When it comes to the best approach for student learning, there seems to be two very divided camps: those who promote direct instruction and those who favor inquiry. I have been thinking a lot about this issue for several years now and decided to finally write my reflections down, based on 6 years of experience as a science teacher.
Like many members of the ChemEd X community, I am working with colleagues to teach and assess the Next Generation Science Standards in our high school’s general chemistry course. We are invested in engaging our students in Three-Dimensional Learning. This article aims to introduce readers to four of the high-impact shifts in mindset and practices we believe are helping our students learn to be better scientists.
This strategy has been very helpful in establishing relevance to topics taught and in making connections between topics taught within a unit. It also provides a way for students to ask questions and make written explanations of phenomena, which are “Science and Engineering Practices” of NGSS.
Given a guiding question, students determined what they wanted to test, did the experiment and got their CER boards ready for review. Instead of a regular argumentation session, we had a glow and grow session, where students had to provide positive and negative feedback for each board.
In an effort to implement the science and engineering practices of the NGSS, I have tried to introduce argumentation as a practice into my chemistry courses. I share some growing pains and what I have learned through the process in this blog post.
Recent efforts have recognized the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards as the most current research regarding what we know about teaching and learning of science, and have suggested that 3-dimensional (3D) instruction should guide science instruction at not only the K-12 level, but also at the college level.
For the last two years, the district I worked for has been tirelessly working toward curriculum changes that would better line up with the new state science standards. Michigan hasn’t officially adopted NGSS, instead adopting the Michigan Science Standards (based on NGSS). The Michigan Science Standards (MSS) has a lot of similarities with NGSS in terms of how we would teach the content.
This introductory lesson uses a crosscutting concept, structure and function, as a means to model pre-conceptions of a voltaic cell. A phenomena is used to pique curiosity and engage students as they progress through the unit.
NGSS crosscutting concepts and core ideas are intended to be used as evidence to support explanations and arguments. I have found several lists of Chemistry core ideas online, but I don’t think I would give the ones I have seen to my students because they are either too long or written with language that I don’t think is suitable for novice learners of Chemistry. I have compiled a list of the crosscutting concepts and 12 core ideas for high school Chemistry that my students could use to support the explanations and arguments I will be asking them to write.
I attended a professional development session on the NGSS earlier this week by Brett Moulding and Nicole Paulson based on the book they wrote with Rodger Bybee, A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning. The authors propose the “gathering-reasoning-communicating” (GRC) structure as a simplified way of thinking about the Science and Engineering Practices. Reasoning is the keystone of the GRC structure and the primary thing we want science students to be doing. “Gathering” provides the raw materials for reasoning and “communicating” helps us know that reasoning has taken place.