens for these student-driven inquiries. Instruction therefore needs to involve students in figuring out phenomena, arguing about alternative explanations of these phenomena based on evidence, and developing scientific knowledge as a community of learners.
The NGSS emphasize three-dimensional learning through the integration of core ides, scientific practices, and cross-cutting concepts. This section explores and explains this new vision.