November/December 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 2

Learning to Teach in 3D

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Joseph Calmer

Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”

I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany.

NGSS is not about new standards; those are simply the effect of a larger cause. The new standards are the outcome of developing new ways to teach science. We need to change our teaching. Students learn differently in this post-modern society. We were taught in a time when you had to take notes and review your notes because the only time they were available to you was while the teacher lectured on them (at you). That is not the case anymore. A student can simply find your notes (or better ones) online along with a video, a podcast, and interactive software that supplement it.

Another way to get a similar effect on changing teacher practices is reading about science education. I can tell by all the healthy dialogues on twitter, at CSTA conferences, in various meetings (SCASS), etc. that there are many engaged science teachers. I think that as long as we continue to behave like professionals, engage in professional learning, the standards and the outcomes we want will follow.

By engaging in talking about teaching content, with novice teachers, these notions come out and help me become a better teacher who understands 3D learning a bit more.

Joseph Calmer teaches chemistry and physics at Lawndale High School, is chair of the CSTA publications committee, and a member of CSTA.

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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Priority Features of NGSS-Aligned Instructional Materials

Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Recommendations for Publishers, Reviewers, and Educators. The California Science Teachers Association and the science teachers associations of three other Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) west-coast states, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have co-authored a white paper on priority features of NGSS instructional materials. This is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS. We understand all too well that for meaningful shifts to happen and to support the full vision of the NGSS, strong K-12 Instructional materials are required. Learn More…

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Posted: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

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CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

NGSS – Early Attempts and Later Reflections from an Early Implementer Teacher

Posted: Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

CSTA Is Now Accepting Nominations for Board Members

Posted: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Current, incoming, and outgoing CSTA Board of Directors at June 3, 2017 meeting.

Updated 7:25 pm, Nov. 17, 2017

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Right now is an exciting time to be involved at the state level in the California Science Teachers Association. The CSTA Board of Directors is currently involved in implementing the Next Generations Science Standards and its strategic plan. If you are interested in serving on the CSTA Board of Directors, now is the time to submit your name for consideration. Learn More…

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Expanding Your Definition of Informal Science Education

Posted: Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

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