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Stop Wasting Time with TPT: Start Evaluating Your Curriculum Like A Pro Using the PEEC Process


Stop Wasting Time with TPT: Start Evaluating Your Material Like A Pro Using the PEEC Process

How To Evaluate Curriculum Like A Pro


Las Vegas, NV - With the increasing use of Teachers Pay Teachers, many educators are turning to online resources to purchase and download curriculum. However, this can lead to a frustrating situation when teachers find that the curriculum they have spent money on is not aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or is not effective in engaging their students.


This article introduces the PEEC (Phenomena and Engineering Experiences for the NGSS Classroom) process, a tool that can help educators evaluate instructional materials for their alignment with the NGSS. By using the PEEC process, educators can make informed decisions about the quality and effectiveness of instructional materials, and select materials that best meet the needs of their students.


What is the PEEC Process?


The PEEC (Phenomena and Engineering Experiences for the NGSS Classroom) process is a tool that schools, districts, or teams of teachers can use to evaluate instructional materials for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The PEEC process involves three successive phases: PEEC Prescreen, Unit Evaluation, and Program-Level Evaluation.


PEEC was developed by Achieve, a non-profit organization that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education reform. Achieve was one of the organizations involved in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and created PEEC to help educators and developers evaluate instructional materials designed to support NGSS implementation.


PEEC Prescreen


The first phase of the PEEC process is the Prescreen phase. It is a quick and straightforward evaluation process that focuses on a small number of criteria that should be readily apparent in instructional materials designed for the NGSS. The Prescreen phase allows educators to take a relatively quick look at a wide range of materials and narrow the number of programs worthy of a closer look.


School districts use the first phase of the PEEC process, the PEEC Prescreen, to quickly identify instructional materials that are not designed for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). By focusing on a small number of criteria that are readily apparent in materials, the prescreen allows district decision-makers to take a quick look at a wide range of materials and narrow down the number of programs worthy of a closer look. This helps to save time and resources by eliminating materials that do not meet the basic NGSS criteria, making the selection process more efficient and effective.


Teachers can also use a similar prescreen process to evaluate supplemental curriculum materials for the NGSS. By focusing on a few critical criteria, teachers can quickly narrow down their options and save time in the long run. For example, a teacher who is looking for a supplemental curriculum to teach students about energy could use the following criteria to prescreen materials:

  1. Alignment with the NGSS: The supplemental curriculum should explicitly align with the NGSS standards for energy.

  2. Engaging and interactive activities: The curriculum should provide hands-on activities and opportunities for students to engage with the content.

  3. Clear and concise explanations: The curriculum should include clear explanations and examples that are easy for students to understand.

  4. Assessment tools: The curriculum should include assessment tools that align with the NGSS standards and provide teachers with useful feedback on student learning.

By using these criteria, the teacher can quickly filter out any materials that do not meet their needs and focus on a few promising options for a closer evaluation.


Once the Prescreen phase is complete, teachers can move on to the Unit Evaluation phase to evaluate a single unit of instruction for evidence it is designed for the NGSS. If the materials show sufficient evidence of being designed for the NGSS at the Unit Evaluation phase, the final phase of the PEEC process evaluates the evidence that the NGSS Innovations are embedded across the entire instructional materials program at the Program-Level Evaluation phase.


Unit Evaluation


The second phase of the PEEC process is the Unit Evaluation, which involves a deeper analysis of instructional materials that have passed the prescreen phase. If materials have shown potential to align with the NGSS standards in the prescreen phase, they move on to this phase, where a single unit of instruction is evaluated in-depth using the EQuIP Rubric for Science to determine if it is designed for the NGSS.


In school districts, this phase is often conducted by a curriculum committee, which is composed of teachers, administrators, and other educators. The committee evaluates the unit of instruction based on the criteria set by the NGSS Innovations and the EQuIP Rubric for Science. They assess if the materials align with the three dimensions of the standards, if they integrate grade-appropriate elements of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), and Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and if they promote student engagement in making sense of phenomena and designing solutions to problems.


Teachers can copy the process used by school districts to select proper supplemental curriculum by forming a smaller committee of teachers who can evaluate potential instructional materials. This committee can consist of science teachers who have expertise in the NGSS standards and can use the EQuIP Rubric for Science to evaluate the materials. The teachers can use the criteria set by the NGSS Innovations to assess if the materials align with the standards and promote student engagement in making sense of phenomena and designing solutions to problems.


For example, if a teacher is looking for a supplemental unit on the water cycle, they can gather a few potential materials and have the committee evaluate them using the EQuIP Rubric for Science. The committee can then provide feedback on which materials align best with the NGSS standards and promote student engagement in making sense of phenomena and designing solutions to problems. This process can help teachers make informed decisions when selecting instructional materials that align with the NGSS standards and promote student learning.


Check out EQuIP fillable rubric (page 6):


Program-Level Evaluation


The third and final phase of the PEEC process is the Program-Level Evaluation. This phase involves a comprehensive evaluation of the entire instructional materials program to determine if it meets the criteria of the NGSS Innovations. This phase is the most time-consuming and resource-intensive of the three and requires a more detailed and extensive analysis of the materials.


School districts use this phase to select curriculum by reviewing the results of the previous two phases and conducting a more thorough evaluation of the materials that have passed the Prescreen and Unit Evaluation phases. This phase involves a team of educators, including content specialists, curriculum coordinators, and instructional coaches, who work together to evaluate the materials against the NGSS Innovations criteria. The team reviews the materials' coherence and alignment across multiple units, student engagement, and the materials' effectiveness in building student understanding of the three dimensions of the NGSS.


Teachers can copy districts to choose proper supplemental curriculum by following a similar process. They can form a team of educators, including other teachers, content specialists, or instructional coaches, and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the instructional materials that have passed the Prescreen and Unit Evaluation phases. The team can evaluate the materials against the NGSS Innovations criteria, focusing on the materials' coherence and alignment across multiple units, student engagement, and the materials' effectiveness in building student understanding of the three dimensions of the NGSS.


For example, a team of elementary teachers looking to supplement their current science curriculum could use the PEEC process to evaluate available materials. They would begin by conducting the Prescreen phase, where they quickly evaluate each program's grade level, publisher, and alignment with NGSS. Next, they would move on to the Unit Evaluation phase, where they would use the EQuIP Rubric for Science to evaluate a single unit of instruction for evidence it is designed for the NGSS. Finally, if the materials show sufficient evidence of being designed for the NGSS, they would conduct a Program-Level Evaluation and evaluate the evidence that the NGSS Innovations are embedded across the entire instructional materials program. This process would help the team select the most appropriate and effective supplemental science curriculum for their students.


Conclusion


In conclusion, the three successive phases of the PEEC process - PEEC Prescreen, Unit Evaluation, and Program-Level Evaluation - provide a thorough and systematic approach to evaluating instructional materials for their alignment with the NGSS. The PEEC process helps ensure that materials are designed to engage students in making sense of phenomena and designing solutions to problems, use three-dimensional learning, build K-12 progressions, align with ELA and mathematics, and support equitable access to science education for all students. By following the PEEC process, educators can make informed decisions about the quality and effectiveness of instructional materials, and select materials that best meet the needs of their students.



 

About STEM Ed Today:

STEM Ed Today is a leading provider of science education curriculum, utilizing research-based materials and a unique learning process that aligns with National Institute STEM education. Their lessons are designed to align with Next Generation Science Standards and include NGSS 3D Assessments. In addition, STEM Ed Today publishes STEM books online that are incorporated within the lesson, featuring Depth of Knowledge questions for informal student assessment. The company also offers insightful news reporting on the latest STEM education concepts and materials, making them an essential resource for educators, students, and anyone interested in the field of STEM education.

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