by: Harold Pratt
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Type Journal ArticlePub Date 10/1/2014Stock # sc14_052_02_8Volume 052Issue 02
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This article has focused on one of the components with more than 50 years of history of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which is named crosscutting concepts. The whole article ... See More
This article has focused on one of the components with more than 50 years of history of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which is named crosscutting concepts. The whole article is structured from the background & history information for crosscutting concepts while providing detailed example called “Patterns” in the main body of the passage; it ends with proposing several instructional strategies which helps to develop crosscutting concepts especially in elementary schools’ environments. This set of concepts was originated from the NSTA Curriculum Committee, after several times of improving, it has developed from Conceptual Schemes to today’s Crosscutting Concepts. When it comes into examples, the article reveals a set of readily accessible standards for elementary students, for example:
“K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. 1-LS1-2 Read texts and use media to determine patterns in the behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive”.
All these standards not only include the term of patterns but also require and prompt students to have a comprehensive grasp among multiple science subjects. And these standards encourage and inspire students to discover new patterns based on what they have gained from their study activities. For strategies, the article unfolds through the angles of explicit standards and goals, consistent vocabulary, student support to meet expectations, explicit reference and assessment.
This article introduces lots of information about NGSS crosscutting concepts, which is useful for teachers to understand NGSS crosscutting concepts and is inspirational for them to implement... See More
This article introduces lots of information about NGSS crosscutting concepts, which is useful for teachers to understand NGSS crosscutting concepts and is inspirational for them to implement it in their science teaching. At first, the author combos the timeline of crosscutting concepts’ development, showing how those concepts became richer and more mature from 1964 to 2013. Crosscutting concepts were defined in NGSS, which included patterns, cause and effect, scale, proportion, and quantity, system and system models, energy and matter, structure and function and stability and change. (NGSS Lead States 2013) Also, teaching crosscutting concepts are regarded as teaching students to use a coherent way to understand the world, it almost built the bridge between all disciplines and help students to learn those science disciplines better. To help the reader understand better, the author uses “Patterns” as an example to show the wide range of disciplines which this crosscutting concept covered and the benefits that build students’ ability to make predictions. At the end of this article, Harold Pratt also gives some specific methods to develop crosscutting concepts in science teaching, such as using consistent vocabulary in the instructional materials.
For early childhood students, it is hard for them to understand crosscutting concepts because those concepts are relatively abstract. Therefore, as the author suggests, firstly, I will use consistent vocabulary in my class so that students can be familiar with those common vocabularies and learn how to use them across all disciplines and all activities. Besides, in order to help students understand the crosscutting concepts, I will arrange the different activities about the same crosscutting concept when I teach different science disciplines, and when we do the new activity, I will bring students to recall the previous activities and explicitly explain that how those activities connected. I believe that constant practice and repetition will make them understand better, and their experience and inspiration for participating in activities will deepen their understanding as well.
NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.