Tag Archives: elementary education
The first public draft of the new Next Generation Science Standards is now planned to be released in April, with final standards scheduled to be complete by the end of 2012. There’s a lot of excitement around the new standards, but there are some major challenges for translating the Framework for K-12 Science Education into workable standards as well. Here are the biggest questions that I have:
1. Will these standards solve the traditional “mile wide and inch deep” problem of past science standards?
A long-standing complaint about earlier science standards is that they have tried to cover too many topics at each grade level, leaving no time to go into depth on any of them. The Framework for K-12 Science Education covers a lot of ground in the traditional content areas of life, physical, and Earth and space sciences, but also includes a heavy emphasis on engineering, technology, and applications of science as well as practices of science. That’s a lot to get through. Without careful interpretation of the framework, these standards may try to cover more than can reasonably be taught.
2. Will the standards avoid “information overload” for teachers trying to implement them?
Depending on how you interpret the framework, each standard may require teachers to mesh scientific and engineering practices; crosscutting concepts; a core idea from life, physical, or Earth and space science; and cross-alignment to Common Core math and ELA standards. I remember struggling as a classroom teacher just to make sure each lesson was engaging and fully covered a single content standard! Combining all these ideas without becoming overly prescriptive or frustratingly general will be challenging.