A new focus on science standards for teachers in one district may have ripple effects across the country.
A small group of teachers from Vista Unified School District gathered to design new science lessons that reflect “next generation science standards (NGSS)”. This is a major reworking of how science is taught in kindergarten through 12th grades.
“Gone are the days when teachers stand and deliver PowerPoint (slides), and students take notes,” said eighth grade teacher Donna Markey. “We are there to facilitate, not dictate.”
The core of the revised standards reflects the idea that science is not learned from memorizing facts and reading text, but by hands on observation and doing.
“This is cutting edge,” said Cindy Anderson, the provost at the Vista Innovation and Design Academy. “It’s all about finding the glitches in what we’re teaching at this point, so we can understand fully NGSS and help other districts understand how it works.”