(Girl's name) and (boy's name) sitting in the tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g (spell it out-- Kay Eye Ess Ess Eye En Gee)
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes baby in a baby carriage
Sucking his thumb
Wetting his pants
Doing the hula, hula dance!
We sang this song to tease a boy and girl who either liked each other, or who we thought were a perfect match.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the most recent science educational standards. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) outline expectations for mathematics and English language arts (ELA) as well as for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. The NGSS and the CCSS are part of a movement in K-12 education toward common standards in key academic subjects.
Could it be that these two sets of standards are a perfect match?
It’s important for all science educators to have a least a basic understanding of both the NGSS and CCSS because they are informed by the latest research on teaching and learning. As such, they have the potential to influence educational approaches even in states that do not formally adopt these new standards.
The NGSS are based on recommendations in A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, (National Research Council, 2012). Mentioned in the title of this publication (Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas) are referred to as the dimensions of the Framework, which I wrote about in Robinson’s Weblog #009: What’s the Big Idea? Part Three: The Big Ideas of Science and the NGSS Dimensions. The NGSS are organized as performance expectations (PEs) that blend together the three dimensions. I wrote about the PEs in Robinson’s Weblog #006: Don’t Throw Baby NGSS out with the Bathwater Part One:Those Problematic PEs.
Each set of NGSS PEs are linked to CCSS for ELA/Literacy (CCSS-ELA) and CCSS for Mathematics (CCSS-M). These connections give science educators a starting point for integrating and reinforcing the literacy and math skills students need to understand and apply their science content knowledge. Also, the NGSS are aligned with the grade-by-grade standards in the CCSS. This ensures that what students are expected to learn in science class does not require math, reading, writing, listening and speaking skills before they acquire them in their math and ELA classes.
In Robinson’s Weblog #017: What’s the Point? Part Three: To Science Content and Beyond, I wrote that the goal of science education articulated in the Framework goes beyond simply ensuring that students have an understanding of the natural world (science content knowledge), but it also includes components to ensure that students are able to obtain, make sense of, and use scientific knowledge to inform their daily lives.
As I stated in Robinson’s Weblog #013: Poor Poor Common Core Part Two: Don’t Throw Out Baby CCSS With the Bathwater Either, as science educators, we have to judge each educational approach based on how well it achieves the goal of science education. I also wrote that I’ll have to carefully examine the CCSS to see how well they support this goal.
Since looking over the CCSS, my view is that they are indeed a valuable tool for science educators. I will continue to explore how well the competencies of the CCSS Mathematics and ELA standards and the CCSS connections outlined in the NGSS support the goal of science education. If, after further investigation, I find that even some components of the CCSS help me to achieve this goal with my students, then I will incorporate those parts of the CCSS into my science courses.