With ELA and Math Underway, Science Standards Up Next
As a former 5th grade science teacher, I’m extremely heartened to learn that Delaware will join a coalition of 26 states developing Next Generation Science Standards – which will outline the essential knowledge and skills all students need for success, particularly in the evolving global economy.
I distinctly remember scouring the web late into the night for engaging and rigorous lessons around topics such as the scientific method, life cycles, and electricity – only to find ideas that were either lacking alignment or not tailored to the needs of students in my classroom, particularly English Language Learners. This reality required me to modify the vast majority of materials and assessments – representing a huge loss of time that could have been better spent on my students.
This initiative, similar to the Common Core with ELA and math, will no doubt change this reality and yield benefits far beyond the more rigorous standards themselves. They will give educators an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across state lines and provide the incentive for the best lessons/units to rise to the top – yielding enormous benefits for all students.
The process, which began with the release of A Framework for K-12 Science Education by the National Research Council in July 2011, will provide numerous opportunities for continued input and development and should conclude by the end of 2012. We look forward to seeing the great work of educators throughout the state as they develop these next generation science standards and begin to incorporate them into their daily instructional practices.