I just finished reading the May 2018 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) newsletter. I hope you have too or plan to read it soon. I also hope that you share it with your colleagues, especially science instructional leaders. As a science educator I am grateful NGSS creates and shares so many useful and well-prepared resources. In this newsletter I noticed a new facilitator’s guide to Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria (PEEC) for NGSS. Not only is this a great resource, but it will allow science instructional leaders in schools and districts working to implement NGSS to have a guide to lead them on a path to successful implementation.
What does this guide help one do? Simply, it is a guide to help evaluate science instructional materials that a school or district may currently use, or materials being reviewed for purchase. The guide provides tools and criteria to determine how well science instructional materials have been designed for use based on NGSS. It is arranged around three professional learning sessions. The first is designed to help build an understanding of NGSS. The second session is designed for a small group of instructional leaders, helping to guide them through the selection of science instructional materials. The third, for a larger review team, helps to assist in the final round for evaluating science instructional materials. All three professional learning sessions contain notes, handouts, and PowerPoint slides. The materials are designed around a recommended professional learning structure. They have been crafted to allow for modifications for specific site needs which would be very easy because the groundwork is already done.
A science instructional specialist in charge of leading a team to choose and evaluate science materials would be best served by surveying teammates about what their level of understanding is around the NGSS and the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. To make informed decisions, reviewers need a thorough understanding of the NRC’s Framework and NGSS. With that as an established starting point, the team will have the opportunity to make informed decisions about quality resources for the classroom.
Stay up to date with NGSS offerings. Take advantage of the tools that have been made available to help you save time and effort, while making good site decisions. Have you read the news?