10 Things to Know
The NJSLS-S are for ALL students and provide a science education they can use in real life.
A strong science education equips students with both an ability to make sense of the complex world around them and foundational skills that are necessary for all careers and life.
The NJSLS-S include the latest advances in science and research about how students best learn science.
The NJSLS-S are based on the National Research Council’s 2012 document A Framework for K-12 Science Education, which provides updated science content and reflects current research about student learning.
The NJSLS-S were developed by states and their educators.
Twenty-six lead states (including New Jersey) worked with a 40-member writing team composed of classroom teachers, working scientists, and education researchers to develop the standards. Each lead state assembled a team of educators, higher education faculty, scientists, and engineers to provide feedback on the draft standards.
Instruction based on the NJSLS-S provides all students — regardless of
background, neighborhood, or previous exposure to science — with
learning experiences that deepen their understanding of science and how
the world works.
When current students graduate from high school, more jobs will require skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) than in the past.
The NJSLS-S provide a strong science education that equips students
with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve
complex problems — the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and
beyond STEM fields.
Scientists and engineers have always integrated content and practices in their work, but that has not been the case with science instruction.
The NJSLS-S not only support students’ learning now, but also give
students the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly and continuously
As citizens, we are asked to make informed decisions about a variety of issues that affect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
The NJSLS-S allow students to develop their knowledge of science as they progress from grade to grade.
The NJSLS-S enable students to build upon their understanding of science over time, while equipping them with the foundational knowledge needed for success in college, careers, and citizenship.
The NJSLS-S allow students to learn science by doing what scientists and engineers do.
When students both understand how scientists and engineers practice their craft and have opportunities to carry out investigations and design solutions, they become more engaged in their science learning.
The NJSLS-S allow students to think of science learning not as
memorization of disconnected facts, but as a cohesive understanding of
integrated and interrelated concepts.
There are many themes (e.g., patterns, cause and effect, etc.) that bridge all science disciplines; the NJSLS-S allow students to connect them in order to support their understanding of science and engineering in a clear and cohesive manner.
When will the NJSLS-S begin to be the focus of teaching and learning in science classes?
The science curriculum in grades 6-12 must be based on the NJSLS beginning September 1, 2016. They will be implemented in grades K-5 beginning September 1, 2017.
The New Jersey State Science Program includes
Five Innovations in the Standards
Three Dimensional Learning: There are three equally important, distinct dimensions to learning science included in the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science (NJSLSS): Scientific and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. The NJSLS-S connect all three dimensions. To prepare students for success in college and 21st century careers, the NJSLS-S also connect scientific principles to real-world situations, allowing for more engaging and relevant instruction to explore complicated topics.
All three dimensions build coherent learning progressions: The NJSLS-S provide students with continued opportunities to engage in and develop a deeper understanding of each of the three dimensions of science. Building on the knowledge and skills gained from each grade—from elementary through high school—students have multiple opportunities to revisit and expand their understanding of all three dimensions by the end of high school.
Students engage with phenomena and design solutions: In instructional systems aligned to the NJSLS-S, the goal of instruction is for students to be able to explain real-world phenomena and to design solutions using their understanding of the Disciplinary Core Ideas. Students can achieve this goal by engaging in the Science and Engineering Practices and applying the Crosscutting Concepts.
Engineering and the Nature of Science is integrated into science: Some unique aspects of engineering (e.g., identifying problems) are incorporated throughout the NJSLS-S. In addition, unique aspects of the nature of science (e.g., how theories are developed) are also included throughout the NJSLS-S as practices and crosscutting concepts.
Science is connected to math and literacy: The NJSLS-S not only provide for coherence in science instruction and learning but the standards also connect science with mathematics and English Language Arts. This meaningful and substantive overlapping of skills and knowledge affords all students equitable access to the learning standards.
Next Generation Science Standards