As I reflect on this, I am concerned about the fate of NGSS. If we haven't reformed our methods of teaching science since 1962 when this work was published, how can we expect NGSS to reform science teaching? It's because of the fate of science teaching since 1962 that I think we are in a dangerous time for the NGSS.
If we aren't careful, NGSS implementation will turn into a rearrangement of units and a shuffling of content. We'll throw out some units because they aren't addressed in the NGSS and we'll add some (like analog/digital wave technology) because they are now in the NGSS. We'll feel very successful because we've aligned what we teach with the new standards.
If content alignment is all we do, if we only change what we teach, students will still leave our classrooms with a view of science as a body of disjointed knowledge that they need to learn (aka memorize). If, as science leaders, we only expose our teachers to the NGSS and miss The Framework and the background research from Ready, Set, Science and Taking Science to School, we may be guilty of leading teachers to think that the NGSS is only and shift in content.
The Framework makes it clear that we're called to change, not only what we teach, but also how we teach. We are called to teach science as a way of knowing, to allow students to use the 3 dimensions of science to explain phenomena in their world or to solve problems in their world. We're called to build coherence vertically and horizontally. We're called to help (and require) students to act and think like scientists.
Teachers need exposure to this vision of the NGSS as found in those documents. Science leaders need to provide that exposure in manageable portions. Let's commit to the vision of The Framework and make it a reality of all of our students. It is possible that the future of our nation depends on it. We need scientists and engineers, but even more, we need a science literate population and science literate politicians.
What will you do this week to help spread the vision of The Framework?