why we need the crosscutting conceptsThe crosscutting concepts are probably the hardest of the three dimensions to incorporate, considering they are the least tangible element of the three strands of science instruction. That said, you lot probably take been using them forever anyway, you lot probably do it naturally, and you might exist surprised how easy it is to really start incorporating these.

What Are The Crosscutting Concepts?

Co-ordinate to the NSTA, the Crosscutting Concepts “take application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science.” They are based (similar everything in the standards) on A Framework for K-12 Scientific discipline Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (Framework). The Framework identified these seven large concepts for their ability to cantankerous disciplinary boundaries and aid students deepen their understanding of the cadre ideas within the disciplines. These concepts as well contribute to the development of a “scientific worldview” — or a way to view and empathize the earth that is based on scientific principles and approaches. These concepts are not new — we have long viewed them as themes or underlying ideas.  The difference between these and the Crosscutting Concepts included in the Side by side Generation Science Standards is only that the NGSS expects we contain these ideas into our education explicitly.  We cannot expect students to develop agreement of these ideas without providing them the back up and learning opportunities to practise and so.

Why Do We Need Them?

ane. They provide the mental tools – or schema – necessary for students to make sense of new information.

In psychology, schemas are frameworks that assist us organize, understand, and process new data. We all interpret new information in low-cal of what nosotros already know.  We process data based on what we have thought and believed and experienced in the by. The crosscutting concepts provide this type of framework that tin can assistance students acquire new information past offering a framework through which to understand and connect information technology.  They provide an access signal or arroyo to the new information to take it from something overwhelming and complex to digestible pieces that make sense.

2. They support students’ utilize of science and engineering science practices.

Y’all probably noticed in the higher up examples that the crosscutting concepts (patterns, systems and system models) were paired with science practices (planning and carrying out investigations, developing and using models).  Unlike crosscutting concepts tend to pair with different science and engineering practices and support students’ performance.

iii. They improve the transfer of knowledge from science fields to applied science.

Because exposure to engineering science has historically been limited, especially so for students in at risk populations, the field can seem for many foreign and intimidating.  The crosscutting concepts tin provide a bridge for students to talk over engineering science problems and solutions using vocabulary that is already familiar to them.

4. They increase rigor and can exist used to “level the playing field.”

All too often for at-hazard students, scientific discipline education is “dumbed down.”  Instead of providing the rigorous, hands-on learning experiences that are actually valuable in developing scientific discipline understanding, science class becomes a 45 infinitesimal venture into vocabulary definitions and arts and crafts projects.   Crosscutting concepts can add rigor to these types of courses, supporting deeper thinking and understanding by shifting the focus from surface-level knowledge to the big picture connections.

And then what now?

Your students aren’t engaged. They aren’t thinking. They don’t care. And you’re just tired of educational activity with notes and lectures and texts. Sound familiar? Information technology’s time to effort something new.

You lot can acquire more virtually transforming your instruction every bit y’all learn to teach with the NGSS at the Science Teacher Tribe.  As a Science Teacher Tribe fellow member, you get access to a professional development customs full of resource designed to help you make the transition simply and smoothly. I’m not going to lie – it definitely takes some work, but it doesn’t take to be confusing or overwhelming or a struggle. It’s well-nigh adopting a new mindset, and our workshops and resources are designed to support you through it. Learn more hither, and check with your district nigh obtaining funding.