New research from Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters identifies the changes middle and elementary school teachers made to their instructional practices when implementing KnowAtom’s Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS)-based curriculum. She describes the KnowAtom curriculum as “built on an innovative approach to teaching science based on the NGSS, where teachers become facilitators of learning rather than givers of information.” Her research shows just how much “teaching practice was transformed through curriculum implementation when teachers began to release responsibility to students…”.Continue reading
Connecting students with phenomena-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities is a driving force behind building the workforce of the future. For school leaders and teachers just starting to implement new hands-on learning models and those who have been incorporating collaborate STEM education for years, understanding the measurable effect on student learning and engagement levels is important. One Northeastern University researcher set out to evaluate the impact of implementing the collaborative, hands-on KnowAtom science curriculum in elementary and middle school classrooms.
As new science curricula appear in the market claiming to be designed for the Next Generation Science Standards, more and more teachers are starting to ask what their purpose is in a next generation classroom.Continue reading
Topics: NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, Next Generation Science, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, STEM Education Policy, Teaching in 3 Dimensions
Now that the majority of states (40, to be specific, plus the District of Columbia) have adopted either the Next Generation Science Standards or very similar science standards, there is a growing focus on how to create assessments that are aligned to the new standards.
The Next Generation Science Standards were developed based on recommendations from the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education.
“Fully meeting the vision set forth by the Framework and Framework-aligned standards requires high-quality and aligned assessments that can provide actionable information to students, teachers, and families,” according to a recent report by the nonprofit Achieve.Continue reading
In our third post exploring how to develop a culture of success with the Next Generation Science Standards, we turn our attention to the role of professional development .
It is essential to have a professional development plan that positively shapes culture. This is because if you’re going to do something new, then you need to understand what’s involved in that new thing. This is true for any task, including implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.
Teachers teach the students. But who teaches the teachers and the administrators? That’s key because
if you buy a program that you don’t understand, or somebody buys a program for you that you don’t understand, then how can you implement the program as it’s designed to be used?Continue reading
Fully implementing the Next Generation Science Standards is a growth process. Once you actually have a program that is thoughtful and well developed, it will take three to five years to get to a fully successful and effective implementation.
A quote that resonates when thinking about teaching and learning with the Next Generation Science Standards comes from Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: “Novelty for the beginner comes in one form and novelty for the expert in another. For the beginner, novelty is anything that hasn’t been encountered before. For the expert, novelty is a nuance.”Continue reading
“Culture eats strategy – and programs—for breakfast.”
This quote is KnowAtom’s take on the quip attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” which emphasizes the critical role that an organization’s culture—even more than any strategy it might develop—plays in that organization’s success.
We're modifying it to say that culture eats both strategy and programs for breakfast.
This saying is relevant for districts and classrooms implementing the Next Generation Science Standards because people often focus on programs and/or strategies for the new standards, but fail to consider a balance of both to address the
cultural shifts needed to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.
So what is culture?
Innovative companies like iRobot face many of the same challenges as teachers and school districts that are adopting and beginning to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.Continue reading
To implement the Next Generation Science Standards well, prepare yourself for the major shifts in teaching and learning that are involved in your classroom, your building, and your district.Continue reading
The Next Generation Science Standards have changed the game by shifting the expectations of teaching and learning. Anytime somebody is being asked to change the way they do their job, you have to anticipate that that's not going to be an easy transition.Continue reading
Educators sometimes underestimate the shifts in teacher practices that are required under the Next Generation Science Standards.Continue reading
Those educators responsible for choosing a curriculum will need to be critical consumers to avoid investing in resources that are superficially “aligned” to NGSS but don’t fully articulate the vision of the NGSS so students can achieve the levels of mastery that will be expected of them.Continue reading
The Next Generation Science Standards call for dramatic shifts in teaching and learning. It will be important to go about implementation carefully and thoughtfully.
There are concrete steps that educators and administrators can take to ensure a successful implementation.Continue reading
The Next Generation Science Standards envision students learning as scientists and engineers. This is really a new approach to learning that sets students up to be critical thinkers and innovators. It's no longer about doing science but about being scientists; not doing engineering but being engineers.
As classrooms begin to implement NGSS and work to achieve this vision, there are inevitably some challenges that will come to the forefront.Continue reading
Every year, teachers move. Sometimes they move within their schools to teach a different grade or subject matter, and sometimes they change schools entirely.
Called churn, this is a very real issue in public schools. This is common with both administrators and teachers, and it affects both the speed of implementation and student achievement levels.Continue reading