Informing Efforts to Support NGSS Implementation: Needs Assessment Data and Discussion

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The geoscience community has a vested interest in the use of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In those K-12 schools where the ideas from those documents are being implemented, Earth and Space Science courses and content will have a more prominent role than they have in most classrooms up to this time. It is important, therefore, that members of the geoscience community support the implementation of those ideas in ways that are guided by information about the practical needs of teachers, schools, and students. This session will describe needs assessment data gathered in advance of the Summit Meeting on the Implementation of the NGSS at the State Level, which was organized in April 2015 as a joint effort of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). The data to be discussed include qualitative data from interviews and quantitative survey data, as well as data based on responses by the 50+ Summit attendees who represented a variety of perspectives in geoscience education. Potential actions that individuals and organizations can take to address these needs will be offered, but with the intent of opening the discussion to participants in the session. Particular attention will be given to areas where the needs assessment data suggest points of tension, such as the fact that many teachers recognize that they will be assessed based on student performance, while at the same time responding that students are not prepared for the type of science instruction called for in the Framework or the NGSS. In that the samples used in the needs assessments are fairly small, the participants will be encouraged to consider the results critically and gauge whether the results resonate with their own understanding of what is needed for successful implementation of the Framework and NGSS.

  • Ed Robeck*
  • Geological Society of America Annual Meeting 2015