Instructional Shifts in the NGSS

"The difference in the verbs used in the NGSS tells the story. Gone is the conception of science education as an abstract recall of facts. Instead, students demonstrate proficiency in science by engaging in actual scientific practices—in this case, developing models, designing solutions and constructing arguments… The resulting implications for classroom practice could not be greater."

—NGSS Adoption and Implementation Workbook

The CA NGSS aim to prepare CA students to be future citizens and future scientists. Covering every grade and scientific discipline, the standards detail the 21st century scientific skills that students should acquire. 

The standards emphasize “three-dimensional” (3-D) learning, incorporating three different dimensions:Scientific and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Disciplinary Core ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs).

These three dimensions encourage students to see science as more than just a series of isolated facts. Students are encouraged to view science as an interrelated world of inquiry and phenomena, and they learn processes, ideas, and concepts that are relevant to all the sciences.

The NGSS represent a fundamental shift in science education, with a new approach to teaching. Teachers are encouraged to use a range of different strategies to engage students and provide opportunities for them to show what they have learned.

The 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools lists 16 instructional shifts in science education that should be addressed by science programs used to teach the CA NGSS. These instructional shifts are presented in a clear “More of this…” and “Less of this…” format.

When creating Twig Science, we spent a lot of time thinking about these instructional shifts. Because Twig Science was created for the NGSS from the ground up, these instructional shifts are embedded at every level of the program. They’re called out to your students through BLUE and PINK text in their Twig Books.

To help you get to grips with the instructional shifts, we’ve created a simple printable checklist to use as a guide to whether the program you’re looking at will help you implement these instructional shifts in the classroom. Right-click on the image below and select “Save image as…” to download the checklist.

“More of this…” and “Less of this…” statements are quoted directly from the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools, Chapter 11, pp. 5–6.

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