Next Generation Science
Standards and Curriculum
There are three ways to view the standards: View the NGSS in Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI) Arrangements View the NGSS in Topic Arrangements View and Search the NGSS performance expectations individually
Teaching only the products of scientific work (the facts of science) denies students critical tools of understanding. To get a more complete picture, students also must understand how those facts came to be.
The Next Generation Science Standards integrate three dimensions of scientific thinking:
The 8 Science and Engineering Practices
The eight practices of science and engineering that the Framework identifies as essential for all students to learn and describes in detail are listed below:
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Seven Crosscutting Concepts -
The seven crosscutting concepts presented in Chapter 4 of the Framework are as follows:
1. Patterns. Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.
2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.
3. Scale, proportion, and quantity. In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.
4. Systems and system models. Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.
5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation. Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations.
6. Structure and function. The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.
7. Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are distinct from prior science standards in three
1) Performance. Prior standards documents listed what students should “know” or “understand.” These ideas needed to be translated into performances that could be assessed to determine whether or not students met the standard. Different interpretations sometimes resulted in assessments that were not aligned with curriculum and instruction. The NGSS has avoided this difficulty by developing performance expectations that state what students should be able to do in order to demonstrate that they have met the standard, thus providing the same clear and specific targets for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
2) Foundations. Each performance expectation incorporates all three dimensions from the Framework— a science or engineering practice, a core disciplinary idea, and a crosscutting concept.
3) Coherence. Each set of performance expectations lists connections to other ideas within the disciplines of science and engineering, and with Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts.