Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM


JOHNSON, Roberta, Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222, HOLZER, Margaret, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University and Chatham High School, New Brunswick, NJ and PASSOW, Michael, Earth2Class Workshops at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964,

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are providing science education with opportunities to improve classroom practice and student learning within the domain of Earth and space science education. However, accurate and precise interpretation and implementation are the keys to meeting the goals of NGSS. Through their networks, our national geoscience organizations, like National Earth Science Teachers Association, are well positioned to ensure accuracy and precision is achieved in the interpretation and implementation of the NGSS. Nevertheless there are numerous challenges in designing appropriate resources and professional development aligned with the NGSS. This presentation will highlight the challenges and offer solutions to ensuring NGSS specific professional development will assist teachers and increase student learning.

In the race to "align" instructional materials with the NGSS a rubber stamp must be avoided, and instead, careful vetting is necessary. The Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC, 2011) set the groundwork for the creation of the NGSS, which then melded the three dimensions (science and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas) into the performance expectations within the standards. When instructional materials are aligned, assessment for the explicit integration of all three dimensions must be included if the materials are to be truly aligned. The NGSS team is designing an instructional material alignment rubric to be used in the vetting process. Once the rubric has been created it will be a tool used by anyone creating instructional materials, and once an educator understands how to use the rubric and how to interpret the rubric score, it will increase the likelihood that the NGSS will be implemented with fidelity. As much as it is a challenge to identify instructional materials that "align" with the NGSS, it will be more of a challenge to design and implement appropriate professional development to assist our science educators with the integration of the NGSS into their classrooms.