Understanding Crosscutting Concepts

Lately, I have really been thinking deeply about the crosscutting concepts and their importance for sense-making – not just in science but in how I approach any new information or problem. Does this new information fit within a pattern I already recognize and understand? What system am I operating in, and what are the boundaries for that system? How can I predict whether decisions I make or actions I take cause other elements of the system to change?

Seeing the world through the lenses of patterns, cause and effect, systems and system models, and other crosscutting concepts allows me to make connections between what I already know and what I’m still trying to learn and understand. The more I think about the seven crosscutting concepts in science, the more I am convinced that they hold the key to helping students develop a deep level of metacognition and understanding of natural phenomena.

Crosscutting concepts are a critical dimension when implementing the  NGSS or Framework-based standards.

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