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 new science curriculum framework.
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.