Connecting Earth Science and Sustainability to Teach the NGSS
Date and Time:
Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 1:00pm to Friday, August 3, 2018, 2:00pm
Friday, June 8, 2018, 5:00pm
The adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in many states - including Washington and Oregon - have highlighted a mismatch between commonly-used instructional materials and the integrated, three-dimensional learning opportunities envisioned by the Framework for K-12 Science Education and standards based on the Framework. Three-dimensional learning engages students in making sense of phenomena and solving engineering problems by using science and engineering practices together with the cross-cutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas; investigations are data-rich, building understanding by gathering evidence and making arguments based on that evidence. In the NGSS, the Earth sciences play a much more significant role than they have in past science standards, and the disciplinary core ideas emphasize the interactions between Earth and human activity, which is largely a new content area for most teachers. The concept of sustainability figures into the core ideas in Earth science, yet is not a prominent component of existing Earth science texts.
Teaching about the Earth takes many different forms in the context of different schools, from a stand-alone course, to integrated with physical and/or life science, to honors and dual enrollment courses. We recognize that these diverse forms make it all the more challenging to implement new curricula, instructional strategies, and content areas. How can Earth science and sustainability be incorporated into these different contexts?
The InTeGrate project developed and tested curricular materials with goals to address societal grand challenges, use rigorous science and research-based practices in learning, and be adaptable by instructors in many types of institutions and environments. The materials were originally designed for use in introductory Earth-related undergraduate courses, but they are well-aligned with three-dimensional learning and have been tagged with the NGSS concepts, core ideas, practices, and performance expectations (primarily in the Earth sciences) and can be browsed by those tags.
This workshop will bring together up to 20 high school and middle school science teachers in the Pacific Northwest to take the next steps in making InTeGrate materials easily adoptable in their classrooms and other K-12 classrooms. Participants will engage not only in learning about the web-based, freely available resources, but in developing supporting resources that will help them and their colleagues make better use of the materials in their teaching within their contexts. These supporting resources could take a variety of forms, and could include ties to Common Core standards in math or English Language/Arts, assemblies of coherent sequences of activities that build understanding of a particular phenomena, descriptions of productive talk moves and how to generate productive discourse around a particular topic, or suggestions for bundling three-dimensions to produce a new performance expectation. The types of scaffolds and resources to be developed will be determined by workshops participants.
Participants in this workshop will:
- Discuss the role of sustainability in the NGSS and in their science teaching
- Learn about the InTeGrate instructional resources and their alignment with the NGSS
- Develop scaffolds and supporting resources to support implementation of the InTeGrate materials in the middle and high school science classroom
- Develop action plans for their own classroom, school, and/or district to implement three-dimensional learning opportunities that address sustainability
By applying to the workshop, participants agree to do the following, if accepted:
- Write and submit an essay: Participants must submit an essay describing the context of teaching about the Earth and sustainability in their school and/or district, how it is evolving with implementation of the NGSS, and the perceived challenges and opportunities they face with that implementation.
- Prepare in advance for the workshop: Participants will explore the InTeGrate materials online in advance of the workshop and select 2-3 modules that they wish to focus on during the workshop.
- Participate fully in the entire workshop and attend all workshop sessions. Many participants will be invited to make presentations or serve as discussion or working group leaders at the workshop. Return travel should not be scheduled before 4 pm on August 3 to allow for finishing the workshop and transport to the airport if necessary.
There is no fee to attend this workshop, and the project grant (NSF DUE - 112533) covers participant lodging, meals and supplies during the workshop.
Participants will receive a $500 stipend for attending and participating in the workshop and for travel to and from the workshop. A limited number of additional travel scholarships may be available for teachers in Washington state on a case-by-case basis by application. Participants will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
Application and Selection Criteria
This workshop is designed for middle and high school science teachers who are interested in sustainability and want to be on the leading edge of developing and adopting instructional materials that support implementation of sustainability concepts and the NGSS. Applications are welcomed from teachers of all science disciplines at both middle and high school levels. We encourage groups of applicants from one school, or from strongly linked middle and high schools, to support collaboration.
In selecting participants from among the applicant pool, we will seek a diverse set of participants. Preference will be given to applicants with experience and expertise in the NGSS and sustainability, as well as to applicants interested in strengthening their own teaching. Preference will also be given to U.S. teachers.
The application deadline is: June 8, 2018
The workshop location is IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, WA. All food and lodging are provided at the facility.
For More Information
For questions about the content and nature of the workshop, please contact the workshop leaders: