So, how would I change my "standards" in my SBG system? As I look at the NGSS Framework and draft standards, there are some clear categories. But, as in all standards documents, it may not be useful to simply dump all of the standards in. What is the best way to group things?
This is where SBG people and mammalogist meet. Some folks are "groupers" and some are "splitters." Who is correct? The problem I run into is what degree of precision is useful to me as a teacher, to the students as learners, to parents, and to future teachers? A lot to consider, indeed!
I decided to look into the Framework as well as the most recent draft standards, just to get my mind going. There are two extremes. Someone could have only 3 "standards" if they wish: Science and Engineering Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. If I was to have data on students in these categories, I don't think that is enough precision to make any decisions that are worthwhile.
On the other extreme, I think you could have upwards of 29 "standards" just for the "Life Science" strands. That would be 8 practices, 7 cross-cutting concepts, and 14 separate core ideas. Again, as I look through these, what sort of data would be useful? Are there places we can obviously group things together? How well can these groupings be defended? How much would they change with upcoming drafts?
My current thinking is this:
- Use 7 of the Science and Engineering Practices. Eliminate the "Using mathematics and computational thinking." I don't see a direct connection to life science there at the middle level in a way that is worth reporting out above and beyond what math class already does. Moot point. 8 standards would be OK too.
- Use all 7 of the Cross-Cutting Concepts.
- For Life Science, in its current structure, use the 4 core ideas from Life Science.
This idea could be used throughout a student's K12 experience. As data was added from classroom level assessments during the normal grading process, a pretty robust picture could be painted of a students understanding and growth.
A lot of the "work" is done for us. The standards are laid out. The performance expectations are there. The work could really focus on coming up with assessments and experiences to work towards those expectations.
Are 18-19 standards too many?
Thoughts on this?