By Monica Devanas, SENCER Co-PI and MidAtlantic Co-Director
Looking for the “Next Generation” of SENCER students? When you find them they will be ready to engage in capacious questions of civic concern. Why? Because they will be primed for these discussions in their K-12 classes where the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are guiding curricular reform. Seventeen states have adopted, and more are considering, the Next Generation Science Standards for revising STEM curricula. The NGSS were developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, AAAS, and Achieve, all working together to infuse scientific and engineering practices into rigorous content integrated via cross-cutting concepts.
If you are involved in teacher training, if you are curious about the overlap of principles between the NGSS and SENCER ideals, and if you think SENCER could help transform K-12 learning, we welcome you to attend the SSI 2016 workshop that will address the links between the NGSS and SENCER, offered within the context of sessions addressing the needs of K-12 educators.
The workshop will be presented by SCI-MidAtlanic co-directors Kathy Browne and Monica Devanas, along with Jessica Monaghan, a sixth grade science teacher in New Brunswick, NJ, and SENCER alumna. The workshop, “SENCER through the K-12 Perspective: Natural Phenomena, Civic Engagement, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)” will include three parts: An introduction to the dimensions of the NGSS and summary of efforts in New Jersey to help K-12 teachers, a summary of an example middle school curriculum aligned to the NGSS, and a discussion of the future of SENCER in the K-12 world.
We hope this workshop brings together those interested in expanding SENCER into the K-12 curriculum and launches conversations that, over the course of SSI and beyond, develop this direction of work for SENCER! In addition to this workshop, other members of the SENCER community have proposed sessions on topics of interest to the K-12 community, the full slate of which will be announced next week. Help us find and prepare the “Next Generation.”