California Next Generation Science Standards
The California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represent a vision for education where students, over multiple years of school, deepen their understanding of core ideas in science and engineering through active engagement with science and engineering practices and application of crosscutting concepts (NRC Framework, 2012). A high-quality science education means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of content and develop key skills—communication, collaboration, inquiry, problem-solving, and flexibility—that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives.
The complex and challenging work of planning and teaching with NGSS, and assessing students in three-dimensional ways, requires changes in teacher beliefs, content knowledge, and pedagogical skills. Providing teachers with initial exposure and time to deepen their understanding of the standards is a start. Students need support in adjusting to classroom instruction that is inquiry-based, grounded in 3-dimensional learning, and centered on student sense-making.
The Alameda County Office of Education offers a variety of events and professional learning to help educators learn about and deepen understanding of NGSS, plan science instruction, pilot and adopt science instructional materials, develop assessments, and implement PLC models. These services are designed to support and build the capacity of districts and schools implementing the NGSS. Our science team provides professional development opportunities to educators across the county to ensure that students are equipped with skills to attain high levels of science achievement across content areas.