Nature-based learning really supports NGSS! These standards 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 National Science Teaching Association is the most accessible site to these standards. 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.
- Watch short videos of each of these standards at Bozeman Science.
NatureRubric (pdf) is a rubric that was developed for nature-based learning in San Diego. 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 Next Generation Science Standards framework 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?
- Core document outlining the 5 Es instructional model (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate), 2006, 19 p. BSCS_5E_Instructional_Model-ExecSummary_19p_2006