What is NGSS? (science standards)

Nature-based learning really supports NGSS!  These standards  http://nextgenscience.org/ shift the focus to having students understand and do science and engineering, giving them a deeper understanding of key concepts and building critical thinking for their future in the knowledge- and technology-driven global society. There are three dimensions (scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas) that combine to form student performance expectations.

  • The “best” access to these standards is at http://ngss.nsta.org, hosted by the National Science Teachers Association.  The Disciplinary Core Ideas are organized by grade and science area (life sciences, earth-space and physical) at http://ngss.nsta.org/AccessStandardsByTopic.aspx .  Click on one of the topics for another page with performance expectations, Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, Common Core standards, and a few curriculum resources.  Downloaded this page by clicking box at upper right.
  • Short videos of each of these, at http://www.bozemanscience.com/next-generation-science-standards/

A Rubric has been developed for nature-based learning in San Diego, NatureRubric .  It outlines indirect, direct and action-oriented nature experiences to develop a sense of place and local nature, and to investigate nature using Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts.

A learning community has formed, to understand and apply the NGSS to nature-and local-based learning. Workshops have been held since fall 2013 to explore the NGSS elements and how they fit together. Workshops are co-sponsored by and held at SDSU-Center for Research on Math and Science Education (CRMSE), 6475 Alvarado Road, San Diego, second floor, parking free.

The 2012 “Framework” document is posted at http://nextgenscience.org/get-to-know.  Much of the nature-based learning relates to these Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs):

  • Life Sciences LS2.A. Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: How do organisms interact with the living and nonliving environments to obtain matter and energy?
  • Life Sciences LS4.D.  Biodiversity and Humans: Why do individuals of the same species vary in how they look, function, and behave?
  • Earth and Space Science ESS2.D. Weather and Climate:  What regulates Weather and Climate?
  • Earth and Space Science ESS3.C. Human Impacts on Earth Systems. How do humans change the planet?

Other resources: