Next Gen Navigator
Posted on 2020-01-30
This month’s Next Gen Navigator is focused on Supporting Equity in the Classroom. Many educators have heard the term equity, but some confusion still exists about how it looks in the classroom.
In this issue, the contributing writers discuss how they ensure their lessons are accessible and fair for all of their students. They also examine how educators empower students to access and lead their own learning when equity is a driving force in a unit/lesson design. The writers share their successes in implementing accessible and fair assessments, allowing every student an opportunity to demonstrate the science ideas they have learned.
I hope that readers of these pieces understand that equity is neither an afterthought nor something to inject into our lessons after they are designed. Rather, equity is something to focus on when we choose relevant, authentic phenomena, and it impacts how we engage students with the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts, as well as how we ensure students understand the science ideas. When we make equity a priority, we communicate to our students that we have considered each and every one of them before they even enter our classrooms. We show them that who they are and how they learn is just as important as what they are learning.
Next Gen Navigator Guest Editor
Jessica Holman is a K-8 Curriculum Assessment Specialist with Great Minds. She has worked as a special education teacher for 11 years in North Carolina and Kentucky. Holman holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a master’s degree in teacher leadership with a certification in instructional technology from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. She served as an active science teacher leader in her school district; she collaborates with peers and integrates instruction into her blended learning classroom. Holman has worked with educators across Kentucky to communicate educational strategies that support the learning and growing of fellow educators. She is motivated by the opportunity for equitable education through the implementation of the NGSS and strives to ensure every student feels accepted and encouraged to learn science.
Veteran educator Julia Deevers-Rich shares how she promotes equitable, nature-based learning opportunities for all through one of her favorite lessons, taking her kindergarten students outside to explore the schoolyard. Read more.
Eighth-grade science teacher Hallie Booth explains why she believes all students can be successful when lessons are designed to use the three dimensions to make sense of phenomena. Read more.
Boone County High School science teachers Laura Littrell and Kevin Williams discuss how they implement multimodal, phenomenon-based assessments to ensure educational equity in their classrooms. Read more.
Note: The Next Gen Navigator is a monthly e-newsletter from NSTA delivering information, insights, resources, and professional learning opportunities for science educators by science educators on the Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional instruction. Click here to sign up to receive the Navigator every month.
The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.