Science is dynamic and keeps evolving from one generation to the next. Science concepts might remain constant, but their dynamics change with each discovery or innovation. The making of future scientists starts from the time a child joins the school and continues advancing throughout the K-12 education and into the university.
Education stakeholders in the country saw a gap in how science is taught in schools, especially K-12 education. The standards were not aligning with the current generation and there was a need to improve it to fit into the next generation standards. This is how the NGSS was developed to help prepare better K-12 science standards in schools.
Support critical thinking and important life skills
The purpose of NGSS was to develop a scientific framework that promotes critical thinking among K-12 students. The aim was to prepare a generation skilled with problem-solving skills, abstract reasoning, and other essential life skills. These are skills such as collaboration, social, communication, and innovation skills.
Is the time right?
The world is developing fast in technology, and science has become central to every global citizen. Every life depends on science and it is high time the education system begins to produce a science-driven society.
America has been at the forefront of major scientific developments and it has influenced the entire world for many years. If the nation doesn’t prepare its current generation to compete and take a leadership role in the global economy, America will lag behind other fast-developing nations globally.
What is required at this time is a solid K-12 science education framework that prepares students at this level for a more practical approach in university science education. With a global benchmark for science subjects, learners in the K-12 education system will love STEM subjects and be ready to serve the global generation after graduation from university.
Who developed the NGSS?
Development of the NGSS was done in partnership with three national bodies. These were the NRC (National Research Council), NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), and Achieve.
First, they looked into the broader perspective of science education in K-12 and identified the important areas in science that students in this level of education should learn and get familiar with.
The next step was to develop a globally benchmarked science education framework that would bring together science teachers and writers to create a nationally acceptable draft that could further be developed into the curriculum.
There were 26 lead states and the district of Columbia was among the first to implement the standards. To date, 20 states have already adopted the NGSS framework and a further 24 have adopted the K-12 based standards.
Key driving factors in NGSS creation
The creation of the NGSS science framework was driven by several factors. The old framework didn’t support interactive learning. Like the way Interactive Counselling is done, there was a need to create a science teaching framework that allows teachers to design a flexible learning experience for K-12 students. It would help increase students’ participation in the classroom, get them ready for university education, and help them love STEM subjects.
Another key driver was the need to set internationally acceptable standards in the K-12 science framework. The students in K-12 were not ready to serve the job market at the international level. There was a need to prepare them to meet expectations for a fast-developing generation.
Many students didn’t have an interest in STEM subjects. Many students still believe science subjects are difficult to handle and lose interest in them after high school. With a better-developed framework, it is possible to support K-12 students and help them love STEM subjects from an early age.