Pop Quiz: What’s Your Dream Science Class
Standards… love them or hate them, they exist. States have educational standards. Sometimes countries have standards. Some standards are required, others recommended.
Though there are no national standards required for science in the US, certain ones are recommended. A committee made up of writers from 26 states are converging on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) after years of deliberations, revisions, and community discussion. A few states are drafting plans to adopt them immediately, while many more are looking to in the future. There is a strong feeling that these will shape the future of primary and secondary science education in this country for the next few decades. And they are going to be announced next week.
The dream behind the lists is to create a science classroom not based on learning facts and information, but instead on learning how to ask scientific questions and move through the scientific process. With access to the World Wide Web full of information and facts, students, scientists, consumers, and citizens no longer need to carry such facts around in their head, but rather know where to look to find the facts and interpret them with proper critical thinking skills. The new science classroom should gear citizens to navigate their science and engineering driven society and even introduce a bit of the maker culture into their everyday lives.
Sounds fantastic? It almost sounds like the science classroom of my dreams, to be honest. But is it going to work in reality?
What would your dream science classroom look like? Do you think it is feasible? Do you think the dream of NGSS is feasible? What immediate changes would you make in your own science classrooms if given ultimate freedom to teach science the way you wanted to see it taught?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3pm ET.
Image: NGSS logo highlighting the three key dimensions of its framework.