How to Incorporate NGSS into the Classroom

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are being adopted in grades K-12, in school districts across the country. These science standards are designed to instill a love of science in all types of students, close achievement gaps between groups of students, and prepare students to study science in college and pursue it as a career.

Ideally, NGSS will help all students have more holistic understanding of science and encourage a broader range of students become scientists.

Reaching those big goals, however, requires a thousand small steps.

Below are tips for how to incorporate NGSS into your classroom.

Change Your Thinking

Embracing the NGSS framework will, in all likelihood, require you to shift the way your approach to teaching science. If you’ve been following the traditional model of instruction by teaching content, applying that content, and then making connections with other disciplines, you’ll need to change your way of thinking. NGSS, in a nutshell, is three-dimensional learning: science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

NGCC tosses aside the idea that science education is based on a foundation of rote memorization and replaces it with a model that relies on answering questions and solving problems, all the while connecting scientific concepts to non-STEM fields.

Ask Open-Ended Questions And Define Problems

To teach science concepts using an NGSS framework, you can ask questions and define problems, then let your students carry out investigations and analyze and interpret data.

Apply Crosscutting Concepts

With NGSS, you can help students understand science concepts across scientific disciplines. In an NGSS framework, life sciences, physical sciences, earth sciences, and engineering are no longer in separate “silos.” Instead, you help students connect ideas and learning from all of the disciplines.

Create Hands-On Experiences And Projects

One of the best ways to incorporate NGSS into the classroom is to create experiences and projects for students that will not only incorporate the primary scientific disciplines, but also relate to non-STEM subjects.

Education 4 Equity

If you’d like to learn more about how to incorporate NGSS into the classroom, we offer a 100% online, 2-credit course on Access To NGSS For All Students. All of our online professional development courses for teachers qualify for graduate level credit. The courses are also approved for LAUSD salary points through the Los Angeles Unified School District.