Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Group Discussion on 2016-02-18


Copyright (c) 2016 Elizabeth Lewis & Jia Lu.


While U.S. high school students’ access to Earth and space science (ESS) varies widely from state to state, nationally ESS content is the most neglected area of science education. States are in the process of formally adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, which have been carefully developed and articulated in conjunction with state educational leaders. However, researchers rarely address the challenge with which states, school districts, and teachers must grapple in order to enact ESS courses and concepts. This case study of one Great Plains state asks the questions: (a) How do school districts provide ESS education at the high school level? and (b) To what degree is ESS being taught by out-of-field science teachers? Findings from a two-phased approach (interviews and online survey) to investigating these questions will be discussed.

(Abstract only)