New Dimensions

By Metz, Steve | The Science Teacher, January 2013 | Go to article overview

New Dimensions


Metz, Steve, The Science Teacher


These are exciting times in science education. With the 2012 publication of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the approaching release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we have a unique opportunity to evaluate what we are doing in our science classes and create forward-thinking curricula that will finally bring science teaching into the 21st century.

The three dimensions of the Framework are scientific and engineering practices, cross-cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas.

NSTA and The Science Teacher (TST) continue to produce resources to help teachers understand the NGSS and the guiding principles upon which they will be built, as outlined in the Framework. Since 2011, TST and other NSTA journals have included a series of articles describing the practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas that play a prominent role in the Framework and NGSS. Readers will want to look at the NSTA Reader's Guide to A Framework for K-12 Science Education, available as a free e-book from the NSTA science store. Another valuable resource is the fall 2012 NSTA Web Seminar Series on Scientific and Engineering Practices, available for free at the NSTA Learning Center (see "On the web").

This issue of TST focuses on Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices (Figure 1). Articles describe practices across the disciplines of engineering, physics, and ecology. Also check out Robert Lang's commentary, Preparing for the New Standards (p. …

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