The final version of the Next Generation Science Standards were released today.
Worried that public schools are failing to prepare students for a complex and changing world, educators unveiled new guidelines Tuesday that call for sweeping changes in the way science is taught in the United States, emphasizing hands-on learning and critical scrutiny of scientific evidence.
The guidelines, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, were devised to combat widespread scientific ignorance, standardize teaching among disparate states and raise the number of high school graduates who choose scientific and technical majors in college, a critical issue for the country’s economic welfare.
Many states are likely to adopt the guidelines over the next year, but it could be years before the guidelines are translated into detailed curriculum documents and specific lesson plans, teachers are trained or retrained in the material and centralized tests are revised.
And all of this has to happen at a time when state education departments and many local schools are under severe financial strain. Inevitably, educators said, some states will do it better than others.
“You can’t do education on the cheap,” said Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, a group that counters efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution and climate science. “Teachers are going to need some help in mastering this approach.”
You can view the standards here.