Comprehensive Approach to Supporting Equitable and Engaging Learning
We provide strategic and customized support for teachers, schools, districts, and state education leaders.
Instructional Material Selection: We work with teachers, states, and leaders in science education as they make the important decisions of selecting the best instructional materials to facilitate student learning.
Standards Implementation: We provide technical assistance and resources to help school leaders, districts, and states effectively manage the transition to their new state standards and create and maintain an ambitious plan for science education.
Leadership Capacity Building: We build the capacity of teachers and district leaders around system components of standards implementation.
State Technical Assistance: We facilitate strategic planning support with district and state leaders. This includes guiding leaders in collecting and analyzing data to define the current state of a science program and in creating systemic plans to support equitable and engaging teaching and learning.
We wanted to effectively diagnose where we were as a district in terms of science instruction…The NextGenScience team came in and visited our classroom and did the audit. We got some really great recommendations, which we’ve made some progress towards.
— Melissa Trimble,
Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Davenport Community School District
Our Work in Action
Building Science Leadership Through the PennSEL Network
NextGenScience at WestEd helps build the capacity of science leaders to develop sustainable strategies and networks focused on high-impact, research-based strategies. Establishing a leadership team and coherent plan are crucial to a successful transition to this new way of teaching and learning science. Our team worked to build science leadership through the Pennsylvania Science Education Leaders Network (PennSEL Network), a program that equips teams of Pennsylvania science leaders to improve science education in their communities.
Read sample reports that showcase findings on the impact of the first year of network programming.
PennSEL Network Interim Growth Report
This report shares the PennSEL Network’s impact on participants based on a pre- and post-survey from the first year of network programming. It highlights several positive impacts reported by PennSEL Network participants.
PennSEL Network Stories from the Field
This resource shares four vignettes of PennSEL teams engaging in key strategies for transitioning to new learning goals for students. Read about the key strategies.
Before this session, some leaders may have leaped at any professional learning opportunity, creating an uneven and scattershot approach to implementing the new standards. Instead, they are being more intentional in the professional learning requested, the sequencing of the experiences offered, and aligning opportunities with each teacher’s professional capital strengths and needs. Ultimately, this will create a stronger foundation for sustainable improvements.
— Susan C. Voigt, Ph.D., PennSEL Network Leader, Educational Services Supervisor, Capital Area Intermediate Unit 15
Working with Districts Nationwide to Select High-Quality Instructional Materials
High-quality science instructional materials are a necessary component of the successful transition to today’s science standards. NextGenScience at WestEd provides tools and services that support state, district, and regional leaders with the design and implementation of high-leverage strategies aligned with today’s science standards, empowering them to make big changes in science teaching, learning, and leadership.
It’s About TIME: A Rigorous New Process for Selecting Instructional Materials for Science
The California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (TIME) is a suite of tools and processes for evaluating and selecting instructional materials aligned with the CA NGSS. This report provides an overview of the complete TIME process, participants’ perceptions of TIME, a detailed description of statewide TIME trainings, challenges to implementing the TIME process, and recommendations for adoption committees supporting districts’ NGSS implementation.
Key Takeaways from the Early Years of Transforming Science Education for the Next Generation
To make the shifts that today’s science standards demand, educators
and students need access to high-quality instructional materials. This brief shares insights for how districts can create an effective review process to promote evidence-based decision when adopting new instructional materials.
The Pennsylvania Science Education Leaders Network (PennSEL) network connects science leadership teams of educators, district leaders, coaches, and community partners. Together, teams work to improve K–12 science education standards in Pennsylvania. PenSEL teams collect data on current science programs, establish a shared vision for effective science teaching aligned with next generation science standards, evaluate and select high-quality instructional material, and design professional learning plans to boost education leaders’ capacity.
The NEXUS Academy project is a rigorous science education leadership development program designed for both state and district leadership teams. It includes in-person professional learning sessions and strategic planning and consultation to design, implement, and monitor statewide and districtwide curriculum implementation plans. The NEXUS Academy supports 11 leadership teams in four states to enhance their knowledge and capacity for leading the implementation of the OpenSciEd middle school science program. The program serves seven middle school science leadership teams and four state-level science leadership teams from Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Washington.
The Texas Collaborative for Science Innovation (TxCSI) is a partnership of TX educators dedicated to implementing research-based science instructional strategies and high-quality science curricula. Through a two-year learning initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, TxCSI provides Texas school districts with professional learning and coaching, capacity building for systems of support to continuously improve instruction, and collaborations with other districts across the state. TxCSI transforms science teaching, learning, and curriculum by implementing Next Generation Science Standards so that every student, every day, is DOING science.
NextGen TIME empowers educators to evaluate, select, and implement high-quality instructional materials designed for next generation science standards to improve science instruction for all students. Through a suite of tools and processes for curriculum-based professional learning, NextGen TIME helps districts and educators use evidence to analyze and select materials and provides educators with a transformative professional learning experience focused on broad and effective implementation of those instructional materials.
WestEd is working with the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Math and Science Bureau to build capacity with science leaders across the state to carry out an effective science instructional material review process. Professional learning for educators focuses on deepening understanding of the three-dimensional (3D) New Mexico STEM Ready! Science Standards, effective pedagogical practices to support students’ 3D learning, and considerations for how high-quality instructional materials support this type of teaching and learning in science.
Amplify Science is a research-based K–8 science curriculum that empowers students to think, read, and write like scientists and engineers about real-world problems. Developed by experts in science education, Amplify Science enriches science learning through hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools.