“Introducing Teachers and Administrators to the NGSS: A Professional Development Facilitator’s Guide,” by UW Oshkosh’s Eric Brunsell, along with Deb Kneser and Kevin Niemi, made the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science Books and Films Best of 2014 list and recently was named a 2015 REVERE Award Finalist by the Association of American Publishers.
The book, published by the National Science Teachers Association in May 2014, offers activities and advice for implementing the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) into K-12 classrooms.
Brunsell said the NGSS are based on how children learn science, international comparative studies of standards in high-performing countries and research focused on college and career readiness skills. They include concepts that all students should master by the time they graduate from high school.
“These standards have been formally adopted in a dozen states,” he said. “Wisconsin has not adopted them at the state level, but many school districts have adopted NGSS to begin revising their science curriculum.”
The new standards require significant shifts at the classroom and school level with stronger emphasis on data analysis and helping students make sense of phenomena, Brunsell explained.
“Our book aims to provide education leaders with professional development activities, advice and research to understand these shifts and begin the process of implementing NGSS at the district or school level,” he said.
Brunsell’s work on the book, his fourth, was years in the making.
“This book grew out of the work that my coauthors and I have been engaged in over at least the previous five years,” he said. “We have worked with a variety of educators to provide professional development for hundreds of educators and administrators on these standards and on the research underlying the standards. Much of this work began before the final version of the standards was published.”
While writing a book can be daunting, Brunsell said that if you are passionate about a topic you find the time to focus on it.
“I was also able to make strong connections between the book and all aspects of my professional work—scholarship, service to my field and, most importantly, to the courses that I teach for future teachers,” he said.