Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

OVERVIEW: The National Academies Press recently released a report on the state of science literacy titled Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. Like all of the NAP documents you can read it FREE in your browser, download for FREE or order a hardcopy (Not FREE).

AUDIENCE: Science teachers, educational researchers, policy makers, administrators, others

PURPOSE: This report provides an overview of the state of science literacy in several areas and provides a number of Conclusions for each area:

  • Science Literacy and Health Literacy
  • Science Literacy in Society and the World
  • Science Literacy for Communities
  • Science Literacy for Individuals

Here is the description from the NAP site:

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science—whether using knowledge or creating it—necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy.

Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well- being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societies—and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting.

Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

LINK:  http://www.nap.edu/catalog/23595/science-literacy-concepts-contexts-and-consequences

What Ever Happened to Scientific Inquiry?

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 7.33.06 PMOVERVIEW: The Midwest Comprehensive Center at American Institutes for Research recently released a report that describes the history of scientific inquiry in the recent decades and its evolution into the science and engineering practices of the NGSS. This report provides a clear background for anyone struggling with the “where is my inquiry?” question as they implement NGSS. This document also provides a key piece of evidence in helping folks move beyond instruction of The Scientific Method.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, administrators, teacher educators, and PD providers

PURPOSE: The report examines trends in science inquiry education over time. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to the report. While the authors of the report reside in the midwest, the findings from the document apply to all areas of the United States.

This report explores the evolving notions of scientific inquiry over time, including how scientific inquiry is currently reflected within the new NRC framework and NGSS. This report also explores the extent to which current trends related to notions of inquiry are reflected in the state science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states. This report centers on the following guiding question:

How is the term “scientific inquiry” currently understood and being used by members of the science education community, particularly in light of the NRC’s A Framework for K– 12 Science Education and the release of the Next Generation Science Standards?

The report is divided into two parts. Part I explores key trends in the use and understanding of the term “scientific inquiry” over time as reflected in prior and current national standards and other related sources. Part II examines the extent to which current notions of inquiry outlined in the NRC framework and NGSS are reflected in the science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states within the Great Lakes and Midwest regions.

LINK: http://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/science/Evolving%20Notions%20of%20Scientific%20Inquiry%20August%202016_EXT%20version.pdf

 

NGSS Example Bundles

OVERVIEW: The NGSS Network has created another support for school systems as we continue to thoughtfully implement the NGSS- Example NGSS Bundles.

You will currently find a Kindergarten, a Middle School and a High School example of how to bundle NGSS PEs for instruction. More bundles will be released in the coming months until we have examples for all K-12 NGSS PEs.

Here is the announcement that was sent out on NGSS Example Bundles today:

Good afternoon,

As you may know, the NGSS Network has been working to develop strategic guidance for curriculum developers as they work to create high-quality, NGSS-aligned instructional materials. As part of this ongoing effort, several teams of expert educators, including many of the NGSS writers, have developed a comprehensive resource that we are pleased to release today.

The NGSS Example Bundles helps explain the process of organizing the standards for coherent instruction and is intended for curriculum developers, including educators in the field and commercial publishers. This new resource features sample demonstrations of NGSS “bundles” for each grade level and, together with the NGSS Example Bundles Guide, can provide greater clarity to curriculum developers as they envision the process of creating the full range of aligned instructional materials that schools and districts need for implementation. 

Looking ahead, the full suite of example bundles will be released in stages over the next few months and will ultimately cover all grade levels. Each release cycle will include information geared toward different grade levels to ensure that curriculum developers for science have a broad set of examples to consider in preparation for the 2016-17 school year. Please share this information with curriculum developers within your immediate and extended network(s).

Finally, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT this evening, some of the experts who helped developed the resource will facilitate a webinar to discuss the principles of bundling standards. If you or someone you know is interested in joining this important discussion, the registration form is available here.

Thank you and please feel free to email us at ngss@achieve.org with any questions. 

Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our monthly newsletter to get all of the latest NGSS updates. 

AUDIENCE: Science curriculum developers, K-12 curriculum supervisors, K-12 teachers and PD providers

PURPOSE: Provide examples and resources for developing thoughtful science learning experiences.

LINK: http://www.nextgenscience.org/resources/bundling-ngss

 

Phenomena for NGSS

OVERVIEW: Phenomena for NGSS is a site where teachers are collaborating to share engaging anchor phenomena for building science units. Currently, you will find a good handful of interesting phenomena in a variety of science domains. Keep an eye on this site as more phenomena are added.

Not sure what we mean by an anchoring phenomena or how to identify one? Check out the 1-pager HERE.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science

PURPOSE: Provide a clearinghouse of example anchoring phenomena for building science instructional units.

LINK: http://www.ngssphenomena.com/

Everybody’s Got Questions (Yup)

It’s been too long since I posted a good science music video… enjoy.

SAIC NGSS Prototype Cluster Minimized Versions

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.48.29 AMOVERVIEW: As most of you know, the Science Assessment Item Collaborative has released two NGSS Item Cluster Prototypes… one for Grade 5 and one for HS. These prototypes are great models to be analyzed, however, the documents are large and unwieldy for use in professional development. Tom Hathorn in the Bethel School District in Washington State has created “brief” versions of the two prototypes for use in professional development… and he was kind enough to share. Feel free to use as you see fit.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, professional development providers, curriculum directors, etc

PURPOSE: For examining the Grade 5 & HS NGSS Item Cluster Prototypes in professional development settings.

LINKsGL5 NGSA prototype brief

HS-NGSA prototype (brief)

Science Educator Survey (WA Only)

The Washington State Regional Science Coordinators are conducting a survey to collect data about the state’s knowledge, perceptions and concerns of the Next Generation Science Standards (Washington State Science Standards 2013) so that professional development can better meet the needs of teachers in the region. The information collected in this survey will be used in designing future professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders around the state.

This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  Please forward this to as many K-12 teachers and administrators within your school district so that we can maximize survey participation.  If you are a district science leader and would like access to the responses from your region/district, please contact your local RSC.  We are happy to share the data as it becomes available.

Please note: This round of data collection will be open from May 9 – June 10.  

Here is a link to the surveyhttp://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2704243/Needs-Assessment-for-Science-PD

Thank you for your time and participation!

Georgia Boatman, ESD 123

Mike Brown, ESD 105

Vickei Hrdina, ESD 112

Scott Killough, ESD 113

Kat Laxton, ESD 121

Michelle LeLanne, ESD 171

Brian MacNevin, ESD 189

Jeff Ryan, ESD 114

Tammie Schrader, ESD 101