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A Progression and Bundling Model for Developing Integrated, Socially-Relevant Science and Engineering Curricula Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, Grades 6-8

Abstract

As an increasing number of school districts around the country adopt the Next
Generation Science Standards (NGSS), curricula aligned with these standards
are in demand. Progression models provide a foundation for developing
curricular units that sequentially support one another to guide students
through coherent learning. Various models are possible for a given set of
standards. The selected model must address the unique conditions and needs
of the education initiative. Here we present and explain a progression model
and bundling of the 59 performance expectations for the NGSS middle-school
grade band. This model, the Unit Challenge Progression Model, provides the
basis for developing units that engage students in addressing challenges of
societal relevance while learning and applying content and practices from
multiple STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines
in a coherent progression. Preliminary results from pilot testing of curricular
units indicates that the bundling of performance expectations presented
here, and the incorporation of supporting subcomponents of performance
expectations, help to achieve integration of STEM disciplines while allowing
for learning of STEM content within units. This progression model continues
to be refined as additional curricular units are pilot-tested in schools.

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