What Is NGSS

NGSS stands for “Next Generation Science Standards,” and it’s being adopted in school districts across the country for students in grades K-12. The NGSS framework is meant to close achievement gaps between groups of students and to prepare students for college study and careers in science.

Comprised of core ideas, practices, and cross-cutting between disciplines (such as physical science and engineering), NGSS gives students a consistent, cohesive understanding of science as they advance through grades K-12.

NGSS was developed by the National Resource Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve. The development process began with a committee of eighteen renowned scientists who established the NGSS framework based on the most current research on science and science learning. Beginning in 2013, in a process managed by Achieve, states across the country began to adopt NGSS.

NGSS places emphasis on a rich, conceptual understanding of science, not just memorization of separate facts and principles. Through the NGSS framework, students in all grades continually add to their knowledge and abilities in science and engineering. One of the goals of NGSS is to encourage a more diverse range of students to become scientists.

NGSS was never intended to be a quick fix. From the beginning, it was understood that it could take years to transition all classrooms into practicing NGSS and that successful implementation would require collaboration between teachers, school administrators, and district leaders.

Effectively introducing and sustaining NGSS in classrooms and schools requires:

  • allocation of resources (for space, equipment, and materials)
  • changes in policies and actions
  • incremental, ongoing changes to improve science teaching
  • collaboration between teachers, administrators, and science specialists
  • resource and mentor teachers who can assist other teachers with NGSS
  • shifts in classroom cultures to support the NGSS vision of science education
  • frequent assessments as a “baked-in” part of NGSS instruction

Big picture, these are early days for NGSS, but the results so far seem promising. With the goal of expanding an interest in and understanding of science to students from all backgrounds, at all ages, NGSS has already succeeded!

Online Professional Development Course On NGSS
If you’d like to learn how to incorporate NGSS standards into your teaching, we offer an online professional development course for teachers on NGSS. In this 2-credit online course, you’ll learn best practices for applying NGSS in the classroom. The online course (which is approved for LAUSD salary points and is available for graduate level credit) covers a variety of topics, including an overview of NGSS as well as strategies for teaching science to girls, culturally diverse students, gifted and talented students, special needs students, and more.

Click here to learn more about our 100% online NGSS professional development course for teachers.