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Albert Einstein once said, "I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” In our PreK-12 science classrooms we embrace student-centered learning and align our classrooms with the District’s vision of the three pillars of quality instruction: engagement, opportunity, and achievement. Instructional practices in science are outlined by the three dimensions of the New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS). Long Beach Public Schools has begun full implementation of the NYSSLS, which include the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and fourteen additional standards spanning all grades from preschool through 12th grade. The NYSSLS were adopted from the National Framework for Science Education and have been effective as of July 1, 2017.

According to the National Framework for Science Education, science education is focused around:

National Framework for Science Education

The Guiding Assumptions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education are:

  • Children are born investigators and sophisticated thinkers
  • The focus on core ideas and practices should allow for deep exploration of important concepts
  • The understanding of science concepts develops over time
  • The important of learning progressions is recognized and celebrated
  • Science and engineering require both knowledge and practice
  • Connecting to students’ interests and experiences is critical to spark students’ desire to continue
    learning about science throughout their lives and linked to later educational and career choices
  • Access and opportunity for all students to become engaged in science and engineering practices
    should be promoted equitably

Framework for K-12 Science Education pg 24-28 (download free pdf of full Framework HERE)

Science Education Will Involve Less: Science Education Will Involve More:
Role memorization Learning facts and terminology through the Science and Engineering Practices
Learning of ideas disconnected from phenomena Systems thinking and modeling, as outlined by the SEPs and CCCs
Teachers providing information Students conducting investigations, solving problems, and engaging in discussion
Teachers posing closed questions (one-word, yes/no, questions) Students engaging in open-ended questions focusing on strength of evidence to generate claims
Students textbooks and answering questions Students referencing multiple sources, and developing summaries of information
"Cookbook" labs Student driving a variety of investigations with a range of possible outcomes
Worksheets Students writing journals, reports, and creating multimedia presentations
Oversimplification Teachers differentiating instruction and providing scaffolds to make sophisticated science and practices accessible to all learners

NYSSLS emphasis is on:

  • Students doing the sense-making around a phenomenon
  • The role of social interaction and discourse in sense-making
  • Celebrating and facilitating the wonder

Science educators are shifting from teaching students to remember what scientists know to engaging students in the ways that scientists work and think. Students will investigate real-world phenomena through the Science and Engineering Practices. This will apprentice the students into the scientific community while helping them build in-depth understandings of the explanations underlying core scientific ideas while using these ideas to explain the world around them.