Finding Alignment: The Perceptions and Integration of the Next Generation Science Standards Practices by Elementary Teachers

Document Type


Publication Date





Preparing elementary-level teachers to teach in alignment with the eight Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) practices could prove to be a daunting endeavor. However, the process may be catalyzed by leveraging elements of teacher science instruction that inherently attend to the practice standards. In this study, we investigated the science instruction of three grade 3–5 elementary-level teachers. We used observation, interviews, and surveys to determine the level to which the teachers perceived they taught and engaged in teaching science aligned with the eight NGSS practices. We found that the teachers were partially, and intrinsically implementing several of these practices in their instruction, and at the same time could not articulate the eight NGSS practices. Our results suggest there may be ample opportunity to build on the current science instruction of elementary-level teachers to bring their instruction into alignment with the NGSS. We found that teachers’ perceive professional development, school culture, and access to additional instructional resources to be essential to their adoption of the NGSS practices.