WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Hoeg, D., & Bencze, L. (2017). Values underpinning STEM education in the USA: An analysis of the Next Generation Science Standards. Science Education, 101(2), 278–301.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were designed to address poor science and math performance in United States schools by inculcating globally competitive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacies relevant to participation in future society. Considering the complex network of influences involved in the development of the NGSS, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate how educational values are embedded in the discourse of the standards. Using critical discourse analysis and content analysis, we evaluated how themes related to (i) performance, (ii) accessibility, and (iii) innovation and creativity are discursively constituted in the NGSS. Our analysis indicates the NGSS prioritizes: measurable and reproducible performances; the standards appear to be based on a conception of accessibility closely aligned with equality, and self-investment, and; innovation and creativity are discursively constituted as attributes that can be developed through specific, prescribed practices. We discuss these findings in relation to the goals of the NGSS and potential teaching and learning outcomes resulting from education based on the standards.

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