Every teacher of science in a school in which NGSS is being implemented is engaged in a transition to standards that are very different from what they are familiar with. This can spark many emotions, including excitement, fear, inspiration, fear, and more excitement. It is a journey in which things are going well, and then you might stumble and fall. Then we must pick ourselves up and start moving again. I know because I am still a NGSS learner myself, and I talk to teachers about this regularly.
When the standards were first released, for example, I worked with a colleague and constructed an integrated instructional sequence for transfer of energy. I was pretty proud of myself. And this lasted until I piloted it with real learners. It had many flaws, but it wasn’t bad for a first try. Now I would do it very differently. After continued learning, I am now in the process of recreating the same transfer of energy instructional sequence. I am bundling the standards differently, using different pieces of texts.
Whether it’s figuring out what lessons to adapt or discard, how to work with colleagues, or how to engage students in phenomena, your colleagues are on the same journey. Read these insights from three educators about their journey to understand and implement the NGSS. They previously appeared in the NSTA member journals.
by Mike Mangiaracina, a K–5 science specialist in Washington, D.C. (published in Science & Children)
by Karen Mesmer, a recently retired middle school science teacher and science coach in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
by Tricia Shelton, a high school science teacher in Florence, Kentucky.
The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
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