- Finding material that both aligns to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and is lively enough to grab the interest of students and teachers is a slog, Education Week reports.
- While the standards themselves have earned favorable nods from science teachers, few administrators and curriculum designers agree on what material is best — and analyzing curriculum takes longer than just an afternoon, requiring hours to be put in over summer along with extra prep time.
- Many districts are waiting to acquire new curriculum, finding that standards don’t always dovetail with what’s available, feeling concerns about spending funds without seeing proven results, and awaiting field studies or at least options from major publishers.
Standards-based curriculum can help ensure students have consistent, excellent and proven lesson plans. But finding that material is often not simple.
The K-12 Next Generation Science Standards are meant to bring research-based curriculum into the science arena. But finding resources that mesh with the new standards has been made even harder by curriculum designers who have felt ping-ponged in recent years as districts and states change what is and isn't required. Education budgets are limited, and administrators hope to avoid tossing curriculum that’s just a year or two old.
Waiting for research that shows how well materials work in classroom settings is prudent. While that may require improvising to find resources and lessons that teachers can use in the meantime, that option can also save districts from making expensive mistakes.