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Council of State Science Supervisors

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Presentation on theme: "Council of State Science Supervisors"— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific and Engineering Practices in the Framework and Next Generation Science Standards
Council of State Science Supervisors Presentation at NSTA Annual Conference Jacob Foster – Massachusetts Department of Education Brett Moulding – Partnership for Effective Science Teaching and Learning March 29, 2012

2 Overview A Framework for K-12 Science Education
Science & Engineering Practices A Focus on Engineering Design Similarities and Differences Representation in NGSS Implications and Discussion

3 Building from research & key reports…
Many of these studies and the reports that resulted from them come from the National Research Council, the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Each has made a critical, often ground breaking contribution to our collective understanding of learning in the context of science. The Framework for K-12 Science Education that we are discussing with you today is constructed around many of the research-based ideas on learning, science, teaching, and cognitive development found in these reports. The Framework is based on a well-respected corpus of evidence. Building Capacity in State Science Education BCSSE

4 … to the NRC Framework Framework for K-12 Science Education
NSES and Benchmarks Taking Science to School and Ready, Set, Science! Framework for K-12 Science Education The NRC Framework builds on a rich set of resources developed over time, from the 1990’s NSES and Benchmarks to the NRC documents noted in the previous slide, to the NRC Framework today.

5 The NRC Framework A vision of science education 3 Dimensions
Science & Engineering Practices Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts So, lets place our context for discussion today on the NRC Framework, the classroom and children learning science. The intent of the NRC Framework is that all three dimensions be integrated in standards, where students experience those together rather than separate. With this said, this presentation is focused on the practices dimension with particular attention to the inclusion of engineering.

The Framework is designed to help realize a vision for education in the sciences and engineering in which students, over multiple years of school, actively engage in science and engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their understanding of the core ideas in these fields. The learning experiences provided for students should engage them with fundamental questions about the world and with how scientists have investigated and found answers to those questions. Throughout the K-12 grades, students should have the opportunity to carry out scientific investigations and engineering design projects related to the disciplinary core ideas.

7 Engaging in Science and Engineering through Practices

8 Think-Pair-Share Describe some of the “typical” science projects your school engages in. What kind of inquiry or engineering design skills are needed to complete those science projects? Many science activities in which students are currently engaged are as much engineering as science. Many projects that science teachers and classrooms currently engage in already have elements of engineering design, but we often do not make this explicit. This presentation is geared toward helping you to understand the elements of engineering design, where you might already be engaged in that, and a better understanding of the NRC expectations to help make this explicit with students and teachers.

9 Science and Engineering Practices
1. Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering) 2. Developing and using models 3. Planning and carrying out investigations 4. Analyzing and interpreting data 5. Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking 6. Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering) 7. Engaging in argument from evidence 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information Framework Page 42 Pre-Publication Version Framework 3-28 to 31 The 8 practices of science and engineering should not be taken as discrete. They happen together or in conjunction. They are not a sequence that is followed in a stepwise manner, but rather as set of practices that student should engage in as science. Need to discuss the science and engineering parts on 1 and Science and engineering practices are very similar (hence the NRC talks about them together using the same language) except for their differences in purpose (#1) and products (#6). But even in those practices science and engineering are about understanding the world (natural vs. designed) and attending to evidence as a way of knowing (to explain and to craft solutions). The discussion should connect back to the activity. Discuss the role of evidence in explanation. Move the discussion toward how these practices are connected to one another.

10 Science and Engineering Practices
Science & engineering practices distinguish science from other ways of knowing. When students actively engage in science & engineering practices, they deepen their understanding of core science ideas. This vision of the core ideas, concepts, and practices provides the utility students need to engage in making sense of the natural and designed world. Highlight that both attend to evidence as a way of knowing. There are other ways of knowing (emotional, cultural, perceptual), but science and engineering share this attention to and value of empirical evidence.

11 Why Practices? The idea of science as a set of practices has emerged from the work of historians, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists over the past 60 years. This perspective is an improvement over previous approaches in several ways. First – It minimizes the tendency to reduce scientific practices to a single set of procedures, such as identifying and controlling variables, classifying entities, and identifying sources of error. This tendency overemphasizes experimental investigation at the expense of other practices, such as, posing questions, arguing from evidence, modeling, critique, and communication. Second – A focus on practices (in the plural) avoids the mistaken impression that there is one distinctive approach common to all science—a single “scientific method”—or that uncertainty is a universal attribute of science. Third – Attempts to develop the idea that science should be taught through a process of inquiry have been hampered by the lack of a commonly accepted definition of its constituent elements. Framework 3-2, Page 48 The practices in isolation from the content provides little meaning to these practices. Research has clearly shown that students effectively learn content through engaging in/in conjunction with learning practices. The focus in the Framework is on important practices, such as modeling, developing explanations, and engaging in critique and evaluation (argumentation), that have too often been underemphasized in the context of science education. Students engage in argumentation from evidence to understand the science reasoning and empirical evidence to support explanations.

12 Why Practices? Emphasizes outcomes from instruction
References both scientific inquiry and engineering design A few practical reasons as well…standards are about the skills and knowledge a student should achieve as a result of their education (the outcomes), NOT about the instructional methodology used to engage them in the classroom. Inquiry has had both meanings which causes confusion in regards to the role of standards; the term “practices” helps to convey the emphasis just on the desired outcomes. Additionally, inquiry is used almost exclusively in science; the term “practices” encompasses both scientific skills and engineering design skills.

13 Engineering Practices
Engineering practices are a natural extension of science practices. Science instruction often includes opportunities for engineering practices. Engineering is not a new component of science standards. Some states currently have elements of engineering in their science standards. The Framework provides meaningful connections of science and engineering in the Practices. Engineering Practices are generally a new concept for many states or have been used in very different ways on other states. This should focus on the Framework descriptions of Engineering Practices, particularly engineering design. The inclusion of core ideas related to engineering, technology, and applications of science reflects an increasing emphasis at the national level on considering connections between science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is also informed by a recent report from the NRC on engineering education in K-12, which highlights the linkages—which go both ways—between learning science and learning engineering. Just as new science enables or sometimes demands new technologies, new technologies enable new scientific investigations, allowing scientists to probe realms and handle quantities of data previously inaccessible to them.

14 Let’s Explore Engineering with Paper – Activity
Using only the two sheets of paper and cards provided, construct a platform that supports the mass of the full water bottle in a stable position as far above the chair seat as possible. While constructing the tower, consider the engineering practices that are useful in constructing the tower. Consider the science knowledge needed in, or relevant to, constructing the tower. The point of this activity is to provide a common experience from which we can illustrate engineering concepts and skills – as conveyed in the NRC Framework. This activity is not meant to be an activity that you can take and do with students – it is not designed to teach you about particular engineering concepts or practices. It is intended to illustrate what the concepts and practices look like to help you become familiar with them and make them explicit. Think about the science and engineering practices involved in this activity as well as the science knowledge used.

15 Core Idea ETS1 Engineering Design
How do engineers solve problems? The design process—engineers’ basic approach to problem solving—involves many different practices. They include problem definition, model development and use, investigation, analysis and interpretation of data, application of mathematics and computational thinking, and determination of solutions. These engineering practices incorporate specialized knowledge about criteria and constraints, modeling and analysis, and optimization and trade-offs. Framework 204 Core Idea ETS1: Engineering Design ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution From the NRC Framework

What is a design for? What are the criteria and constraints of a successful solution? The engineering design process begins with Identification of a problem to solve Specification of clear goals, or criteria for final product or system Criteria, which typically reflect the needs of the expected end-user Engineering must contend with a variety of limitations or constraints Constraints, which frame the salient conditions under which the problem must be solved, may be physical, economic, legal, political, social, ethical, aesthetic, or related to time and place. In terms of quantitative measurements, constraints may include limits on cost, size, weight, or performance. Constraints place restrictions on a design, not all of them are permanent or absolute. Framework 204 From the NRC Framework

What is the process for developing potential design solutions? The creative process of developing a new design to solve a problem is a central element of engineering Open-ended generation of ideas Specification of solutions that meet criteria and constraints Communicated through various representations, including models Data from models and experiments can be analyzed to make decisions about a design. Framework 206-7 From the NRC Framework

How can the various proposed design solutions be compared and improved? Multiple solutions to an engineering design problem are always possible; determining what constitutes “best” requires judgments Optimization requires making trade-offs among competing criteria Judgments are based on the situation and the perceived needs of the end-user of the product or system Different designs, each optimized for different conditions, are often needed Framework 208-9 From the NRC Framework

19 Reflect on Paper Tower Activity in Light of ETS1
Core Idea ETS1: Engineering Design ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution This discussion needs to focus on the engineering design ideas in the Framework and how those are represented in the activity. Where possible, differentiate those from scientific inquiry. In particular stress what the design problem was, the criteria for success (in this case articulated as the desired outcomes of the tower), the constraints (or limitations) put on the participants (i.e., limited to the paper, cards and water bottle; also not the constraints not articulated – did not rule out using the chair back, for example). Also note how participants went about the activity (brainstorming possibilities, trying out a design, testing it, then redesigning or tweaking the design) and communicating their ideas. Finally reflect on how the designs are optimized for the conditions of the situation (built on a chair; several groups likely will move to a table or floor which will allow for a different design optimized for a flat surface).

20 Similarities and Differences
Engineering and science are similar in that both involve creative processes, and neither use just one method. Just as scientific investigation has been defined in different ways, engineering design has been described in various ways. However, there is widespread agreement on the broad outlines of the engineering design process. Like scientific investigations, engineering design is both iterative and systematic. It is iterative in that each new version of the design is tested and then modified, based on what has been learned up to that point. It is systematic in that a number of characteristic steps must be undertaken. Framework 3- 4,5 Differences mainly in purpose and product This slide might be better visualized with a table comparing science and engineering (next slide). Engineering design is not trial and error but a process, just like scientific inquiry.

21 Similarities and Differences
Scientific Inquiry Engineering Design Ask a question Define a problem Obtain, evaluate and communicate technical information Plan investigations Plan designs and tests Develop and use models Design and conduct tests of experiments or models Design and conduct tests of prototypes or models Analyze and interpret data Use mathematics and computational thinking Construct explanations using evidence Design solutions using evidence Engage in argument using evidence When we compare these practices there are clear places where engineering differs from science (purpose and product), but each are closely related and build upon one another. Adapted from A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2011)

22 Evidence to Support Explanations
Science is distinguished from other ways of knowing by the reliance on evidence as the central tenet. Constructing science teaching and learning to value and use science as a process for students to obtain knowledge based on empirical evidence. Using the Engineering Design process as a tool for problem solving as described in the Disciplinary Core Ideas relies on evidence to assess solutions. The role of evidence is essential to science. There are many ways of knowing, science is a way of knowing that is predicated on evidence. Other ways of knowing use emotion, the arts or faith, religions as ways of knowing. Science just happens to be a very powerful and reliable way of knowing where replication is required to science. Science is not a democratic process, we do not vote on science, it is determined by evidence.

23 Building Interest in Science
The line between applied science and engineering is fuzzy. The Framework seeks ways for science and engineering to be used to investigate real-world problems and explore opportunities to apply scientific knowledge to engineering design problems. The Framework is designed to build a strong base of core competencies to be applied by students to develop a better grounding in scientific knowledge and practices—and create greater interest in furthering science learning. Applying the science ideas in the context of engineering is one way to build interest in science. Framework 32 It is impossible to do engineering today without applying science in the process, and, in many areas of science, designing and building new experiments require scientists to engage in engineering practices Investigation and applying core ideas is a more meaningful way to learn that science—as compared to when instruction “covers” multiple disconnected pieces of information.

24 Goals for Science Education
The Framework’s vision takes into account two major goals for K-12 science education: Educating all students in science and engineering. Providing the foundational knowledge for those who will become the scientists, engineers, technologists, and technicians of the future. The Framework principally concerns itself with the first task—what all students should know in preparation for their individual lives and for their roles as citizens in this technology-rich and scientifically complex world. Framework 10 The goals for science education are manifold, but at the heart of the vision is a clear message that science teaching and learning is for all children. The goals are symbiotic and support one another. A society without both scientists and a well educated public that supports and considers the outcomes of science critically will not lead to meaningful outcomes for science.

25 Summary Where to find current information on the development of the Next Generation Science Standards.

26 Looking at the structure of the standards, engineering can be found in any of the Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and/or Practices. This particular example (released by Achieve) does not contain an explicit engineering element although engineering appears in each dimension in the NRC Framework.

27 Implications and Discussion
For professional development For curricular and instructional resources For assessment Professional development that embraces both the engineering practices as well as the science practices are important. Taking the time in pd to help teachers see the connections and the DCIs for engineering is critical to developing depth of understanding o these to aspects of student learning.

28 Useful Websites Framework NSTA article by Cary Sneider NGSS website Here are some useful web sites that where resources are available.

29 The way the these standards will play out is in the classrooms with our students. It is very important that we understand that the engineering and science are can enhance the learning of both of these important ways students make sense of the world.

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