What is 3-Dimensional Science?
On September 4, 2013, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools, TK -Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (CA NGSS) as required by California Education Code 60605.85. The NGSS Appendices A-M were also adopted to assist teachers in the implementation of the new science standards and to aid in the development of the Science Framework from the California Department of Education website (updated periodically).
The term "three-dimensional learning" refers to the three pillars that support each standard, now called "performance expectations." These three dimensions are: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. The NGSS Performance Expecation (PE) is a set of expecations for what students should be able to do by the end of instruction (years or grade-bands).
Three-dimensional learning fundamentally shifts science education. Science is no longer seen as fact trivia or rote memorization. Instead, NGSS recognizes that while content-specific knowledge is important, it falls far short of what’s required to do science and engineering.