Einstein Fellows met at the Department of Energy to discuss the NGSS 2nd draft. I brought up my disappointment at not finding mention of introducing the Periodic Table in the middle school Performance Expectations. This should be introduced in middle school as properties of pure substances and chemical reactions are included (MS-PS1-b, MS-PS1-d). Mention of using the Periodic Table appears for high school only. As we went through the documents and print outs, we discovered that there were discrepancies between the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and the topical versions; these two don’t read exactly alike. We looked at the NGSS as a guideline to construct assessments, so we refrained from feedback that will be completely ignored. My primary concern, however, is that these performance expectations favor uniformity of approached rather than being conducive to diversity, equity and inclusive of all students’ backgrounds. Since the Committee of Ten (1893) we have had a standardized curriculum and “the cumulative effect is to deny the validity of any other cultural perspective on science-in particular on which might have more relevance to women and students from other cultures…” (p.60, Claussen & Osborne, Science Education, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 58-79, 2013). NGSS is another elegant example reflecting the values of an elite where “the imposition of a cultural arbitrary by an arbitrary power” is apparent (p. 60, Claussen & Osborne, citing Bourdieu).



05/14/2013 5:29pm

Did any of you think it's funny that your Einstein fellows, but there's no E=mc2 in the standards??

05/14/2013 7:41pm

Good point; that wasn't brought up in our discussions. I focused on the middle school science standards. But, certainly, students should be able to understand the basic concepts behind such equations, especially when they are popularized and reduced to a mechanical repetition without any meaning.


Leave a Reply