Science Curriculum Update
In 2018, our Colorado Department of Education adopted an adapted version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It all started when the National Research Council (NRC) wrote the Framework for K–12 Science Education. Then, the NRC, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve wrote the standards that became known as the NGSS. Our CDE adopted everything except the engineering-specific standards.
The good news is that most of the science content that you are familiar with lives on. A few concepts have shifted grades in order to better align with developmental levels and be better aligned vertically.
The innovations of these new standards include an integrated approach to the three components of a standard. This includes, “what students know” or content, “what students do” or the Science & Engineering Practices, and “how students think” or crosscutting concepts. This takes into consideration that learners have behaviors that assist in mastering the content (the Science and Engineering Practices) and they can and should be making connections to other content (Crosscutting Concepts).
Additionally, since these new standards were released in 2013, many resources have been developed and freely released to aid in the teaching and learning of three-dimensional science. Our new standards really do bring an increase in equity in learning for all students.
Curriculum & Instruction