Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Generation Science Standards

College Board hosted an amazing group of people to discuss the dramatic shift in science education that will occur due to changes in the AP science exams and the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  I had the pleasure of sitting next to Governor Roy Romer - former governor of Colorado and former superintendent of education for Los Angeles Unified School District.  His quote below pretty much summarizes the challenge before us:

"Irrational politics in DC will get worse.  But the understanding that we need increased productivity through technology and science will drive change.  The average American family cannot get out of the state they are in with the jobs in front of them.  Economy improvement comes from productivity gains and we cannot achieve improved productivity without improved science education."

The new AP science exams and NGSS both drive science education from massive rote memorization into deeper understanding of how to use science knowledge. Teachers must adapt their practice from pronouncing content at the front of the classroom to a real focus on inquiry based learning. The labs in the new AP Biology nicknamed the Great 8 are absolutely mandatory if students are going to pass AP Bio - you can no longer get away with memorizing the outcomes.

This is a dramatic shift in teaching and learning for science.  It will push students to a deeper understanding of the big concepts critical to master the discipline and a greater ability to use that knowledge.  LTF Training is all about inquiry based instruction to create a deeper understanding of math, science and English.  This shift in focus will create a huge opportunity for LTF.

When we succeed, it will have a profound impact on our economy.