We think so.
At a time when key problems like climate change and vaccine hesitancy call for more citizens to be scientifically literate, we need to change the way science is taught in American schools. Influential national science education standards called the Next Generation Science Standards (the NGSS) can be improved to better meet the needs of young people in a democratic society.
In a discussion white paper on this website we identify four areas in which we believe national science education standards for grades K-12 can and should be improved:
- Include scientific misinformation as a topic for students to study;
- Teach about the key role of scientific institutions in science (e.g., the CDC, the IPCC, the FDA);
- Broaden the view of “scientific literacy” embodied in the standards; and,
- Provide more information for teachers about key principles of teaching and learning.
Read the white paper about important “missing pieces” in the Next Generation Science Standards, and how the standards can be improved, then join the conversation on our blog. On the blog page you can request emails to notify you whenever there is a new post.
The NGSS influences what is in textbooks, how they are reviewed, and questions on high-stakes tests. Additionally, the NGSS affects science education research. For example, we know too little about the teaching of socio-scientific issues (SSI), including the preparation and attitudes of science teachers toward SSI—because SSI is not a priority in the NGSS. Continue reading
The NGSS states that its: “content is focused on preparing students for college and careers.” Yet fewer than half of high school students are likely to earn even a two-year college degree. Meanwhile, all students will use science in the context of societal and personal concerns. Why isn’t that an important goal? Continue reading
At its heart the NGSS is a minimum set of Performance Expectations describing what students should know and be able to do at given grade levels. (Some teachers and students will go beyond them.) But is this an appropriate set of minimum expectations? We provide examples of why we doubt it is. Continue reading