What We Need in Curriculum Materials for the NRC Framework and NGSS Brian J. Reiser Learning Sciences Northwestern University What Do We Need in Curriculum Materials to Implement The Framework and NGSS? What is new? 1. Central role of scientific practices 2. Organized around core explanatory ideas 3. Coherence: building and applying ideas across time Evolution from Inquiry to Scientific Practices • Focus not just on “investigation of hypotheses” but on building ideas -- making sense of findings, using results to develop models, argue competing explanations and reach consensus • Includes collaboration and discourse elements of working together to develop scientific knowledge 1. Asking questions and defining problems 5. Using mathematics and computational thinking 2. Developing and using models 6. Developing explanations and designing solutions 3. Planning and carrying out investigations 4. Analyzing and interpreting data 7. Engaging in argument from evidence 8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information A Departure from Separate Content and Inquiry Standards Organized around core explanatory ideas • “The next generation of standards and curricula … should be structured to identify a few core ideas in a discipline and elaborate how those ideas can be cumulatively developed over grades K-8.” (Taking Science to School, 2007, Rec. 2) • • • • Criteria for core ideas Disciplinary significance Generative for understanding and investigation Relevant to people’s interests, life experiences Teachable and learnable from K to 12 Life Sciences Core Explanatory Ideas • LS1: From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes – How do organisms live, grow, respond to their environment, and reproduce? • LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, energy, and dynamics LS1.A: How do the structures of organisms – How and why dofunctions? organisms interact with their environment? What enable life’s are the effects of these interactions? LS1.B: How do organisms grow and develop? • LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and variation of traits LS1.C: How do organisms obtain and use the – How are characteristics of one generation passed on? Why do matter and energy they need to live and grow? individuals differ? LS1.D Howevolution: do organisms process, and • LS4 Biological Unitydetect, and diversity usecan information about the environment? – How there be so many similarities among organisms yet so many different kinds of plants, animals, and microorganisms? Organized in learning progressions Learning core explanatory ideas… • …unfolds over time • …requires revisiting ideas in new contexts that force students to extend them • …requires that students engage in tasks that force them to synthesize and apply ideas “Standards should be organized as progressions that support students’ learning over multiple grades. They should take into account how students’ command of the concepts, core ideas, and practices becomes more sophisticated over time with appropriate instructional experiences.” (NRC 2011, Rec 7) A Progression of Explanatory Ideas 9-12 6-8 Molecular model of biochemical reactions for matter and energy in food. Chemical reactions model for matter and energy in food, drawing on particle model of matter and energy transfer model. 3-5 Simple food model: food consumed or produced is made of matter and provides energy for organisms. K-2 General needs model: Organisms get what they need to survive from the environment. Building Explanatory Ideas through Scientific Practices What do curriculum materials look like can support the performances expectations of NRC Framework and NGSS? Creating performance expectations from core idea + practice Practices: Developing explanations, argument from evidence Core idea: Matter and energy in organisms (grade 8): Plants, algae, and many microorganisms use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use. Animals obtain food from eating plants or eating other animals. Within individual organisms, food moves through a series of chemical reactions in which it is broken down and rearranged to form new molecules, to support growth or to release energy. In most animals and plants oxygen reacts with carbon-containing molecules (sugars) to provide energy and produce waste carbon-dioxide… Performance expectation: Students construct and defend an explanation for why the air a human breathes out contains a lower proportion of oxygen than the air he or she breathed in. The explanation needs to address where in the body the oxygen was used, how it was used, and how it was transported there. DQ: What is going on inside our bodies that helps us do the things we do? Questions Investigations Explanations What is my body made of? Microscope investigations We are made out of cells. How do we get energy out of food? Graph of blood sugar over a day Food goes thru digestive system into blood stream. Where is blood taking the food? Trace digestive, circ. systems Blood stream takes food to cells all over the body Can food get into the cells? Onion cell, cell model exps. Both water and glucose can cross membrane to get in Can cells actually use the glucose? Use of glucose by yeast Cells use glucose, produce waste, for growth and energy Where is the oxygen going? Inhale vs. exhale O2, O2 in burning Oxygen used in chemical reaction to release energy from food Where does the oxygen go in the body, Core explanatory Argument from and why? ideas evidence “Oxygen is used by our body. We know this because when we burned the cashew, the water above it and the cashew changed because of a chemical reaction. The cashew turned tannish color to black, the water temperature changed from 23° to 68°. When we inhale oxygen, it travels through your epiglottis and Argument from trachea to the alveoli. Finally it gets into the blood ideas stream, where it gets taken to other parts of theexplanatory body. You use the oxygen to burn the food into energy. According to our scientific principles, you need oxygen to convert the chemical energy to other energies for our cells. Since we need oxygen Core to burn explanatory food to get energy, you need to (Source: inhale.” 7 grade, suburban ideas district, Apr 2010) th Example: Developing explanations by investigating primary data Scientists in the Galapagos were surprised to see a large drop in the population of finches during several years of their study. From 1976 through 1977, a large majority of finches died, while others survived. • Why are so many finches dying? • Why are some of the finches able to survive? Developing explanations by investigating primary data Developing Explanations and Engaging in Argument from Evidence What have you all found out from the data so far? Causal Explanation for population change The finches with longer beaks had a better chance at survival than those with shorter beak lengths. All of the dry seasons had very little rain. However, all of the wet Drought seasons have between 150 and 200 cm of rain except the wet season of 1977. This proves that there was a drought. There were the fewest number of seeds in the wet and dry seasons Seeds of 1977. The wet season of 1977 had the fewest number of seeds than any other wet season. There were the fewest number of finches in the dry season of 1977. Claim This was because of the shortage of food in 1977. The beak lengths for the finches that died in the wet season of Differential 1977 ranged from 9.0 to 12.9. The beak lengths for the finches that survival survived in the wet season of 1977 ranged from 10.5 to 13.9. This shows that the finches that survived during the drought had longer beaks than those who died in the drought. Main claim Chain of cause and effect There was a drought in the wet and dry seasons of 1977. Both seasons in 1977 had a shortage of rain. Since there was less rain, there were fewer plants that were growing. Since there were fewer plants, there were fewer seeds and less food for the finches. Since there was less food, the finches had to dig down into the ground to find the food. Therefore, the longer their beaks were, the better chance they had of finding food in the ground. There were more deaths in the wet season of 1977. The finches with the longer beaks could crack open the few seeds left on the island. From Specific Explanations to General Models Natural Selection Model Variation that can be inherited Finches Explanation Change in environment Advantage: Some survive due to the variation on the trait Peppered Moths Explanation Survivors have offspring Next generation has increased numbers with the advantaged trait. Differences increase over generations. Summary: What We Need in Curriculum Materials • Organize curriculum materials around limited number of core ideas: depth and coherence, not breadth of coverage. • Core ideas should be revisited in increasing depth, and sophistication across years. Focus on connections: – Careful construction of a storyline – helping learners build sophisticated ideas from simpler explanations, using evidence. – Connections between scientific disciplines, using powerful ideas (nature of matter, energy) across life, physical, and earth science • Curriculum materials should involve learners in practices that develop, use, and refine the scientific ideas, not “explain” the science for students.