Design Specifications

Many considerations must be taken into account when designing instructional materials to create a product that lives up to the expectations of students, teachers, schools, and districts. There are the obvious and necessary elements that must be addressed, such as standards, scope and sequence, instructional model, and pacing. OpenSciEd instructional materials are thoughtfully constructed with all of these considerations and constraints in mind. Yet, these elements are not enough. Instructional materials must have a classroom vision, an image of how students will engage with the content and what type of discourse students will engage in, and a sense of what a teacher needs to make standards come alive.

OpenSciEd’s beliefs about science learning and vision of the classroom are embodied in our Design Specifications. Specifications describe what we want science learning to look like for every student, and therefore guide our materials development process and implementation support. The topics addressed range from equitable science instruction and the centrality of asking questions to meeting the practical needs and constraints of a classroom. These specifications are based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the resulting Next Generation Science Standards, including the emphasis on three-dimensional learning that integrates science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. 

Elementary Science Design Specifications

Middle School Science Design Specifications

High School Science Design Specifications

Professional Learning Design Specifications

These design specifications inform the development of a variety of professional learning experiences for teachers, including educative elements embedded within the curriculum and in-person professional development. They were created to guide the development of a set of OpenSciEd resources that offer a coherent and ongoing system of support as teachers engage in this important work. The resulting professional learning materials are designed to prepare teachers with the practical elements of enacting a curriculum for the first time and provide a vision for the long term goals of the OpenSciEd Project and the implementation of A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)



Elementary Science Design Specifications Credits

Middle and High School Design Specification Credits