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  How do I write POMS for science

 

POMPS Instructions

POMS (Points of Most Significance) There is a reading set assigned for each POM. POMS are inspired by an individual reading the set and represent what you think are the most important points made by the authors of a given paper set. Your POMS statements must be carefully written and thoroughly reviewed for clarity and for sense (a matter of whether the statement says what you want it to say and how clearly you have said it).

3 POMS will be written each week regarding each reading set. All 3 POMS will be submitted as an assignment

You will choose one POMS to post to Canvas discussion board and then review and discuss the POMS of a minimum of 2 of your classmates.

Rule 1. NO more than 30 words I will count

Rule 2: State author’s last name and paper number(s)to make your point (These names and numbers will not be counted for the 30 words maximum). [ Ex: (McComas, 2.1)]

Rule 3: Where possible, cite the authors (by using paper numbers rather than APA style) who support or refute a position with which you would like to draw comparisons or conclusions.

Rule 4: POMS should be submitted on a single page. Put your name in the top right corner and the readings set related to the POMS in the top left corner of the page.

Rule 5: When writing a POM you must include multiple authors within the POM. It is all about understanding relationships.

POMPS

Instructions

POMS (Points of Most Significance)

There is a reading set assigned for each POM.

POMS are

inspired by an individual rea

ding the set and represent what you think are the most important

points made

by the authors

of a given paper set. Your POMS statements must be carefully

written and

thoroughly reviewed for clarity and for sense

(a matter of whether the statement

says what

you want it to say and how clearly you have said it).

3 POMS will be written each week regarding each reading set. All 3 POMS will be submitted as

an assignment

You will choose

one

POMS to post to Canvas discussion board and then review and discuss the

POM

S of a minimum of 2 of your classmates.

Rule 1. NO more than 30 words I will count

Rule 2:

State

author’s

last name

and

paper number(s)

to make your point (These names and

numbers will

not

be counted for the 30 words maximum). [ Ex: (McComas, 2.1)]

Rule 3:

Where possible, cite the authors (by using paper numbers rather than APA style) who

support or re

fute a position with which you would like to draw comparisons or conclusions.

Rule 4:

POMS should be submitted on a single page. Put your

name in the top right corner

and the

readings set related to the POMS in the top left corner

of the page.

Rule 5:

When

writing a POM you must include

multiple authors

within the POM. It is all about

understanding relationships.

POMPS Instructions

POMS (Points of Most Significance) There is a reading set assigned for each POM. POMS are

inspired by an individual reading the set and represent what you think are the most important

points made by the authors of a given paper set. Your POMS statements must be carefully

written and thoroughly reviewed for clarity and for sense (a matter of whether the statement

says what you want it to say and how clearly you have said it).

3 POMS will be written each week regarding each reading set. All 3 POMS will be submitted as

an assignment

You will choose one POMS to post to Canvas discussion board and then review and discuss the

POMS of a minimum of 2 of your classmates.

Rule 1. NO more than 30 words I will count

Rule 2: State author’s last name and paper number(s)to make your point (These names and

numbers will not be counted for the 30 words maximum). [ Ex: (McComas, 2.1)]

Rule 3: Where possible, cite the authors (by using paper numbers rather than APA style) who

support or refute a position with which you would like to draw comparisons or conclusions.

Rule 4: POMS should be submitted on a single page. Put your name in the top right corner

and the readings set related to the POMS in the top left corner of the page.

Rule 5: When writing a POM you must include multiple authors within the POM. It is all about

understanding relationships.

THE CHANGING SCIENCE CURRICULUM

D r M arlow E diger
Truman State University

Science, as a curriculum area, has gone
through many changes recently with the on­
coming o f the Common Core State Standards
(CCSS), Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Mathematics (STEM), as well as the Next
Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Science is a pari o f everyday life which
individuals experience. Even the drying up of
a puddle o f water after a rainfall has a defi­
nite scientific explanation. We certainly live
in a world o f science. Science has brought on
tremendous changes in society with improved
medical findings and services thus promoting
a longer and healthier life span for many;
labor saving devices with automation and
hydraulic/electrical devices to perform work;
automatic teller machines for instant access
cash, as well as online banking services;
farming with air conditioned cabs on tractors
and combines, and hydraulic lifts for plowing
and seeding. Heavy manual labor has been
eliminaded or greatly minimized.

A modem science curriculum must be in
the offing for each pupil in the school setting.
This is vital to prepare learners for college as
well as the work place.

Developing the Science Curriculum
Inquiry learning is at the heart of ongo­

ing science lessons and units o f study. This
is opposite o f rote learning. With inquiry
learning, pupils achieve facts, concepts, and
generalizations indepth. Questions raised by
pupils need to be encouraged which stimulate
achievement and aid in the inquiry process.
The identified questions might well lead into
problem solve experiences. Problems here

need to possess clarity so that an ensuing
hypothesis might be developed which is ca­
pable o f being tested. A variety o f experienc­
es provide the testing experience in that the
hypothesis results in being accepted, rejected,
or need o f modification. This takes time to
develop the hypothesis, test it, and assess the
results. The process cannot be hurried since
much data gathering is involved in each o f
these flexible steps (Ediger, 2013).

It becomes necessary to reflect upon the
processes and notice which actions come next
in sequence as well as what needs to be im­
proved upon from previous experiences. Re­
flective thinking is a highly worthwhile goal
for all in the societal realm. It assists one to
review/rehearse previous actions in terms of
making possible revisions. Also, knowledge
and skills are put to use in these situations.

Reflection, too, aids in arriving at what is
truly salient to learn. Structural ideas are poi­
gnant in any academic discipline, science in­
cluded. Structure provides a foundation which
provides support for ensuing objectives being
achieved. New ideas acquired then become
related to the structure. Thus, supporting ideas
or a broadening o f structural content is in the
offing. Supporting ideas provide a firmer struc­
ture since they strengthen the structure.

Experimentation needs to be central in on­
going science lessons and units of study. Pu­
pils with teacher guidance need to be involved
in setting up and doing the experiments. One
variable needs to be tested at a given time
which then eliminates others. The experiment
needs to be clearly visible to all who are par­
ticipating. Learners must hypothesize as to

648

The Changing Science Curriculum / 649

outcomes but not jum p to hasty conclusions.
Careful and meticulous observation is need­
ed. Hindrances to pupil achievement need to
be eliminated so that pupils might focus upon
the objectives. Testing the hypothesis and
reaching accurate conclusions are necessary
to secure valid and reliable results. The exper­
iment or a related one may be done to check
conclusions realized. Subject matter from
other reputable, developmental sources may
also enter in to the discussion. This might well
include basal textbook sources.

When reading science subject matter,
meaning is salient; otherwise it delimits
comprehension. Indepth comprehension is
the major objective o f reading. Pupils need to
be able to verify their answers to questions/
problems when reading content. The science
teacher must be a teacher o f reading to assist
pupils in fluent reading. This involves word
recognition which might cause problems to
selected students. Thus, the teacher needs to
guide pupils in utilizing

• structural analysis in word identi­
fication in that a word given by the
learner for the unknown makes sense
contextually in relationship to sur­
rounding words

• phonics whereby a pupil sounds out
letters in the unknown word to come
up with the correct word.

• picture clues, especially for the young
child in which illustrations appear on
almost every page o f science content.
The illustration may prove the correct
word for the unknown by reading the
related pictures.

• graphs and charts on the page being
read which contain the unknown
word. They can provide much in­
formation on individual words to
be deciphered as well as in general
knowledge related directly to indepth
learning o f subject matter.

For young children, textbook content may
be read collectively with the guidance o f the
science teacher. Thus by following along in
the textbook, the pupil notices each word as
the small group reads aloud. Struggling read­
ers on higher grade levels, too, have benefited
from using this procedure. It avoids embar­
rassment for those who misidentify enough
words to hinder comprehension. The goal is
to aid pupils to become fluent readers, attain
relevant facts, concepts, and generalizations,
as well as develop favorable attitudes toward
science. When working in small groups, pu­
pils may assist each other in word identifica­
tion problems. They might also read aloud the
contents to listeners in a groups o f three to five
or work in dyads with two learners involved.

When working in small groups or the class
as a whole, the following guidelines re poi­
gnant to fo llo w :

• respect the thinking o f contributions
made.

• clarify ideas not understood.

• have all participate, if possible.

• stay on the topic being pursued; do
not stray to the irrelevant.

• no one should dominate the discus­
sion (Ediger and Rao, 2012).

Technology in Science

Technology has much to offer in improv­
ing teaching and learning situations. Its use
should optimize science achievement. Thus,
technology in its diverse forms needs to assist
pupils to

• attain vital objectives o f instruction

• provide for individual differences

• provide guidance in evaluation o f
achievement with validity and reli­
ability in mind.

650 / College Student Journal

References
Ediger, Marlow (2013), “Science-An Indepth Approach,

Connecticut Journal of Science Education, 50 (2),
5-7.

Ediger, Marlow, and D. Bhaskara Rao (2012), Essays
in Teaching Science. New Delhi, India: Discovery
Publishing House.

Copyright of College Student Journal is the property of Project Innovation, Inc. and its
content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the
copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email
articles for individual use.

74 E d u c a t i o n a l l E a d E r s h i p / d E c E m b E r 2 0 1 4 / J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5

T
he need to integrate all
four elements of STEM
takes on urgency with the
advent of the Common
Core State Standards and

the Next Generation Science Stan-
dards (NGSS). Whereas the Common
Core standards promote much greater
attention to technical reading and
writing and emphasize mathematical
modeling, the science standards
explicitly call for more focus on engi-
neering and design and for better
integration of engineering with math-
ematics, science, and technology.

For a nation deeply concerned about
remaining globally competitive—

and raising the scientific, techno-
logical, and quantitative literacy of
its population—these initiatives are
indeed good news. However, realizing
the promise of the Common Core
standards and NGSS won’t be easy.
Despite more than a decade of strong
advocacy by practitioners, employers,
and policymakers, STEM education in
U.S. schools leaves a great deal to be
desired.

In too many schools, science
and math are still taught mostly
in isolation from each other, and
engineering is absent. To be sure, in
a growing number of high schools
and even some middle schools,

a pre- engineering curriculum is
becoming more common. But more
often than not, these engineering
courses are offered as electives without
strong connections to core courses
like physics, algebra, geometry, and
calculus.

Even where STEM offerings are
taking root in a more coherent and
integrated fashion, these courses or
cross-disciplinary projects are rarely
linked to the rest of the core cur-
riculum. Schools aren’t connecting
STEM to English, social studies,
world languages, or the visual and
performing arts. To achieve the cross-
disciplinary vision of the Common

I n t e g r a t i n g

The STEM subjects are too often taught in isolation from one
another—and from the world of work. The Linked Learning

approach is changing that.

Gary Hoachlander

ms et &

Hoachlander.indd 74 10/30/14 7:12 PM

A S C D / w w w . A S C D . o r g 75

Core standards and the deeper
learning sought through NGSS,
schools need a better strategy—one
that nurtures both students’ and
teachers’ understanding of how STEM
knowledge connects to other fields
of knowledge. Such a strategy would
accelerate progress in making high-
quality STEM education an integral
part of U.S. education.

One promising approach that’s
growing rapidly in California and in
cities like Detroit, Michigan; Houston,
Texas; and Rochester, New York, is
Linked Learning: Pathways to College
and Career. This approach transforms
students’ STEM learning by integrating

rigorous academics with career-based
learning and workplace experiences. It
prepares young people for both college
and career, not just one or the other.
And it ignites students’ passions by
giving them meaningful learning expe-
riences organized into career-oriented
pathways in fields like engineering,
health care, digital media, agriculture,
the arts, and law.

What Is Linked Learning?
Students in Linked Learning programs
enroll in a career-themed pathway
and take a four-year (or longer)
program of study focused on content
and skills connected to that career. A

well-designed pathway is more than a
sequence of relevant career and tech-
nical courses. It also includes the full
complement of core academic courses,
work-based learning opportunities,
and support services.

Linked Learning is an old idea
getting a new execution. A century
ago John Dewey advocated learning
through occupations. Theme-based
high schools (like Aviation High
School in New York City), career
academies, and industry-themed small
learning communities have been part
of the U.S. education landscape for
some time. But more often than not,
these opportunities existed in spite

Photos courtesy of hasain rasheed

Students use an endoscopy machine to complete a simulation exercise.

Hoachlander_REV.indd 75 11/5/14 4:26 PM

of the system rather than because of
it. They were products of a few inno­
vative teachers or a visionary principal.
Often when their founders left their
school, their innovations disappeared
as well. In addition, the quality of
design and implementation found in
programs using a career pathways
approach has been uneven at best. Fre­
quently, “academies” or “pathways”
are little more than names super­
imposed on traditional curriculum and
teaching methods.

Linked Learning has two primary
elements that distinguish it from seem­
ingly similar approaches. First, Linked
Learning is specific about what consti­
tutes high­quality pathway design and
implementation. A formal process of
Linked Learning Pathway certification
validates the quality of its programs
and promotes continual improvement.

Although there are different ways to
deliver Linked Learning, every Linked
Learning pathway must offer students
a comprehensive, multiyear program
of study consisting of four compo­
nents: (1) academic core courses
in English, social studies, science,
mathematics, world language, and art
that emphasize real­world application
in the industry that is the pathway’s
theme; (2) a cluster of three or more
technical courses that deliver chal­
lenging technical knowledge and
skill (and, where appropriate, enable
students to obtain a formal industry
certification); (3) work­based learning
that gives students a chance to interact
and solve real­world problems with
working adults; and (4) personalized
student supports that include college
and career counseling and supple­
mental instruction in reading, writing,
and mathematics.

Supporting this basic framework is
a set of Linked Learning quality cri­
teria that teachers and school leaders
use to strengthen their pathways and

prepare for formal certification. When
a pathway team believes it’s ready for
certification review, a team of trained
reviewers uses a rubric to evaluate that
pathway.

Validating pathway quality is nec­
essary but not sufficient to ensure
that these kinds of opportunities are
available to ever larger numbers of
students and that Linked Learning
programs don’t become islands of
excellence serving small numbers
of kids. The second distinguishing
feature of Linked Learning, therefore,
is a commitment to implement the
approach systematically throughout the
school district and community sur­
rounding a school that adopts Linked
Learning. Districts must engage a wide

range of stakeholders to create and
sustain a menu of high­quality Linked
Learning pathways that are accessible
to any student who wants this educa­
tional opportunity.

It’s worth emphasizing that adopting
a districtwide system of pathways
doesn’t necessarily mean every school
in the district must offer pathways. Nor
does it mean that pathways displace
all other instructional approaches. It
does mean, however, that the district is
committed to making pathways acces­
sible to any student who wants this
experience and that Linked Learning
is an integral—and sustainable—
approach within the district.

Schools that aren’t ready to create
formal Linked Learning pathways can
benefit from adopting some of the
approach’s features, particularly rich,
standards­based multi disciplinary
projects that stress real­world appli­
cation and let students engage with
working adults around authentic
problems. Similarly, opportunities
to participate in internships with
employers engaged in STEM­intensive
work can help motivate students
and deepen their understanding of
why STEM matters and how it’s used
outside the classroom.

However, schools taking this less
comprehensive approach should use
caution. It’s easy to fall into the trap
of creating projects simply because
they’re more engaging for students
(and teachers!) without paying careful
attention to the standards and other
learning objectives that projects
should be designed to advance. Simi­
larly, work­based learning experiences
are most effective when, by design,
they intentionally and immediately
reinforce knowledge and skills that are
part of students’ classroom experience.
Isolated internships, while not without
value, don’t have the integrative power
of high­quality Linked Learning.

76 E d u c a t i o n a l l E a d E r s h i p / d E c E m b E r 2 0 1 4 / J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5

You look at science (or at

least talk of it) as some sort of

demoralizing invention of man,

something apart from real life,

and which must be cautiously

guarded and kept separate from

everyday existence.

But science and everyday life

cannot and should not

be separated.

—Rosalind Franklin
Quoted in The Dark Lady of DNA

by Brenda Maddox

[

B
e

R
a

d
/s

h
u

t
t
e

R
s

t
o

c
k

Hoachlander.indd 76 10/30/14 7:12 PM

A S C D / w w w . A S C D . o r g 77

How Does This Approach
Advance STEM?
Although it doesn’t exclusively
promote STEM learning, Linked
Learning offers pathways in many
STEM-related fields, including archi-
tecture, construction, and engineering;
agriculture and natural resources; bio-
medical and health sciences; advanced
manufacturing; digital media arts;
health professions; and information
technology. Because every Linked
Learning pathway must incorporate
all core academic subjects and connect
them to real-world applications, even
pathways in less STEM-dominated
fields—such as law or hospitality—
provide opportunities to enhance stu-
dents’ STEM learning.

For example, in a high school
offering Linked Learning pathways in
both information technology and law
and justice, courses in the law and
justice pathway might emphasize the
growing complexities surrounding
the protection of intellectual property
in technology fields, such as patents
on software designs or coding
sequences—issues crucial to the
advancement of STEM in the United
States.

Such infusion of STEM throughout
the curriculum happens at the School
of Engineering and Sciences (SES) in
Sacramento Unified School District
in California, which offers a Linked
Learning pathway on engineering
and design for its 7th through 12th
graders. The school’s mantra is “Build,
innovate, and design!” Starting in 7th
grade, students must take engineering
and design-related courses every year,
along with core academic courses and
requisite math and science courses
that use multidisciplinary project-
based learning. For high school stu-
dents, the course sequence includes
early college opportunities in collabo-
ration with Sacramento City College

and Sacramento State University.
The school also scaffolds an

increasingly rich series of work-based
learning opportunities connected to
STEM fields. These experiences start
with mentoring and job shadowing
and evolve into internships and
project-based learning opportunities
that have local employers guiding and
evaluating student work.

The School of Engineering and
Sciences is one of several Linked
Learning pathways available to stu-
dents throughout the Sacramento
district. Students less attracted to engi-
neering might attend Arthur A. Ben-
jamin Health Professions High School
(HPHS), which organizes teaching
and learning around careers in health
care. Courses are as STEM-oriented as
those at the School of Engineering and
Sciences, but they focus more on com-
munity health, disease, biophotonics,
and epidemiology. Once a week, both
students and teachers wear scrubs as
a reminder of their commitment to

organize teaching and learning around
the health professions.

Many other California districts use
Linked Learning to offer students a
rich menu of STEM-related pathways.
For instance, Long Beach Unified has
adopted a resolution that by 2016,
90 percent of its high school students
will be enrolled in certified Linked
Learning pathways that include
architecture, construction, and engi-
neering; media and communica-
tions; GREEN (Generating Respect
for Earth, the Environment, and
Nature); and QUEST (Questioning,
Understanding, and Engaging Success
through Technology). In Antioch
Unified School District, students at
two of the comprehensive high schools
can follow pathways in Engineering
and Designing a Green Environment;
Environmental Studies; Leadership
and Public Service; Media Technology;
Law and Justice; or Biotechnology—
or they can attend the theme-based
Dozier-Libbey Medical High School.

A roller coaster project demonstrated the laws of motion and energy in a physics class.

Hoachlander.indd 77 10/30/14 7:12 PM

78 E d u c a t i o n a l l E a d E r s h i p / d E c E m b E r 2 0 1 4 / J a n u a r y 2 0 1 5

In Michigan, Detroit now has eight
Linked Learning high schools, offering
pathways in engineering, health pro-
fessions, and information technology,
to name a few. In Texas, Houston
Independent School District is on
track to deliver Linked Learning in all
its high schools.

Linked Learning
and the Standards
Linked Learning and the implemen-
tation of the Common Core State Stan-
dards and Next Generation Science
Standards are not competing initia-
tives. On the contrary, if the Common

Core and the science standards rep-
resent what students need to know
and be able to do, Linked Learning
provides a strategy for teaching this
essential knowledge and skills.

Linked Learning not only
strengthens STEM instruction in
traditional science and mathematics
courses, but also provides a framework
and rationale for developing more
comprehensive programs of study.
These programs not only include
cutting-edge STEM-focused courses
(such as in information technology
or bio medicine and health), but also
encourage incorporation of STEM
content into core academic sub-
jects. Schools will need such course
strengthening and integration of STEM
instruction to help all students master

these demanding standards.
Here’s an example from the Digital

Media Arts Pathway at Hollywood
High in the Los Angeles Unified
School District. Three years ago, all
seniors in this pathway were charged
with creating and producing a short
video trailer that they would use to
pitch a full-length documentary to
Hollywood studio executives. They
worked on the project in teams
throughout their senior year.

One group of students made a trailer
for a documentary on the history of
racial discrimination in Los Angeles
public schools. To inform their work,

they read writings by James Baldwin
for their English class and studied
Brown v. Board of Education and
other court cases in social studies
class—but they also drew on STEM-
related knowledge to improve their
product. In physics, they studied the
properties of light and optics and how
they affect exposure, depth of field,
white balance, and other aspects of
producing images with still and video
cameras. In their videography class,
they learned about design, lighting,
sound, and using digital technologies
for editing. Perhaps most important,
they learned that iterative revision
leads to an increasingly polished
product.

Eventually, the group pitched
its three-minute trailer to the vice

president of MTV. When I asked
them what was the most important
thing this executive told them about
their trailer, they all replied, “Spelling
matters!” Their teacher noted that
she tells the students this all the time,
but it didn’t sink in until they heard it
from an industry professional.

This example highlights another
way approaches like Linked Learning
make it more likely students will
master STEM skills. By connecting
STEM-related course content to expe-
riences found in the work world, the
approach gives teachers an answer
to students’ frequent—and fair—
question, “Why do we need to know
this?”

Part of the Fabric
If schools continue to teach STEM
content in isolation from the rest of
core academic and technical cur-
riculum—and fail to link that content
to the work done in STEM-related
occupations—we’ll continue to mar-
ginalize STEM. Conceptually and prac-
tically, STEM is part of the rich fabric
of curriculum, teaching, and everyday
life. We need an approach to schooling
that communicates that fact—and cel-
ebrates it. EL

Author’s note: Schools and districts
interested in formally adopting the
Linked Learning approach should
contact Brad Stam at ConnectEd ([email protected]
connectedcalifornia.org). Many of the
resources needed to plan and implement
a menu of pathways are available free on
Connect Ed’s website (www.connected
california.org) or through Connect Ed
Studios (www.connectedstudios.org),
an online platform supporting Linked
Learning.

Gary Hoachlander ([email protected]
connectedcalifornia.org) is president
at Connect Ed: The California Center
for College and Career in Berkeley,
California.

If the standards represent what students
need to know and be able to do, Linked
Learning provides a strategy for teaching
this essential knowledge and skills.

Hoachlander.indd 78 10/30/14 7:12 PM

Copyright of Educational Leadership is the property of Association for Supervision &
Curriculum Development and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or
posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users
may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

Common Science Standards Are Slow to Catch On in States
Preoccupation with implementing the common core is an oft-cited obstacle

By Liana Heitin

All 26 states that teamed up to
help develop the Next Generation
Science Standards committed to
seriously consider adopting them.
But nine months after the K-12
standards were finaHzed, only eight
of those “lead state partners” have
formally signed on, including Cali-
fornia, Kentucky, and Maryland.
(The District of Columbia also has
adopted them.)

The national pace of adoption
contrasts with that for the Com-
mon Core State Standards, which
were approved in rapid succession
by most states in the months after
they were finalized. Proponents of
the new science standards, however,
emphasize that the speed of adop-
tion across the country is on par
with what the/d expected.

Some states say they’re tied up
with implementation of the com-
mon-core standards for mathemat-
ics and English/language arts, and
are hesitant to effect more instruc-
tional chiinge anytime soon.

In other states, such as Minnesota
and Arizona, legislative restrictions
have slowed the adoption process.

How widespread the standards be-
come remains to be seen. The hope
of organizers from the outset was
that most states would ultimately
embrace the new science standards,
which emphasize science concepts
and processes and ask students to
apply their knowledge through sci-
entific experiments, investigations,
and engineering design.

“I think it will take a couple of
years—I always thought it would
take two to three years—but I’m
very optimistic the majority of
states will adopt,” said David L.
Evans, the executive director of the
National Science Teachers Associa-
tion, which was a partner in devel-
oping the standards.

Just last week the state board of
education in Illinois voted to ap-
prove the standards, though a leg-
islative review is required before
adoption is official.

However, some non-lead states are
sending signals that adoption is im-
likely. For example, in South CaroHna,
the legislature took formal steps last
summer to block adoption outright.

‘Sucking Up’ the Oxygen

One reason that formal action on
the science standards is happening
more slowly than with the common
core is the lack of federal incentives,
said Stephen L. Pruitt, a senior vice
president at Achieve, a Washington-
based research and advocacy group
that oversaw the science standards’
development. The federal Race to
the Top program favored states
that had adopted the common core
or other college- and career-ready
standards. There are no similar fi-
nancial incentives in place for the
science standards.

“We knew going into this that it
would be a much slower adoption
than the common core,” Mr. Pruitt
sedd. “States have their hands full.

We applaud states for taking their
time and doing their due diligence.”

Between writing curricula, provid-
ing professional development, and
preparing for the impending assess-
ments, states—and especially teach-
ers—do have a lot on their plates.

Brian J. Reiser, a professor of
learning sciences at Northwestern
University in Evanston, 111., said,
“I’m hearing from a lot of states,
‘We want to make sure we have the
common core solid under our belts
and that our teachers are more com-
fortable and further along and then
well jump into science.’ ”

Paul CotÜe, a physics professor at

for the state education department,
said in an email that “due to the
review of the current English/lan-
guage arts and mathematics stan-
dards, the review process for the sci-
ence standards has been delayed.”

The state has also undergone a
leadership change: Tony Bennett
resigned as education commissioner
last summer after a school-grading
controversy from his tenure in In-
diana came to Hght. In addition, the
state board of education’s vice chair-
man, John Padget, said at a board
meeting in June that he wants to
strengthen Florida’s standards, but
would not recommend replacing

cannot revise its standards again
until the 2017-18 school year, a state
official said.

Little Public Debate

Interestingly, there’s been less pub-
lic back-and-forth so far about the
content of the science standards than
has been the case with the common
core, even given the hot-button poHti-
cal issues—including the teaching of
climate change and evolution—em-
bedded in the standards.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute,
a Washington-based think tank that
is a staimch advocate of the common

• “Lead state partners” in developing the
Next Generation Science Standards

•’Sfafes that have adopted the standards

SOURCES: Achieve; Education Week

WHERE STATES STAND
The Next Generation Science
Standards were issued in April.
Since then, eight states and
the District of Columbia have
adopted them.

Florida State University in Tallahas-
see, put it more bluntly in an email:
“Common core seems to be sucking
up all of the educational oxygen.”

Even those states that have ad-
opted are moving slowly with imple-
mentation.

Matt D. Krehbiel, a science educa-
tion consultant for the education de-
partment in Kansas, where the stan-
dards were approved in June, said
the transition to the new standards
win take three to four years, and even
then wül be an ongoing process.

“We’re really encouraging districts
to take their time,” he said. Among
other states that have adopted, he
added, “If there’s a general theme, it’s
that folks are really encouraging a
slow approach.”

Though not a lead state, Florida
submitted comments on early drafts
of the standards and was expected
to seriously consider adoption. How-
ever, Cheryl Etters, a spokeswoman

them with the Next Generation Sci-
ence Standards.

In Pennsylvania, another non-lead
state, a spokesman for the state de-
partment of education said there
were no plans to adopt the standards.

Kathy Hrabluk, an associate su-
perintendent in the Arizona Depart-
ment of Education, said schools and
districts are “now very focused in
Arizona on implementation of the
college- and career-ready standards.
… We’re very conscious about making
sure we don’t completely overwhelm
educators.”

For some states, specific legislative
or regulatory processes are holding
up action on the new standards.

In Tennessee, which was a lead
state, the science standards are not
up for revision for another year. North
Carolina’s current science standards
have only been in place for one year,
said Beverly Vance, the section chief
for science and curriculum instruction
at the state education department.

“We win not be adopting [the Next
Generation Science Standards] in the
near future—definitely not for the
2014-15 school year,” she said.

Minnesota is in the unusual posi-
tion of having a formal state statute
that governs the standards adoption
schedule. Based on that, the state

core, has been a leading critic of the
science standards. But as the group’s
executive vice president, Michael J.
Petrilli explains, its opposition is
based mainly on a belief that the
standards overemphasize behaviors
and give short shrift to science con-
tent knowledge.

“There’s not enough focus on con-
tent. … The standards seem to go out
of their way to downplay the knowl-
edge,” he said.

Last June, the group issued a re-
port giving the science stsmdards a
C grade. The report concluded that
the standards in 12 states and the
District of Columbia are “clearly su-
perior.”

But Mr. Reiser of Northwestern re-
futes Fordham’s characterization of
the standards. The new science stan-
dards require “a greater attention to
the content based on what decades
of research says about the best way
to help kids understand ideas,” he
said. “No one that understeinds the
Next Generation Science Standards
would say the point is to emphasize
practice and not content.”

Regarding the lack of resistance
to the science standards, Mr. Petrilli
said, “It’s surprising how Httle noise
there’s been.”

At the same time, Mr. PetrüH said

that with the common core, “the
backlash came much later. I wonder
if with the science standards it’s the
same thing. The folks most Hkely to
be opposed to these things haven’t
spoken up now, but perhaps the)^
speak up a few years from now,” when
more states begin implementation.

But at least a few states have
waylaid adoption because of con-
cerns over the standsirds’ content.
The South CaroHna General Assem-
bly recently passed a proviso that
expressly prohibits adoption of the
Next Generation Science Standards.
Dino Teppara, a spokesman for the
education department, wrote in an
email, “As the current S.C. science
standards received an A- from the
Fordham Foimdation and are held
up as a national model, many mem-
bers of the General Assembly were
concerned about adopting standards
that were not up to the same level.”

Ms. Hrabluk of the Arizona edu-
cation department explained that,
in response to teachers’ feedback,
her state is working to break up the
standards, which are grouped by
grades 6-8 and 9-12, into the spe-
cific objectives that will be taught
at individual grade levels. In terms
of adoption, she said, “the most ac-
celerated timeline would be 2014-
15, but we don’t have a definitive
timeHne yet.”

The science standards will also
require the development of new
assessment tools. The National
Research Council released a report
in December laying out a vision
for the science assessments, which
Ms. Hrabluk said was later than
expected and has pushed back the
timeline for building the tests.

Professional Development

Despite the holdups and naysayers,
proponents of the science standards
are confident theĵ ll see widespread
adoption down the road.

Mr. Evans from the National Sci-
ence Teachers Association said he’s
optimistic, and sees great enthusiasm
for the standards among educators.

“Science teachers everjwhere are
really cormecting with the Next Gen-
eration Science Standards—they’re
looking at the new standards and
looking at the research behind them
and changing the way they teach,”
he said.

Mr. Reiser said he has been provid-
ing professional development on the
science standards for teachers already,
including in states such as Illinois
that have not yet adopted them.

Even Mr. Petrilli anticipates the
adoption numbers will rise sub-
stantially.

“If conservatives don’t get orga-
nized, I think we’re going to see these
standards in half the states, includ-
ing in states that would have been
better off sticking with their stan-
dards,” he said.

Coverage of informal and school-based
science education, human-capital
management, and multiple-pathways-
linked learning is supported by a grant
from the Noyce Foundation, at www.
noycefdn.org. Education Week retains
sole editorial control over the content
of this coverage.

6 ! EDUCATION WEEK 1 January 29, 2014 i www.edweek.org

Copyright of Education Week is the property of Editorial Projects in Education Inc. and its
content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the
copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email
articles for individual use.

19 APRIL 2013 VOL 340 SCIENCE www.sciencemag.org 276

EDUCATIONFORUM

I

magine that politicians and the people they

represent understood how human activity

impacts Earth, including climate. And

imagine that they had learned how to evaluate

claims, argue from evidence, and understand

models. These understandings and practices

are prominent in the U.S. National Research

Council (NRC) framework to guide the next

iteration of standards for U.S. elementary and

secondary school students ( 1). We discuss

how aspects such as authorship, coordina-

tion among subject areas, and broader goals

of college and career readiness give reason to

believe that this effort will be more success-

ful than previous attempts to use standards to

improve science education ( 2).

Concurrent development in English Lan-

guage Arts (ELA) (“literacy”) and Mathemat-

ics, under the Common Core State Standards

(CCSS) ( 3, 4), has provided the opportunity

to build on the strengths of these literacy and

math documents from a science education

perspective. Closely following the CCSS, the

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

are being developed by Achieve, a nonprofi t

organization, working directly with 26 lead

states ( 5). This structure acknowledges that

the standards will be adopted and imple-

mented at the state level.

Past educational standards were devel-

oped by professional organizations on behalf

of scientists and educators and in different

subject areas independently, yielding more

material than any K–12 school system (kin-

dergarten to high school) could teach well ( 6,

7). Now there is a call for “fewer, clearer, and

higher” standards ( 8).

Building on Literacy and Math

The CCSS focus not only on what it will

take to become a successful student in higher

education but also a successful employee.

Broadening the scope in this way, skills and

abilities that support civic participation are

explicit in the standards. Reading standards

give earlier and more extensive treatment of

informational text than in the past. This is

echoed in the writing standards; “The abil-

ity to write logical arguments based on sub-

stantive claims, sound reasoning, and rele-

vant evidence is a cornerstone” ( 9). Writing

standards include in-depth research with an

emphasis on analysis and presentation. Stan-

dards for speaking and listening include

“Integrate multiple sources of information

presented in diverse formats and media (e.g.,

visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to

make informed decisions and solve prob-

lems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy

of each source and noting any discrepancies

among the data” ( 3).

We see a similar emphasis on reasoning

and problem-solving in the math standards.

Comparisons with high-performing countries

fi nd that spending more time on fewer topics

gets better results. Thus, the math standards

emphasize focus and coherence rather than

covering topics in a curriculum that is a “mile

wide and an inch deep” ( 10). Greater depth in

each topic comes from students’ development

of mathematical expertise defi ned by eight

standards for mathematical practice.

The math standards take an overdue

step toward greater synergy with science by

introducing modeling in secondary grades.

The math standards defi ne modeling as “the

process of choosing and using appropriate

mathematics and statistics to analyze empiri-

cal situations, to understand them better, and

to improve decisions” ( 4). The elaboration of

the basic modeling cycle resonates with the

Opportunities and Challenges
in Next Generation Standards

SCIENCE EDUCATION

E. K. Stage, 1 * H. Asturias, 1 T. Cheuk, 2 P. A. Daro, 3 S. B. Hampton 3

Goals for literacy, math, and science education

may increase citizens’ capacity to argue from

evidence.

Math

ELA

Science

M1. Make sense of problems
and persevere in solving them
M2. Reason abstractly and
quantitatively
M6. Attend to precision
M7. Look for and make use
of structure
M8. Look for and express
regularity in repeated
reasoning

S2. Develop and use models
M4. Model with mathematics
S5. Use mathematics and
computational thinking

S1. Ask questions and
define problems
S3. Plan and carry out
investigations
S4. Analyze and interpret data
S6. Construct explanations and
design solutions

E2. Build a strong base of
knowledge through content-rich
texts
E5. Read, write, and speak
grounded in evidence
M3 and E4. Construct viable
arguments and critique
reasoning of others
S7. Engage in argument from
evidence

E1. Demonstrate independence in reading complex texts
and in writing and speaking about them
E7. Come to understand other perspectives and cultures
through reading, listening, and collaborations

S8. Obtain,
evaluate, and
communicate
information
E3. Obtain,
synthesize, and
report findings
clearly and
effectively in
response to task
and purpose

E6. Use technology
and digital media
strategically and
capably
M5. Use appropriate
tools strategically

Relations and convergences in literacy (3), math (4), and science and engineering (1) practices.
Adapted from ( 12).

*Corresponding author. [email protected]

1Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. 2Graduate School of Education,
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. 3National
Center on Education and the Economy, Washington, DC
20006, USA.

Published by AAAS

www.sciencemag.org SCIENCE VOL 340 19 APRIL 2013 277

EDUCATIONFORUM

writing standards and with the science prac-

tices, e.g., “(5) validating the conclusions

by comparing them with the situation, and

then either improving the model or, if it is

acceptable, (6) reporting on the conclusions

and the reasoning behind them. Choices,

assumptions, and approximations are pres-

ent throughout this cycle” ( 4).

Literacy and math standards include prac-

tices that are challenging to teach in science

without support from teachers of other sub-

jects. Standards for Speaking and Listening

include, “Evaluate a speaker’s point of view,

reasoning, and use of evidence and rheto-

ric” ( 3). Standards for Mathematical Practice

include, “Construct viable arguments and

critique the reasoning of others” ( 4).

Operationalizing Inquiry
In this promising context, science standards

have been drafted, working from the NRC

framework, that operationalized “inquiry”

with eight practices of science and engineer-

ing: (i) asking questions and defi ning prob-

lems; (ii) developing and using models; (iii)

planning and carrying out investigations; (iv)

analyzing and interpreting data; (v) using

mathematics and computational thinking;

(vi) constructing explanations and designing

solutions; (vii) engaging in argument from

evidence; and (viii) obtaining, evaluating,

and communicating information ( 2).

The framework attempted to narrow the

number of core disciplinary ideas, although

reviewers of draft science standards have

said that the volume of content undermines

the sense making required by the practices

( 11). The framework retained the idea of

crosscutting concepts (e.g., structure and

function, stability and change of systems),

and argued that practices, core disciplinary

ideas, and crosscutting concepts should not

be taught or assessed separately from each

other. Each draft science performance expec-

tation incorporates one or more disciplinary

idea, practice, and/or crosscutting concept.

These performance expectations also cross-

reference the literacy and math standards;

the convergence is shown in the chart ( 12).

Science educators have decried the com-

mon practice of reading textbooks instead

of doing investigations; the former is still

alive and well ( 13). Literacy educators are

concerned about increased emphasis on

informational text in the CCSS ( 14). It is

time to embrace the coherence and learning

that can be achieved by making meaning-

ful connections between and among direct

experience with science and engineering

practices and reading, writing, speaking,

and listening ( 15).

What’s Next?
Forty-fi ve states have adopted the CCSS.

If a substantial number of states adopt the

NGSS, it increases the likelihood that devel-

opers and publishers of instructional and

assessment materials will focus on creat-

ing a common set of tools, at least at ele-

mentary and middle grades. If colleges and

universities accept high school courses that

are based on the standards and the College

Board continues to revise the Advanced

Placement syllabi, high schools are more

likely to follow them.

In addition to suff icient time and

resources for educators and parents to learn

how to support these more ambitious expec-

tations, there are several challenges that sci-

entists, educators, and policy-makers should

consider. Advocates for high-quality science

education for all students need to participate

in conversations at the local and state level

where educational policy is enacted. Scien-

tists from higher education, research organi-

zations, and corporations infl uence science

education and can align their contributions

with educational goals in the standards.

Historically, the United States has pro-

vided limited opportunity to learn science

to most of its students and advanced training

to a privileged few, focusing on the pipeline

for future scientists and innovators without

concomitant attention to a science literacy

for citizenship. The system needs to be trans-

formed to affi rm high standards of accom-

plishment for all students and to provide

resources for all students to reach them ( 8).

Although the literacy and math standards

were widely adopted, and 26 states have served

as partners in developing NGSS, momentum

may be slowing; some states may reject the

NGSS because of the inclusion of evolution

and climate change ( 16). The National Center

for Science Education, a defender of teach-

ing evolution for more than three decades,

broadened its mission to include the defense

of teaching climate science.

Science education benef its from the

learning sciences; scientists interested in

the most effective teaching of science need

to learn from education research. Formal

schooling has been criticized as ineffective

at motivating and inspiring students ( 17)

and inadequate at recognizing the relation

between interest and accomplishment ( 18).

The NGSS can provide a platform for for-

mal education to become more motivating.

Many people are inspired by science in infor-

mal settings; parallel attention to the NGSS

can contribute to “a wide-ranging and thriv-

ing ecosystem of opportunities that respond

to the needs of children as well as commu-

nities” ( 19). Education and public outreach

activities associated with research grants,

whether in or out of school, should pro-

vide both preparation and inspiration. Local

school districts, after-school providers, and

informal science institutions need to create

a coherent strategy for the regional science

learning ecosystem.

This new round of standards develop-

ment is an opportunity to improve science

education that comes around once for each

generation. We need to inform ourselves,

f igure out whether and how we want to

get involved, and be intentional about our

participation.

References
1. Board on Science Education, National Research Council

(NRC), A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Prac-
tices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (National
Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2011).

2. National Academy of Engineering and Committee on
Standards for K–12 Engineering Education, NRC, K-12
Standards for Engineering? (National Academies Press,
Washington, DC, 2010).

3. Center for Best Practices, National Governors Associa-
tion (NGA), and Council of Chief State School Offi cers,
Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
(NGA, Washington, DC, 2010); www.corestandards.org/
ELA-Literacy.

4. Center for Best Practices, NGA, and Council of Chief State
School Offi cers, Common Core State Standards for Mathe-
matics (NGA, Washington, DC, 2010); www.corestandards.
org/Math.

5. Next Generation Science Standards, www.nextgenscience.
org/next-generation-science-standards.

6. American Association for the Advancement of Science,
Project 2061, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Oxford
Univ. Press, New York, 1993).

7. National Committee for Science Education Standards and
Assessment, NRC, National Science Education Standards
(National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 1996).

8. Commission on Mathematics and Science Education,
The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics

and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global

Economy (Carnegie Corporation of New York, New York,
2009).

9. Common Core, www.corestandards.org/about-the-stan-
dards/key-points-in-english-language-arts.

10. W. H. Schmidt, C. C. McKnight, S. A. Raizen, A Splintered
Vision: An Investigation of U.S. Science and Mathemat-

ics Education (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA,
1997).

11. J. Coffey, B. Alberts, Science 339, 489 (2013).
12. T. Cheuk, Comparison of the three content standards:

CCSS-ELA, CCSS-Mathematics, and NGSS (2012); http://
ell.stanford.edu/content/science.

13. E. R. Banilower et al., Report of the 2012 National
Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (Horizon
Research, Chapel Hill, NC, 2013)

14. C. Gewertz, Educ. Week 32(12), S2 (2012).
15. P. D. Pearson, E. Moje, C. Greenleaf, Science 328, 459

(2010).
16. E. W. Robelen, Educ. Week 32(19), 13 (2013).
17. C. Weiman, Issues Sci. Technol. 2012 (Fall) (2012).
18. R. H. Tai, C. Qi Liu, A. V. Maltese, X. Fan, Science 312,

1143 (2006).
19. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technol-

ogy, Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America’s

Future (Offi ce of the President, Washington, DC, 2010).

10.1126/science.1234011

Published by AAAS

Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent of the
Next Generation Science Standards

Joseph Krajcik • Susan Codere • Chanyah Dahsah •

Renee Bayer • Kongju Mun

Published online: 15 March 2014

� The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com

Abstract The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Educa-
tion and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States in Next Gen-

eration Science Standards: For states, by states. The National Academies Press,

Washington, 2013) move teaching away from covering many isolated facts to a

focus on a smaller number of disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) and crosscutting

concepts that can be used to explain phenomena and solve problems by engaging in

science and engineering practices. The NGSS present standards as knowledge-in-

use by expressing them as performance expectations (PEs) that integrate all three

dimensions from the Framework for K-12 Science Education. This integration of

core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts is referred to as three-dimensional

learning (NRC in Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. The

National Academies Press, Washington, 2014). PEs state what students can be

assessed on at the end of grade level for K-5 and at the end of grade band for 6–8

and 9–12. PEs do not specify how instruction should be developed nor do they serve

as objectives for individual lessons. To support students in developing proficiency in

the PEs, the elements of the DCIs will need to be blended with various practices and

crosscutting concepts. In this paper, we examine how to design instruction to

support students in meeting a cluster or ‘‘bundle’’ of PEs and how to blend the three

dimensions to develop lesson level PEs that can be used for guiding instruction. We

Dr. Dahsah is a visiting professor at Michigan State University. Her home institution is Srinakharinwirot

University in Bangkok, Thailand.

J. Krajcik (&) � C. Dahsah � R. Bayer � K. Mun
CREATE for STEM Institute, College of Natural Science and College of Education, Michigan State

University, East Lansing, MI, USA

e-mail: [email protected]

S. Codere

Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, Michigan Department of Education, Lansing, MI,

USA

123

J Sci Teacher Educ (2014) 25:157–175

DOI 10.1007/s10972-014-9383-2

provide a ten-step process and an example of that process that teachers and cur-

riculum designers can use to design lessons that meet the intent of the Next Gen-

eration of Science Standards.

Keywords Framework for K-12 Science Education � Next Generation
Science Standards � Performance expectations � Disciplinary core ideas �
Science and engineering practices � Crosscutting concepts

Dimensions Working Together

The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC,

2012) put forth a new vision of science education where students engage in science

and engineering practices to develop and use disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) and

crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena and solve problems. These three

dimensions work together to help students build an integrated understanding of a

rich network of connected ideas. The more connections developed, the greater the

ability of students to solve problems, make decisions, explain phenomena, and make

sense of new information.

The Framework for K-12 Science Education serves as the foundation for the Next

Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Together, the Framework

and NGSS have fundamentally changed the focus of science education. In

particular, they call for moving away from learning content and inquiry in isolation

to building knowledge in use—building and applying science knowledge.

The Framework and NGSS move teaching away from coverage of many isolated

facts to a focus on a smaller number of DCIs and crosscutting concepts that can be

used to explain phenomena and solve problems by engaging in science and

engineering practices. This integration of core ideas, practices, and crosscutting

concepts is referred to as three-dimensional learning (NRC, 2014). DCIs are central

to each science field as they provide explanatory power for a host of phenomena. As

such, DCIs guide scientists and learners in observing, thinking, explaining

phenomena, solving problems, and asking and finding answers to new questions.

In chemistry, the core idea matter and its interactions explains the diversity of

materials that exist. In biology, evolution serves to explain the diversity and

relationship among all living organisms. Crosscutting concepts serve as intellectual

tools for connecting important ideas across all science disciplines. For example, all

scientists seek to find patterns in data and cause and effect relationships. Science

and engineering practices are the multiple ways in which scientists and engineers

describe the natural and designed worlds. The science and engineering practices

build on what we know about inquiry to focus on students asking questions or

refining problems, investigating and analyzing data, constructing models, and

arguing based on evidence to build and refine explanations to understand the world.

All three dimensions—DCIs, science and engineering practices and crosscutting

concepts—serve as tools to build understanding. When the dimensions are blended

and work together, like strands of a rope, learning is stronger.

158 J. Krajcik et al.

123

Teachers and administrators must recognize that the NGSS call for a shift away

from teaching facts, to students constructing explanations of phenomena (Reiser,

2013). By using science and engineering practices in conjunction with DCIs and

crosscutting concepts, students build a rich network of connected ideas that serves

as a conceptual tool for explaining phenomena, solving problems and making

decisions. This network of ideas also serves as the framework for learners to acquire

new ideas.

Building Standards from the Dimensions

For a long time, the science education community has talked about the importance

of using inquiry in instruction to support students in learning content. But research

shows that it actually works in both directions (NRC, 2007, 2012). If we want

students to learn the content, they have to engage in the practice. But if we want

students to learn the science and engineering practice, then they have to engage in

content. Leave one out, and students will not develop proficiency in the other. If we

want students to use content, problem-solve, think critically and make statements

based on evidence, then we must have all three dimensions working together,

linking practice with content. This is the new vision for science teaching and

learning painted by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, solidly supported

by education research.

To support this vision, the Framework committee recommended (Recommen-

dation 5) that standards should be structured as performance expectations (PEs) that

blend the three dimensions together in a manner that requires students to

demonstrate knowledge in use (NRC, 2012). This structure is the foundation that

forms the architecture of the NGSS. The NGSS writing committee used this

architecture and blended together DCIs, science and engineering practices, and

crosscutting concepts to form PEs. An example of a performance expectation (MS-

PS1-5) from the middle school topic Chemical Reactions is the following:

Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not

change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.

Notice that the performance expectation includes a science and engineering

practice, develop and use a model, and an element of a disciplinary core idea, the

total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is

conserved. The crosscutting concept in this case is implicit but identified as energy

and matter. Further articulation of the practice, element of the disciplinary core

idea, and crosscutting concept can be found in foundations boxes associated with

the performance expectation. However, to develop even further understanding of the

three dimensions associated with a performance expectation, the Framework and

appendices in the NGSS should be consulted and studied

Next Generation Science Standards 159

123

Performance expectations are not learning goals for instruction nor are they

instructional strategies. As such, PEs do not dictate instruction. However, PEs do

provide guidance for what students should learn in the classroom. PEs specify

assessment for students in grade levels K-5 and in grade bands 6–8 (MS) and 9–12

(HS). In the example above, students would be assessed on developing and using a

model to show conservation of mass in chemical reactions.

Wilson and Berenthal (2006) present a model that shows how standards drive

student learning within an educational system. Figure 1 shows how standards guide

selection and the development of curriculum materials, choice of instructional

strategies, assessment development and teacher professional development. The

more specification in a standard, the more guidance it provides. If standards are

underspecified, then their guidance becomes unclear.

In addition to specifying student assessment, the PEs also provide guidance for

teachers and curriculum developers on planning for instruction. In this paper we

examine how NGSS PEs integrate all three dimensions from the Framework for K-

12 Science Education and why PEs are important for K-12 science learning. We

then explore how to design instruction to support students in meeting a cluster or

‘‘bundle’’ of PEs and how to blend the various dimensions to develop lesson level

PEs that can be used in teaching (NGSS Lead States, 2013). We end by discussing

and providing an example of a ten-step process that teachers can use to design

lessons that match the intent of the Next Generation of Science Standards.

The Value of Performance Expectations

The NGSS are expressed as ‘‘Performance Expectations’’ (PEs). PEs are statements

that describe student proficiency in science—end of grade or grade band student

outcomes for demonstrating their ability to apply the knowledge described in the

DCIs. The PEs integrate all three dimensions, requiring demonstration of

knowledge in use. As such, the NGSS PEs differ from standards as expressed in

previous documents. Often standards were expressed as ‘‘students will know…’’ or
‘‘students will understand that…’’ But ‘‘know’’ and ‘‘understand’’ are vague terms.

160 J. Krajcik et al.

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What does it mean to know or to understand? The PEs form standards by blending

science and engineering practices, DCIs and crosscutting concepts; they clearly

specify how students should make use of science content knowledge. The PEs call,

not for memorizing isolated terms, but for focus on students applying ideas to

explain phenomena, solve problems, and make decisions.

Let’s examine how the three dimensions—DCIs, science and engineering

practices, and crosscutting concepts—are blended together in the NGSS to develop

PEs. Returning to our example above, MS PS1-5
1
—a middle school performance

expectation in the Chemical Reactions topic states ‘‘Develop and use a model to

describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and

thus mass is conserved.’’ Notice how only a portion or element of the DCI PS1

Matter and Its Interactions relates to the PE. This element is part of

PS1.B: Chemical Reactions – Substances react chemically in characteristic

ways. In a chemical process, the atoms that make up the original substances

are regrouped into different molecules, and these new substances have

different properties from those of the reactants. The total number of each type

of atom is conserved, and thus the mass does not change.

A full discussion of this DCI is included in the Framework for K-12 Science

Education. This element of the DCI is blended with the practice element ‘‘Develop a

model to describe unobservable mechanisms’’ and with the Energy and Matter

crosscutting concept element ‘‘Matter is conserved because atoms are conserved in

physical and chemical processes.’’

Student Learning

Professional development

Curriculum

Instruction Assessment

Resources

Standards specified as
Performance Expectations

Scientific
Practices

Core Ideas

Crosscutting
Concepts

Fig. 1 Standards’ impact on the educational system (Figure modified from Wilson & Berenthal (2006)

1
MS-PS1-5, refers to middle school, physical science Disciplinary Core Idea 1 (Matter and Its

Interactions) and the fifth Performance Expectation associated with this DCI (MS-PS1-5 is one of 3 PEs

in the Topic Chemical Reactions).

Next Generation Science Standards 161

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Table 1 shows a graphic representation of how PE MS-PS1-5 was built from the

three dimensions.

Designing Instruction to Build Understanding of Performance Expectation(s)

A standard expressed as a performance expectation specifies what students are

expected to know and do for assessment purposes at the end of instruction. PEs

provide guidance for designing instruction and curriculum materials. Teachers and

curriculum designers need to plan instruction to provide learning opportunities for

all students to meet the PEs. Developing the proficiency described in a PE, students

will need to experience the DCIs through a number of science and engineering

practices and crosscutting concepts. Similarly for students to gain proficiency in the

use of science and engineering practices, they need to use the practices with a

variety of DCIs and crosscutting concepts. In this way students will build useable,

integrated understanding of the DCIs and crosscutting concepts and proficiency in

using the practices. To ensure these experiences, we define ‘‘lesson level PEs’’ to

guide instruction toward meeting the PEs as specified in NGSS. Teachers design

lessons that call for students to meet the lesson level PEs using combinations of

practices and DCIs beyond those specified in individual PEs.

Although one lesson will begin to help students build understanding, one lesson will

not build the depth and integration of usable understanding required to achieve the

performance expectation. In other words, we need to scaffold the development of

understanding expressed in the PEs. The ideas expressed in a bundle of PEs (several

related PEs) need to be carefully developed in multiple lessons over time. At Michigan

State University, along with colleagues from the Michigan Department of Education,

and members of Michigan’s NGSS Lead State Internal Review Team (see section

‘‘Appendix’’ for a list of individuals contributing to the ideas described below), we

Table 1 Blending the dimensions to form performance expectations (MS-PS1-5)

Practice crossed with element of DCI and crosscutting concept gives performance expectations

Practice DCI Crosscutting concept PE

Developing

and using

models

PS1.B: chemical

reactions—substances

react chemically in

characteristic ways. In a

chemical process, the

atoms that make up the

original substances are

regrouped into different

molecules, and these new

substances have different

properties from those of

the reactants. The total

number of each type of

atom is conserved, and

thus the mass does not

change

Energy and matter: matter is

conserved because atoms

are conserved in physical

and chemical processes

Develop and use a model to

describe how the total

number of atoms does not

change in a chemical

reaction and thus mass is

conserved

162 J. Krajcik et al.

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have developed a ten-step process to guide teachers in developing a sequence of

lessons to build student proficiency in a bundle of PEs. While the steps are listed in a

linear fashion, in practice the lesson development process is much more iterative.

Step 1: Select PEs that work together—a bundle—to promote proficiency in

using the ideas expressed. Often the bundle will include PEs from a

single NGSS topic (see topic arrangement) or DCI (see DCI

arrangement), but a bundle could draw in PEs from other topics or DCIs.

Step 2: Inspect the PEs, clarification statements, and assessment boundaries to

identify implications for instruction.

Step 3: Examine DCI(s), science and engineering practices, and crosscutting

concepts coded to the PEs to identify implications for instruction.

Step 4: Look closely at the DCI(s) and PE(s). What understandings need to be

developed? What content ideas will students need to know? What must

students be able to do? Take into consideration prior PEs that serve as the

foundation for cluster of PEs the lessons will address.

Step 5: Identify science and engineering practices that support instruction of the

core ideas. Develop a coherent sequence of learning tasks that blend

together various science and engineering practices with the core ideas

and crosscutting concepts.

Step 6: Develop lesson level PEs. Lesson level expectations guide lesson

development to promote student learning; they build to the level of

understanding intended in the bundle of PEs.

Step 7: Determine the acceptable evidence for assessing lesson level

performances, both formative and summative.

Step 8: Select related Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCSS-M) and

Common Core Literacy Standards (CCSS-L).

Step 9: Carefully construct a storyline to help learners build sophisticated ideas

from prior ideas, using evidence that builds to the understanding

described in the PEs. Describe how the ideas will unfold. What do

students need to be introduced to first? How would the ideas and

practices develop over time?

Step 10: Ask: How do the task(s)/lesson(s) help students move towards an

understanding of the PE(s)?’’

An Illustrated Example of the Process

We will look at an example for teachers and curriculum developers to illustrate this

process. The example we have chosen comes from middle school and focuses on

students developing understanding of chemical reactions.

Step 1: Select PEs that Work Together: A Bundle—to Promote Proficiency
in Using the Ideas Expressed

First, carefully examine the PEs to see which ones fit together to allow students to explain

some phenomena and develop a set or ‘‘bundle’’ of PEs. Think of a bundle as a cluster or

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related set of PEs that work together to support students in explaining phenomena. Use the

NGSS website to search for related PEs. With our focus on developing understanding of

chemical reactions in the middle school band, three related PEs that could create a coherent

set include: MS-PS1-1 (Middle School, Physical Science, DCI 1, first performance

expectation, in NGSS Topic Structure and Properties of Matter), MS-PS1-2 (Middle

School, Physical Science, DCI 1, second performance expectation, in NGSS Topic

Chemical Reactions), MS-PS1- 5, (Middle School, Physical Science, DCI 1, fifth

performance expectation, in NGSS Topic Chemical Reactions). Table 2 presents these

three PEs as listed in their NGSS Topic Arrangement pages.

.
Step 2: Inspect the Performance Expectations

Carefully read and study each selected PE to understand the intent of each. Examine

the clarification statements and assessment boundaries written in the red letters

following each PE. The clarification statement and assessment boundary will help

guide the scope of our instruction. For example, MS-PS1-1 (see Table 2) states that

students will be expected to develop models to describe the atomic composition of

simple molecules and extended structures. The clarification statement provides further

information to explain what this means for middle school students. The clarification

statement for MS-PS-1 provides examples of various molecules that would be

appropriate for students to develop at this level as well as the types of models students

might build. The assessment boundary tells what is not assessable at this level for all

students. At the middle school level students are not expected to know about valance

electrons, bonding energy, or structure of complex molecules and ionic subunits.

Step 3: Examine the DCIs, Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting
Concepts

The third step involves carefully examining DCIs, science and engineering

practices, and crosscutting concepts associated with the selected PEs. Understand-

ing the DCIs, science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts is

essential for developing instruction that proceeds coherently across time and allows

students to develop explanatory accounts of phenomena. The foundation boxes help

164 J. Krajcik et al.

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to identify the element (or part) of the DCIs, practices, and crosscutting concepts

associated with each PE. For example, the DCI elements associated with MS-PS1-2,

include an element of PS1.A, The Structure and Properties of Matter, and PS1.B,

Chemical Reactions. Table 3 identifies these elements.

In addition to examining the elements from the Foundation Boxes, examine the

description of the DCI in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).

In particular, look carefully at the grade band endpoints for PS1.A and PS1.B. Use

NGSS Appendix E – Progressions within NGSS, to examine closely a summary of

what students should know about the DCI by the end of the grade band. A portion of

the grade band endpoint for middle school for PS1.A reads:

All substances are made from some 100 different types of atoms, which

combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range

in size from two to thousands of atoms. Pure substances are made from a

single type of atom or molecule; each pure substance has characteristic

physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given

conditions) that can be used to identify it (NRC, 2012 p. 108).

For PS1.B the grade band endpoint for middle school states:

Substances react chemically in characteristic ways. In a chemical process, the

atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different

Table 2 A bundle of performance expectations

MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended

structures. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on developing models of molecules that vary in

complexity. Examples of simple molecules could include ammonia and methanol. Examples of

extended structures could include sodium chloride or diamonds. Examples of molecular-level

models could include drawings, 3D ball and stick structures or computer representations showing

different molecules with different types of atoms]. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not

include valence electrons and bonding energy, discussing the ionic nature of subunits of complex

structures, or a complete depiction of all individual atoms in a complex molecule or extended

structure]

MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances

interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred. [Clarification Statement: Examples of

reactions could include burning sugar or steel wool, fat reacting with sodium hydroxide, and mixing

zinc with HCl]. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to analysis of the following

properties: density, melting point, boiling point, solubility, flammability, and odor]

MS-PS1-5. Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a

chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on law of

conservation of matter, and on physical models or drawings, including digital forms that represent

atoms]. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the use of atomic masses, balancing

symbolic equations, or intermolecular forces]

Table 3 Elements of the DCI for MS-PS1-2

PS1.A: structure and properties of matter Each pure substance has characteristic physical and

chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it

PS1.B: chemical reactions Substances react chemically in characteristic ways. In a chemical process,

the atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different molecules, and these new

substances have different properties from those of the reactants

Next Generation Science Standards 165

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molecules, and these new substances have different properties from those of

the reactants. The total number of each type of atom is conserved, and thus the

mass does not change. Some chemical reactions release energy, others store

energy (NRC, 2012 p. 111).

In a similar fashion the science or engineering practices and crosscutting concepts

need to be examined. The foundation boxes associated with the PEs also help to

clearly articulate what is expected of students. For instance, the practice associated

with MS-PS1-2, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, is more clearly described in the

foundation box. The foundation box states:

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative

analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation,

and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. [The element related

to MS-PS1-2 reads] Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and

differences in findings (NGSS Lead States, 2013, MS. Chemical Reactions).

The element of the practices specifies that students need to look for similarities and

differences in the findings.

The crosscutting concept is typically implicit in the performance expectation.

The crosscutting concept element for a given PE can be identified from the

foundation box. The crosscutting concept element for MS-PS1-2 is:

Patterns: Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and

atomic-level structure (MS-PS1-2)

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Step 4: Look Closely at the DCIs

The fourth step requires an even closer examination of the DCI(s) and PE(s) to

determine what student understandings need to be developed. This step requires an

‘‘unpacking’’ of the ideas in each of the PEs. This step takes into consideration prior

PEs that serve as the foundation for the current PEs. Think of unpacking as a

process of determining which ideas are critical for the learner. Unpacking involves

breaking apart and expanding the various concepts to elaborate the various content

statements (Krajcik, McNeill, & Reiser, 2008). MS-PS1-2 requires that students

understand properties of substances and that matter is made up of atoms. The ideas

of properties and atoms are both developed from 5th grade PEs on the Structure and

Properties of Matter: 5-PS1-1. Develop a model to describe that matter is made of

particles too small to be seen, and 5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements

to identify materials based on their properties. Part of the instructional process

would be to assess whether students understand what is expected in these PEs and to

help those who have not yet developed an understanding of this content to do so.

The unpacking process also requires a careful examination of Appendix E,

Progressions within NGSS, to identify other prior ideas students might need.

Appendix E identifies that students should develop the following understanding by

the end of 5th grade for PS1.A Properties and Structure of Matter:

Matter exists as particles that are always conserved even if they are too small

to see. Measurements of a variety of observable properties can be used to

identify particular substances (NGSS Lead States, 2013, p. 7).

For students entering middle school, we would expect the science teacher to build

from this level of understanding of the ideas. Using various forms of assessment, the

teacher needs to assess students’ level of understanding and, if not attained, support

students in developing these foundational ideas before engaging students in more

advanced ideas. For understanding chemical reactions in middle school, determine

if students understand particles and properties, which are ideas referred to in various

PEs in the fifth grade. It is critical to ask, ‘‘What prior knowledge and experiences

about the DCIs and scientific practices did students develop in previous grade

levels?’’ (See progressions of DCIs, practices, and crosscutting concepts in NGSS

Appendices E, F, and G.)

Step 5: Select Additional Science and Engineering Practices

In this step, determine which of the practices work best with the elements of DCI

and crosscutting concepts. To support students in building proficiency in the bundle

of PEs, and in the components in the PEs, the elements of the DCI need to be

blended with various science and engineering practices. This will ensure that

students develop deep understandings of the elements as well as build proficiency in

all the practices. However, not all the practices will necessarily work with all of the

DCIs. In selecting the various practices, refer to Appendix F, Science and

Engineering Practices in NGSS.

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For our chemical reactions example, in addition to Developing and Using Models

and Analyzing and Interpreting Data, practices coded to the bundled PEs, three

additional practices might work well to scaffold instruction to the selected PEs:

1. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: ‘‘Plan an investigation individually

and collaboratively, and in the design: identify independent and dependent

variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how

measurements will be recorded, and how much data are needed to support a

claim’’ (NGSS Lead States, 2013, Appendix F, p. 7).

2. Construct Explanations and Design Solutions: ‘‘Construct a scientific explana-

tion based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the

students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that

describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will

continue to do so in the future’’ (NGSS Lead States, 2013, Appendix F, p. 11).

3. Engage in Argument from Evidence: ‘‘Construct, use, and/or present an oral

and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning

to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to

a problem’’ (NGSS Lead States, 2013, Appendix F, p. 13).

In selecting the practices, it is also critical to understand the various aspects

involved. For instance, constructing an argument involves stating a claim and

providing evidence and reasoning to support that position (McNeill & Krajcik,

2012).

Step 6: Develop Lesson Level Performance Expectations

Lesson level PEs guide lesson development to promote student learning. Lesson

level performances (written as knowledge in use statements) are similar to PEs in

the standards in that they blend core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts, but

at a smaller grain size. They will support teachers in designing lessons and

assessments. For instance, in unpacking MS-PS1-2—Analyze and interpret data on

the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if

a chemical reaction has occurred – and in the associated element of the DCI:

PS1.A – Structure and Properties of Matter: Each pure substance has

characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under

given conditions) that can be used to identify it – it is critical that students

understand that characteristic properties identify a substance before they can

develop proficiency in MS-PS1-1.

As such, we would want to develop a sequence of lessons focusing on this idea

blended with various practices and crosscutting concepts. We could create a lesson

level performance expectation by blending together the practice of engaging in

argument from evidence with the PS1.A element we are addressing. The

crosscutting concept would again be assumed. We could, for instance, focus on

Patterns: Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-

level structure. (MS-PS1-2). The lesson would help build towards this practice.

168 J. Krajcik et al.

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Table 4 shows the lesson level performance expectation resulting from blending the

various elements together.

This lesson level performance expectation will guide lesson and assessment

development. The expectation calls for students to engage in constructing an

argument using evidence that pure substances have characteristic properties. This

might involve students measuring properties of substances such as boiling point and

density. The blending of practices, the DCI element and the crosscutting concept is

important at the lesson level and will support students in developing knowledge in

use that can be used to explain phenomena and solve problems. In meeting NGSS

PEs, several related lesson level expectations must be developed.

Step 7: Determine the Acceptable Evidence for Assessing Lesson Level
Performances

Step 7 involves determining acceptable evidence that students have met lesson level

performances (Shin, Steven, & Krajcik, 2011). This is a critical step as it allows

teachers to monitor students’ developing understanding. For instance, for the lesson

level performance expectation: Construct an argument that pure substances have

characteristic properties, we would expect students to write a claim regarding

which samples are the same substances and provide at least two forms of evidence

supporting this claim (the density and melting point are the same) and reasoning

(that if two samples were the same substance, they would have the same properties).

Once we specified the evidence, we could design assessments that would elicit

evidence of meeting the lesson level learning performances, for example as

illustrated in Table 5.

Joe wasn’t sure if the any of the materials described in the data table below were

the same substance. He was confused because two samples had the same mass, but

different melting points. Some of the other samples had the same density but

different mass. Using the data below, write an argument supporting an explanation

of whether any of the samples are the same substance.

In responding to this assessment item, students would need to make the claim that

samples 2 and 4 are the same materials because they have the same density and

melting points. Density and melting point are properties that don’t change with the

amount of sample. That the masses of the two samples are different does not matter.

Samples 2 and 3 are not the same materials even though samples have the same

mass. Mass is not a characteristic that can be used in an argument to identify

materials that are the same.

Step 8: Select Related Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCSS-M)
and Common Core Literacy Standards (CCSS-L)

The NGSS identifies CCSS-M and CCSS-L that align with various PEs. Related

CCSS-M and CCSS-L are found in the connections boxes just below the foundation/

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dimensions boxes. The Common Core Literacy Standards that align with MS-PS1-2

include:

• RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and
technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

• RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in
a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart,

diagram, model, graph, or table).

The Common Core Mathematics Standards that align with MS-PS1-2 include:

• MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
• 6.RP.A.3 Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical

problems.

• 6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots,
histograms, and box plots.

• 6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.

Develop lesson level expectations and performance tasks, and select resources

that scaffold learning to meet the PEs, while applying and reinforcing literacy and

mathematics standards.

Step 9: Carefully Construct a Storyline

The storyline should show how the DCIs, science and engineering practices, and

crosscutting concepts develop overtime. It should also show how learners build

sophisticated ideas from prior ideas, using evidence that builds to the understanding

described in the PEs as students engage in the practices to explain phenomena. Here

we present one possible storyline that shows how student understanding could

develop over time to reach the level of proficiency expected in the bundle of PEs

discussed above (MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2 and MS-PS1-5).

Instruction should begin with students exploring the questions: How can we

identify a substance? How can we distinguish one substance from another?

Answering these questions engages students in developing an explanation. Students

need to apply ideas that substances have characteristic properties that distinguish

Table 4 Creating lesson level performance expectations

Practice crossed with element of DCI and crosscutting concept gives lesson level performance

expectations

Practice DCI Crosscutting

concept

Lesson level expectation

Argument

from

evidence

Each pure substance has characteristic

physical and chemical properties (for

any bulk quantity under given

conditions) that can be used to identify

it

Patterns Construct an argument that

pure substances have

characteristic properties

170 J. Krajcik et al.

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them from other substances, and that properties characteristic of a substance are

independent of the sample size (i.e., density, boiling point, melting point).

Understanding and explaining answers to these questions is critical for students to

answer the later question ‘‘What happens to materials when they undergo a chemical

reaction?’’ Here students will need to build an explanation that the properties of new

substances (the products) differ from the properties of the initial substances

(reactants). To do so, students conduct investigations to collect data on the

properties of substances before and after they interact, and analyze data to determine

the properties of materials before and after the interaction has occurred.

Investigations might start with the macroscopic level that students can measure

and observe and then move to a molecular level that students cannot see but can use

to develop and use models to explain the phenomena they observe. In exploring

these ideas, the crosscutting concept of patterns is called out as an organizing

concept necessary to identify trends in the data. Students use the science practices of

analyzing and interpreting data and building explanations to demonstrate under-

standing of the DCIs in the PEs [specifically, MS-PS1-2].

By exploring the properties of materials and learning how properties change

when materials interact at the macroscopic level, students begin asking questions

such as: Why do substances have characteristic properties? And, why do new

substances (products) have different properties than reactants in chemical reactions?

To answer the first question, students build models that show that substances are

composed of molecules and that molecules of the same substance have the same

chemical composition (i.e., made up of the same type and number of atoms) and

structure [MS-PS1-1]. They learn that it is the same chemical composition and

structure that gives a substance its characteristic properties. This leads to questions

related to what happens at the molecular level when materials react chemically.

Here students build models to provide a causal account showing that the atoms that

make up the molecules in the reacting materials rearrange to form new molecules

with different compositions. This causal account needs to show that while the

composition of molecules of the starting materials is different from the composition

of molecules of the products, the type of atoms that make up the initial molecules

and the number of atoms does not change. This leads students to an explanation of

why the mass in a chemical reaction is always conserved – the number and types of

atoms are the same in the reactants as they are in the products [MS-PS1-5]. The

crosscutting concepts of energy and matter; cause and effect; scale, proportion and

quantity; and patterns are essential in answering these questions and building

understanding. As they progress through the lessons developed to address this

Table 5 Example of assessment of the lesson level performance

Sample Density (g/ml) Color Mass (g) Melting point (�C)

1 1.0 Clear 8.2 0.0

2 0.89 Clear 4.2 38

3 0.93 Clear 4.2 14

4 0.89 Clear 12.6 38

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bundle of PEs, students build proficiency in developing and using models to show

causal accounts and in analyzing and interpreting data.

Step 10: Ask: How Do the Tasks/Lessons Help Students Move Towards
an Understanding of the PE(s)?’’

At the end of the lesson development, it is critical to go back and re-examine the

tasks and lessons we have designed to confirm that they help to move students

towards an understanding of the PEs we have bundled together. This question will

best be answered based on observations and monitoring students in the classroom;

however, it is critical to check our unpacking, development of lesson level

expectations, and resulting tasks and lessons.

Reflections on the Ten-Step Process

Here we reflect on some of the decisions we used in developing the process to

design lessons aligned with NGSS. We acknowledge that others will develop

additional strategies for developing lessons to meet PEs and that our ten-step

process represents one possible avenue for constructing lessons aligned with the

intent of NGSS. Our primary recommendation is to build a series of lessons that

focus on a bundle or cluster of closely related PEs. We do not recommend

developing lessons that focus only on one performance expectation. Focusing on a

bundle helps students see connections among the elements of DCIs and the various

scientific and engineering practices that would not be seen by focusing on one

performance expectation at a time. Focusing on one performance expectation could

contribute to learners developing compartmentalized understanding that the

Framework for K-12 Science Education was trying to avoid. Building useable,

integrated understanding of the DCIs and crosscutting concepts by engaging in

scientific and engineering practices requires a much richer set of experiences than

can be accomplished in one lesson. Building understanding of the core

idea(s) described in the performance expectation will require working with other

scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts than those contained

in the performance expectation. Similarly, developing useable understanding of

practices will require that students engage in other core ideas. This point is echoed

in the National Research Council report, Developing Assessments for the Next

Generation Science Standards (2014), which states that instruction will need to use

multiple practices to support students in developing a particular core idea and will

need to apply each practice in the context of multiple core ideas.

One place to start with the bundling/clustering of PEs is with the topic

organization of the NGSS PEs. This approach is consistent with the work of the

NGSS writers. The NGSS writers began by eliminating redundant statements across

the DCIs, finding natural connections among the DCIs, and developing PEs across

the grades that correspond to this smaller, tighter set of ideas. The resulting

performances fit well into a topic clustering that aligns with the DCI arrangement in

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the Framework. In addition to topic or DCI clustering/bundling, selecting PEs from

various topics would provide a more interdisciplinary arrangement.

We have not yet conducted a systematic testing of this ten-step process to

evaluate its effective use by teachers or to determine if the process results in lessons

that increase student learning of the PEs. Teacher leaders, however, from throughout

Michigan used this process to develop a variety of skeletal lessons as part of a day-

long workshop to introduce the NGSS. See http://create4stem.msu.edu/ngss/intro

for some example lessons. We acknowledge that the teachers who used the process

represent a select group familiar with the NGSS. As such, showing that the process

is usable by a much wider range of teachers and examining whether the resulting

lessons help students meet the PEs based upon various external measures would be

of value. We are only at the first stage of a research-based design approach for

developing a process for constructing a valid and workable method for designing

materials that align with NGSS. We need to examine how teachers make use of the

process to develop lessons and investigate whether teachers and students can use the

materials and learn from them. Some additional work with teachers indicates that

the process is much more iterative than linear. With careful analysis of our obser-

vations, we will modify the process and test it again. It is through the use of this

iterative design process that we will develop at least one valid and workable process

for developing lessons that support students in building understanding of a cluster/

bundle of PEs.

Finally, we recognize the importance of teacher education, both inservice and

preservice, to support teachers in learning the vision proposed by the Framework for

K-12 Science Education and the NGSS PEs, and how to plan for instruction that

builds to the level of the PEs. The Framework and NGSS present a new vision based

on research (NRC, 2006, 2012) for conceptualizing standards, one that is needed to

help our students develop understanding that can be use to solve problems, propose

explanations of phenomena, and learn more. We encourage the use of the materials

in inservice professional development as well as in preservice experiences. We are

designing a series of workshops and corresponding materials that facilitators can use

to introduce teachers to NGSS and to the ten-step process. These materials are

available at http://create4stem.msu.edu/ngss. We invite others to use the materials

and help in the modification and development of a process that supports teachers in

constructing materials that support students in building understanding of the NGSS.

Conclusions

The NGSS require that teachers move away from simply presenting information to

supporting students building explanations of phenomena and proposing solutions to

problems. This requires that students develop explanatory models, shows chains of

reasoning that provide explanations, and use evidence to justify their ideas. In doing

so, students demonstrate knowledge in use by using DCIs with science and

engineering practices and crosscutting concepts. The PEs in the NGSS present only

the performances on which students can be assessed at the end of a grade level for K

– 5 and end of grade band for middle school and high school. To support students in

Next Generation Science Standards 173

123

developing proficiency in the PEs, the elements of the DCI will need to be blended

with various practices and crosscutting concepts. In this paper, we proposed one

strategy for supporting teachers and curriculum developers through a ten-step

process for developing a series of lessons that focus on a related set or bundle of

PEs, and integrated lesson level PEs and assessments. Determining the quality of

this process will depend on studying the process carefully through systematic

implementation and data collection.

Building core ideas, scientific and engineering practices, and crosscutting

concepts across time will support the development of scientific dispositions so that

students know when and how to seek and build knowledge. A scientific disposition

will arm students with the intellectual tools to ask questions such as ‘‘Hmm, what do

I need to know?’’ ‘‘I wonder if…’’ ‘‘How can I explain…’’ and ‘‘Do I have enough
evidence to support my ideas?’’ To help ensure that the intent of the NGSS and the

Framework are enacted in the classroom, we need curriculum materials and

professional development to support teachers, and we need research that extends

over time to determine their effectiveness. We have much work in front of us, but

like the vista we see when we climb a tall mountain, our efforts will be worth it.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and

the source are credited.

Appendix

List of contributors to the development of the Ten-Step Lesson Development

Resource.

All contributors are members of the Michigan NGSS Lead State Internal Review

Committee, serve as science leaders in Michigan, and are active members of the

Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA).

Jen Arnswald is the Science Education Consultant at the Kent Intermediate

School District (ISD), Grand Rapids, MI.

David Bydlowski is a Science Consultant at Wayne RESA in Wayne, MI and Co-

Director of the ICCARS (Investigating Climate Change and Remote Sensing)

Project, funded by NASA.

Robby Cramer is the Executive Director for MSTA and Science Education

Specialist at the Van Andel Education Institute, Grand Rapids, MI.

Mike Gallagher is a science education consultant from Oakland Schools,

Waterford Township, MI.

Cheryl Hach teaches advanced life sciences and organic chemistry/biochemistry

at the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, Kalamazoo, MI.

Nancy Karre is the Outreach Science Consultant at the Battle Creek Area

Mathematics and Science Center, Battle Creek, MI.

Laura Ritter is the K-12 Science Coordinator for the Troy School District, Troy, MI.

Janet Scheetz is a fifth grade teacher of all subjects in the Lansing Public School

District, Lansing, MI.

174 J. Krajcik et al.

123

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Next Generation Science Standards 175

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  • Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent of the &!blank;Next Generation Science Standards
    • Abstract
    • Dimensions Working Together
    • Building Standards from the Dimensions
    • The Value of Performance Expectations
    • Designing Instruction to Build Understanding of Performance Expectation(s)
    • An Illustrated Example of the Process
    • Step 1: Select PEs that Work Together: A Bundle—to Promote Proficiency in Using the Ideas Expressed
    • Step 2: Inspect the Performance Expectations
    • Step 3: Examine the DCIs, Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts
    • Step 4: Look Closely at the DCIs
    • Step 5: Select Additional Science and Engineering Practices
    • Step 6: Develop Lesson Level Performance Expectations
    • Step 7: Determine the Acceptable Evidence for Assessing Lesson Level Performances
    • Step 8: Select Related Common Core Mathematics Standards (CCSS-M) and Common Core Literacy Standards (CCSS-L)
    • Step 9: Carefully Construct a Storyline
    • Step 10: Ask: How Do the Tasks/Lessons Help Students Move Towards an Understanding of the PE(s)?’’
    • Reflections on the Ten-Step Process
    • Conclusions
    • Open Access
    • Appendix
    • References
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