Appendix A – Conceptual Shifts in the Next Generation Science Standards

Appendix A of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) explains how the NGSS are different from previous science education standards and how they are relfective of the conceptual shifts in science education in the United States. The appendix includes explanations of how (1) K–12 science education should reflect real-world science as practiced by actual scientists; (2) the three dimensions in the Framework for K–12 Science Education were used to drive development of the performance expectations in the NGSS for assessment purposes to describe what students should know and be able to do; (3) the NGSS encompass a coherent system from K to 12; (4) the NGSS focus on a deeper understanding of less content and on the application of content; (5) the NGSS integrate science and engineering practices from K to 12; (6) the NGSS are designed for college and career readiness, as well as for citizenship; and (7) the NGSS and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are aligned for both math and English language arts.

Content Comments 

Appendix A describes how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed in regards to the Framework for K-12 Science Education; how they represent a conceptual shift in science education, as well as why the shift is necessary; and how they are different from previous versions of science education standards. Appendix A expands upon the NGSS, highlighting seven key areas to consider as the NGSS are implemented in the classroom. Included in this appendix are the importance of a coherent K–12 science education system, the focus on the NGSS as what students should know and be able to do for assessment purposes, and the integration of science and engineering practices with content. This information is clearly laid out in an easy-to-follow format that educators, schools, and districts can quickly and easily use as a reference.