Leading Instructional Models That Fit With NGSS

Inquiry Kit Instruction (modified)

What is it? Inquiry kit instruction consists of curriculum usually employed in grades 1 through 8 which allows students to engage in hands-on manipulation of a scientific phenomenon through classroom “fair test” experiments. 

How does it relate to NGSS? These inquiry curricula already leverage some of the NGSS practices, but the units can also be enhanced to build in additional emphasis on the 3-dimensional model of learning in NGSS around a broader range of the practices. For example, this modified form of inquiry instruction might engage students explanation and argumentation practices as they reason with scientific concepts and make connections to cross-cutting concepts instead of writing conclusions from hypotheses. Or, students might be asked to design and plan an investigation that they then conduct rather than being told how to structure an experiment. Or, a design task that engages students in the NGSS engineering practices as they apply a disciplinary core idea can be embedded in an inquiry investigation.

BSCS 5E Instructional Model

What is it? The BSCS 5E Instructional Model is designed to facilitate the process of conceptual change by taking students through phases of: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation. The use of this model brings coherence to different teaching strategies, provides connections among educational activities, and helps science teachers make decisions about interactions with students. 

How does it relate to NGSS? The 5E model can include scientific practices for students at almost any level, and are already designed to facilitate sensemaking through explanation. For example, students can formulate testable research questions as part of the engagement phase. They can engage in engineering design or analyze data as part of an exploration phase activity. Or, they refine a scientific model or engineering design as part of the elaboration phase. 

How can I learn more? 

Challenge-Based Learning Model

What is it? Challenge-based instruction is focused on helping students learn with understanding—a tenet of the How People Learn research volume. Student learning is centered around sustained, student-led inquiry about a complex, real-world problem or challenge. Student work through cycles of: (a) learning about aspects of the Challenge, (b) Making Connections between the challenge, scientific ideas, and their own lives, (c) conduct cycles of research around topics of interest and revise their understanding, and then (d) Go Public and present their thinking in a public forum.

How does it relate to NGSS? The challenge-based cycle already leverages many of the practices in NGSS (e.g., the Making Connections phase relates to explanation practice, the Go Public phase often relates to the communication and argumentation practices), and the research cycle typically takes students through a cycle of NGSS practices, including posing a question, designing and conducting an experiment, analyzing data, and constructing explanations.      

How can I learn more? 

The descriptions for the other instructional models are coming soon...