Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

Chemistry Instruction in the Era of the NGSS

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As I begin my 38th year of teaching chemistry, I have been curious to see how the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve Inc. 2013) will impact my teaching practices and those of my colleagues. The NGSS establish performance expectations for students that integrate three important dimensions--science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts--and incorporate important concepts of engineering.

Maintaining a teachable number of core ideas was clearly a priority for the NGSS writers. For example, only eight high school--level performance expectations directly relate to chemistry. Teachers can help students reach expectations by using the core ideas with a variety of instructional practices. The NGSS is not curriculum.

The first chemistry performance expectation (PE) is that "students who demonstrate understanding can use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms" (Achieve Inc. 2013, HS-PS1). This PE is then connected to the disciplinary core idea of Structure and Properties of Matter (PS1.A), the science and engineering practice of Developing and Using Models, and the crosscutting concept of Patterns. …

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