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The Status of Elementary Science Education: Are We Ready for the Next Generation Science Standards?


"The forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aim to reshape K-12 science education, but making the vision a reality will require changes throughout the education system. What teachers ultimately do in the classroom depends on a host of factors, including state and district policies, school structures and supports, pre-service preparation, in-service learning opportunities, parent/community expectations, and availability of instructional resources, among others.

This paper highlights results about the current status of elementary science education from the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME), including topics such as teacher attributes (e.g., experience, college preparation), teacher beliefs about teaching and learning, instructional resources, instructional practices, professional development opportunities, and school and district policies to support science instruction. In addition, implications for implementation of the NGSS are discussed."