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New Guidebook to Help Educators With Ideas to Better Assess Students' Understanding of New Science Standards

A new guidebook is aiming to help educators better align their assessments to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

"The book is based on the 2013 National Academies report Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards, which found that the assessments states and districts currently use were not designed to assess the type of understanding envisioned by the NGSS, which stress the integration of knowledge of science with scientific and engineering practices," according to a release.

In the new guidebook titled, Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom, educators can expect a rundown of the changes that are now associated with teaching science. Educators will also be provided with various case studies and sample tasks as well as an explanation for how different assessment types measure proficiency. The guidebook also contains information about "how to build new kinds of assessments into the flow of instruction."

"In 2011 the National Academies released A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, which served as the foundation for the NGSS," according to the report. "Many school districts and states are using the ideas in that report to make changes that will engage students in solving problems the way scientists and engineers do and will help them better see how science is relevant to their lives."

The book emphasizes the importance of having students perform scientific experiments and seeing the impact experiments can have on the world around them. As curious minds and explorers, students have a better grip of the information they are learning if they can make real-world connections. This book allows teachers to tap into some of those important methods and help them create positive and engaging assessments.

Heidi Schweingruber, director of the National Academies’ Board on Science Education and the book's co-author, spoke about the book at yesterday's Council of State Science Supervisors conference and will be discussing it at the National Science Teachers Association conference.

The guidebook is available for purchase at the National Academies Press website.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.

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