Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in a recent essay "Next Generation Science Standards: Good or Bad for Science Education?" [Hake (2013c)]. The abstract reads:
************************************************** According to information at the "Next Generation of Science Standards" (NGSS) site <http://bit.ly/Wwgjka>: "the "Common Core State Standards" (CCSS) were written to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields." . . . . . . [[Pro and con opinions on CCSS are set forth in "The Contentious Common Core Controversy" [Hake (2013a)] at <http://bit.ly/Y7ocMv> and "The Contentious Common Core Controversy #2" [Hake (2013b)] at <http://bit.ly/Wtj62R>]] . . . . . . In contrast, the NGSS "will lay out the core ideas and practices in science that students should master in preparation for college and careers." A side-by-side comparison of similarities and differences of CCSS and NGSS is given in "Conceptual Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards" [Pruitt (2012a)] at <http://1.usa.gov/10wb4Yv>. The second draft of NGSS was released on 8 January 2013, and the final version is scheduled for this month, March 2013.
At <http://bit.ly/YPwB7j> the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has criticized the second draft, stating that "the wording of many of the NGSS performance expectations is confusing to the point that it is not clear what students are actually supposed to do," and that "the science content of the current form of NGSS contains so many errors that most science teachers and scientists will doubt the credibility of the entire enterprise."
At <http://bit.ly/XvHuPS>, Janet Coffey and Bruce Alberts delineate the GOOD and the BAD in the second draft: GOOD: "[NGSS] builds on "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas" at <http://bit.ly/zy0qqG> [which puts] forth a vision of science education that is notable for emphasizing student participation in key science and engineering practices, such as asking questions and defining problems; developing and using models; engaging in argument from evidence; and learning cross- cutting concepts such as energy and matter, cause and effect, and structure and function. To allow room for these in the school day, the "Framework" stressed the importance of minimizing the number of disciplinary core ideas that standards require to be taught. BAD: " . . . . . the sheer volume of content referenced in the framework moves to the foreground in the NGSS draft and threatens to undermine this promise. . . . . . . . Urgently needed is a vigorous R&D agenda that pursues new methods of and approaches to assessment. . . . . . A systematic commitment to the wrong quantitative measures, such as the inexpensive multiple-choice testing of factoids, may well result in the appearance of gains at the tremendous cost of suppressing important aspects of learning, attending to the wrong things in instruction, and conveying to students a distorted view of science."
It remains to be seen whether or not the above deficiencies will be overcome in the final version of NGSS. **************************************************
REFERENCES [URL shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 20 March 2013.] Hake, R.R. 2013a. " The Contentious Common Core Controversy," online on the OPEN! AERA-H archives at <http://bit.ly/Y7ocMv>. Post of 3 Mar 2013 11:01:22 to AERA-H and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/Z7TV0W> with a provision for comments.
Hake, R.R. 2013b. "The Contentious Common Core Controversy #2" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/Wtj62R>. Post of 5 Mar 2013 11:32:15-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/W3hTwX> with a provision for comments.
Hake, R.R. 2013c. Next Generation Science Standards: Good or Bad for Science Education? online as a 221 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/147K6qY>. The abstract and link on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/ZLp6B7> with a provision for comments.