This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the National Congress on Science Education (NCSE) in San Juan, Puerto Rico with the President-Elect! We spent a considerable amount of time learning about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core. The release of NGSS calls for bold changes in science instruction, teacher education, and teacher professional development that position learning for all at the foci of science education as well as challenge traditional science education approaches. Much discussion at the NCSE centered on core features of NGSS, individual state adoption, and current efforts to make the case for adopting NGSS among the 48 states in attendance. The quote below resonates a central theme communicated at the congress:
"If we're serious about building a stronger economy and making sure we succeed in the 21st century, then the single most important step we can take is to make sure that every young person gets the best education possible."
⎯President Obama, September 27, 2010, in Remarks by Presidents in Conference Call with College and University Student-Journalists
NGSS goals are to provide quality science education for every young person in the US. For over two decades, (NCSLA) has advocated for quality science instruction for all students through public, private, and nonprofit partnerships. As an organization, we will continue to proactively contribute to science policy, education, and assessment matters in North Carolina by:
- Networking with leaders in STEM education to provide quality professional development to all stakeholders regarding local science education initiatives and relevant information regarding Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) implementation
- Celebrating the accomplishments of STEM educators and showcasing exemplar models within our great state
- Supporting high quality science teaching to improve student learning for the 21st century
- Leading through the delivery of innovative, research-based practices, and professional development institutes
- Advocating for sound science education policy and implementation in North Carolina Public Schools and informal settings.
I invite you to attend the membership meeting and to bring a colleague or your administrator on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 to learn more about the NGSS framework and implications on the elementary, secondary, and informal education areas at the Hilton City Charlotte Center. During the membership meeting, an expert panel of science educators, informal educators, and teacher leaders will share exemplar examples of curriculum and their knowledge regarding NGSS implementation in schools, teacher preparation programs, and informal education settings. Page Keeley, our keynote evening speaker, will share insight regarding conceptual change. You may register for the meeting online.
Lastly, Mahatma Gandhi inspires us to "Be the change you want to see in the world." If you are looking for opportunities to stay informed, build professional networks with science leaders, share your expertise with others in North Carolina, and contribute to policy as leaders in science education, you should consider joining NCSLA.
Pamela O. Gilchrist