Transforming science education through research-driven innovation
September 3, 2019
By: Sarah Schwartz
When Susan McClarty’s district made the switch to open educational resources, the 6th and 7th grade science teacher at Centennial Middle School in Broken Arrow, Okla., initially struggled to find quality materials aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. “We were kind of wading through water, trying to create something out of nothing,” she said.
But last school year, her school participated in a field test for a new, open-source middle grades science curriculum: OpenSciEd. The units were easy to use and emphasized hands-on discovery, she said, and using them took the pressure off of teachers to shape a coherent curriculum.
McClarty is one of the many teachers who have found it difficult to find materials that answer the NGSS’ call for science instruction based on questioning and discovery.
Now, OpenSciEd is slowly rolling out one of the first full, OER curricula that claims alignment to these standards. Three units are currently available to the public: 6th grade thermal energy, 7th grade metabolic reactions, and 8th grade sound waves. All three were rated high quality by the peer review panel at Achieve, a nonprofit organization that helped states write the NGSS.
OpenSciEd, backed by funders including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, plans to release the remaining units in groups of three every six months. The full sequence is projected to be out by winter 2022…
Read the full article on edweek.org