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An opinion piece about the NGSS Crosscutting Concepts.
This article introduces lots of information about NGSS crosscutting concepts, which is useful for teachers to understand NGSS crosscutting concepts and is inspirational for them to implement it in their science teaching. At first, the author combos the timeline of crosscutting concepts’ development, showing how those concepts became richer and more mature from 1964 to 2013. Crosscutting concepts were defined in NGSS, which included patterns, cause and effect, scale, proportion, and quantity, system and system models, energy and matter, structure and function and stability and change. (NGSS Lead States 2013) Also, teaching crosscutting concepts are regarded as teaching students to use a coherent way to understand the world, it almost built the bridge between all disciplines and help students to learn those science disciplines better. To help the reader understand better, the author uses “Patterns” as an example to show the wide range of disciplines which this crosscutting concept covered and the benefits that build students’ ability to make predictions. At the end of this article, Harold Pratt also gives some specific methods to develop crosscutting concepts in science teaching, such as using consistent vocabulary in the instructional materials.
For early childhood students, it is hard for them to understand crosscutting concepts because those concepts are relatively abstract. Therefore, as the author suggests, firstly, I will use consistent vocabulary in my class so that students can be familiar with those common vocabularies and learn how to use them across all disciplines and all activities. Besides, in order to help students understand the crosscutting concepts, I will arrange the different activities about the same crosscutting concept when I teach different science disciplines, and when we do the new activity, I will bring students to recall the previous activities and explicitly explain that how those activities connected. I believe that constant practice and repetition will make them understand better, and their experience and inspiration for participating in activities will deepen their understanding as well.
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