The Next Generation Physics and Everyday Thinking curriculum1 is designed for physics or physical science courses for prospective elementary or middle school teachers, general education science courses, science methods courses, or workshops for practicing teachers. The full set of curriculum materials consists of six modules, but instructors can choose to implement any subset of these, depending on their local needs.
The first module focuses on introducing several practices of the Next Generation Science Standards in the context of magnetism and static electricity. The focus on developing these explanatory models promotes the crosscutting concept, cause and effect: mechanism and explanation.
The next four modules focus specifically on developing the four NGSS physical science core ideas through engagement in the practices of science, and also include specific engineering design activities.
The activities in the Teaching and Learning module help students make explicit connections between their own learning, the teaching and learning of elementary children, and the NGSS.
The instructor has many choices for implementation of NextGenPET. Each content module consists of two units, with several activities per unit. See the Table of Contents for a full list of the in-class and homework activities included in the all the units and modules. The instructor can choose to implement any of the modules, or units within them, and to include as many of the Teaching and Learning activities as appropriate.
For example, in a one-semester physical science course, the instructor might choose to implement four content modules, including the ‘Matter and Interactions’ module (chemistry), but not the ‘Developing Models’ module.
For a one-semester physics course, the instructor might also choose four content modules, including the ‘Developing Models’ module, but not the ‘Matter and Interactions’ module.
Furthermore, there are two versions of all the modules, one for small classes and one for large, lecture-style classes, so the instructor would also need to choose the appropriate version.
Click on the links below or to the left to find out more about the versions of the curriculum and to see sample in-class and homework extension activities.
Small and Large Class Versions of NextGenPET
Developing a Model of Magnetism (from Developing Models of Magnetism and Static Electricity module)
Force-based Model for Interactions (from Interactions and Forces module)
Teaching and Learning
Click on workshops to find out how you can attend a workshop to learn more about implementing the Next Gen PET set of curricular materials.
1NextGenPET is adapted from several earlier curricula (Physics and Everyday Thinking, Physical Science and Everyday Thinking, Elementary Science and Everyday Thinking, Learning Physical Science, and Learning Physics) so it would be better aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. PET, PSET, ESET and LPS have been published by It’s About Time, Mount Kisco, NY 10549.
Support for NextGenPET comes from