Teaching K–12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Based on the following reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering:
A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards Science and Engineering for Grades 6–12: Investigation and Design at the Center English Learners in STEM Subjects
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
This activity was supported by Grant No. G-20-57849 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the President’s Committee. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-68194-0
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-68194-4
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25909
Cataloging-in-Publication OR Library of Congress Control Number: 2020949027
Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.
Copyright 2020 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Teaching K–12 Science and Engineering During a Crisis. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25909.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president.
The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.
The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.
Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.
Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.
Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.
For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.
BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION
Adam Gamoran (Chair), William T. Grant Foundation
Megan Bang, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
Vicki L. Chandler, Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute
Sunita V. Cooke, MiraCosta College
Rush D. Holt, American Association for the Advancement of Science (retired)
Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
John Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tonya Matthews, STEM Learning Innovation, Wayne State University
William Penuel, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder
Stephen L. Pruitt, Southern Regional Education Board
K. Renae Pullen, K–6 Science Curriculum-Instructional Specialist, Caddo Parish Schools, Louisiana
K. Ann Renninger, Social Theory and Social Action, Swarthmore College
Marcy H. Towns, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University
Heidi Schweingruber, Director
List of Examples
This page intentionally left blank.
In spring 2020, schools throughout the country were faced with an unprecedented challenge: continue to teach the nation’s K–12 students without having them physically present in the classroom. Never before have such drastic and widespread changes to instruction been required. While remote instruction had long been on the rise, it was the exception rather than the rule. The COVID-19 pandemic changed all that.
States and districts rose to the challenge. They worked overtime to reimagine systems and processes, and teachers were asked to rapidly shift their approaches to instruction and respond creatively to the demands of remote teaching.
As school systems now prepare for the 2020–2021 school year, it is important that the measures implemented on an emergency basis in the spring of 2020 be carefully adapted to reflect acceptable, on-going procedures. As we make this transition, it is particularly important that science instruction receive its due emphasis. Never before has it been clearer that a scientifically literate populace is essential—a populace that can understand data and be able to critically weigh evidence.
This book aims to describe what high-quality science and engineering education can look like in a time of great uncertainty and to support science and engineering practitioners as they work toward their goals. It is designed to leverage the portfolio of work produced by the Board on Science Education (BOSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide insights and guidance on how to maintain high quality K–12 science education in the face of the many challenges produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Carnegie Corporation of New York provided funding for the project and worked closely with BOSE staff to conceptualize the project.
BOSE contracted with Jennifer Self to create the book itself, drawing on past reports from BOSE consensus committees and supplementing them with insights from science educators from across the country. The book was written and produced on a tight timeline in an effort to draw on insights gained from the closures during spring 2020 that can inform how schools can adapt science instruction over the 2020–2021 school year. The BOSE reports that inform this book are:
A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012)
Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards (2014)
Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (2015)
Science and Engineering for Grades 6–12: Investigation and Design at the Center (2018)
English Learners in STEM Subjects (2018)
Each of these reports was written by a committee of experts appointed by the National Academies. They provide a synthesis of research evidence and detailed conclusions and recommendations related to various aspects of science education with a focus on implementing the vision laid out in the Framework. The insights from these reports are supplemented with examples drawn from the work of science educators during spring and summer of 2020.
Board on Science Education