The Next Generation Science Standards
(NGSS) are the new science standards for California (adopted in 2013). The key thing to know about the standards is that they are based on three dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. The three dimensions are brought together in a variety of combinations in NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs). The PEs are assessment targets that describe what students should be able to do if they have a good understanding of science and engineering. To meet the PEs, classroom instruction needs to shift to three-dimensional teaching and learning. While shifting instruction can be a difficult task (for teachers and students!) the change from knowledge-based standards to performance standards is an exciting change.