Sunday, June 02, 2013

NGSS high school physical science breakdown: Take 1

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have now been finalized. I would be surprised if California did anything other than to adopt them without modification.

With the long-standing California Standards Tests now behind us (the EOC tests, anyway), it's time to move on to NGSS. The move will take some time, and there will be some rough patches, kinks and quirks.

If you've seen the full NGSS document, you know it's... robust. It's information-dense, and can be somewhat off-putting at first glance. (Time will tell how it fares at second and third glances.) See for yourself:

NGSS Arranged by Disciplinary Core Ideas
NGSS Arranged by Topic

The high school physics and chemistry Performance Expectations (PEs) are combined into the Physical science set. So last week, my department chair (chemistry teacher) and I sat down to determine boundaries and acceptable overlaps.

Afterward, I produced a document for Chemistry and one for Physics, showing the Performance Expectations appropriate for each course.

I stripped out the red-type clarifying statements and assessment boundaries. I also stripped out the blue, orange, and green foundational pillar boxes. That is, the underlying Scientific and Engineering Practices (Blue), Disciplinary Core Ideas (Orange), and Cross-Cutting Concepts (Green) have all been left to be accessed via further research by interested parties. I probably stripped out other annotations, too.

Here's what we came up with. It may need modifications, especially if there is a need to incorporate Earth Science PEs into Chemistry and Physics. Anyway, it's a start. It will guide what I do next year.

Draft NGSS Chemistry [not my job]
Draft NGSS Physics [my job]

Next year is going to be an experiment. The 1999-2013 California Standards version of Rio Physics is no more. I feel no allegiance to maintain its scope or structure. As a veteran teacher, I have plenty of physics curriculum to draw from. The schedules I've honed carefully throughout the past decade are out the window. Right now, I'm not sure what the finished product will look like. We'll be making the year up as we go along. It's the pre-alpha stage of the NGSS version of Rio Physics development.


Amber said...

Hi Dan, This is extremely helpful and even though my school is not adopting the NGSS yet, I'm glad I am getting my feet wet before the big changes start happening!

Anonymous said...

3 of the first 4 blurbs contain the term "mathematical relationship". In my opinion, this term perpetuates the reality that physics, in my opinion, degenerates into an applied algebra course. In my opinion, the less math is used in physics, the better. While some math is required even at the HS level, explicitly having the term "mathematical relationship" instead of, say, "conceptual relationship" perpetuates this problem. I'd be interesting in your comments. I like your blog.