Critical Features of Instructional Materials Design for Today’s Science Standards:

A Resource for Science Curriculum Developers and the Education Field

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Today’s science standards have initiated a significant shift in all parts of the science education system. As a result, science instructional materials are also changing. Educators, school and district administrators, and developers of instructional materials need to be able to develop a common vision of high-quality curricula that will prepare students for success in school and beyond.

This resource is jointly authored by EdReports and NextGenScience to illustrate critical design features of science instructional materials and provide common language for describing high-quality materials.

Read the resource here.

View a webinar recording about the resource.

Download the webinar slide deck.

Problems with Problems:

Improving the Design of Problem-Driven Science and Engineering Instruction

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A key shift in learning designed for today’s science standards is supporting students to explain phenomena and to design solutions to problems. To accompany the existing guidance in the field on driving instruction with phenomena, this resource provides examples and guidance on what it can look like to drive instruction with engineering design problems.

Read the resource here.

Read a related resource about phenomena here.

Toward NGSS Design:

EQuIP Rubric for Science Detailed Guidance

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Derived from reviewer tools used by the EQuIP Peer Review Panel (PRP), the EQuIP Rubric for Science Detailed Guidance provides details on each of the 19 EQuIP Rubric criteria, including

  • what they look like in materials,
  • connections between the criteria, and
  • some common pitfalls.

Read this new resource here.

Authentic Science Experiences:

Designing High School Science Learning to Reach all Students

BY JENNY SARNA, VANESSA WOLBRINK, NEELO SOLTANZADEH

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To achieve the ambitious goals set by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar standards, today’s high school students need access to carefully designed learning experiences. Authentic Science Experiences: Designing High School Science Learning to Reach all Students explores several core principles that can inform the design and facilitation of more effective and meaningful science learning experiences.

The resource highlights five features of authentic science experiences and underlying research that can support the design and implementation of meaningful and enriching science learning for high school students. It also includes a series of vignettes that illustrate what these features look like in a variety of high school science experiences from across the nation.

The five core features highlighted in the resource include:

  1. Students integrate skills with core knowledge of science and engineering professions.
  2. Students’ interests, culture, identities, and experiences are positioned as fundamental assets in the learning process.
  3. Students use science to explain the world around them and solve problems that matter to society.
  4. Students learn by engaging with both peers and adults.
  5. Students engage in a variety of assessment processes that showcase ongoing learning and promote confidence.

The resource illustrates how science in a school environment can better connect to science as a profession as well as the science we use in our everyday lives, making the field of science more accessible, relevant, and meaningful to students.

Keep Teaching Science!
Successful Strategies to Adapt K–12 Science Experiences for Distance Learning

BY VANESSA WOLBRINK, JENNY SARNA

Keep Teaching Science book cover
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The sudden shift to distance and hybrid learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic created a need to identify virtual and at-home science experiences that reflect the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and A Framework for K–12 Science Education, ensuring students keep learning science. NextGenScience partnered with materials developers and educators to learn about and highlight examples of effective and equitable adaptations for science teaching and learning at a distance. This report includes information about:
  • Strategies to adapt science materials for distance learning
  • Explaining phenomena or designing solutions
  • Integrating the three dimensions for instruction and assessment
  • Motivating student sense-making of a phenomenon by leveraging the context of students’ homes and communities
  • Eliciting student ideas through discourse and writing in both synchronous and asynchronous environments
  • Building on students’ prior knowledge
  • Considerations for supporting teachers in a distance environment
  • Technology considerations for a distance learning environment

Watch the archived Keep Teaching Science webinar to learn more.

Previous Publications by the NextGenScience team at Achieve

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