Brian Reiser to Demystify New Science Standards

Brian Reiser to Demystify New Science Standards

Brian Reiser

Public forums to address misinformation about new Common Core science standards

Illinois recently adopted new national standards for the teaching of science and mathematics, sparking some controversy and confusion. What exactly are the standards, and why were they developed? How do they impact students in Illinois schools?

Brian Reiser, a SESP learning sciences professor and a contributing author of the new guidelines, will tackle questions about the new standards and present the facts during two upcoming public Chicago-area programs on November 12 and 20. 

Sponsored by the  Chicago Council on Science and Technology, the public forums are designed to clear up some of the misinformation surrounding the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for science and the Common Core standards for mathematics. 

The two public panel discussions will be held at these times:

  • 6 to 8 p.m. on November 12 at Skokie Public Library, Skokie
  • 6 to 8 p.m. on November 20 at Northwestern University’s Hughes Auditorium, 303 East Superior, Chicago

In addition to Reiser, panelists also include Lynn Narasimhan, a mathematics professor and the director of the STEM Center at DePaul University; Kurt Poppenhouse, a former Chicago Public Schools math teacher who is developing a digital math curriculum; and Mary Rockrohr, the instructional supervisor for science at Glenbrook North High School.

Reiser was a contributing author of the  National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education (2012), which guided the design of The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The standards are the first new ones since 1996 and were developed to reflect major advances in science and the understanding of how students learn. They are considered the science equivalent for the Common Core, which established standards for mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). 

A leading learning sciences researcher, Reiser explores new ways to make scientific practices meaningful and effective for teachers and students. The new framework is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and to make more connections across content areas.

“The focus on depth over breadth, coherence across years and the key role of scientific practices are all promising steps forward in the new standards,” said Reiser, who is developing an online library of videos and other resources to help teachers incorporate the new recommendations into their classrooms.

Question-and-answer sessions will follow each panel presentation. Pre-registration is required for the event at the Skokie Library. For the Chicago panel, discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees at the 202 East Huron garage with a discounted ticket purchased at the registration table.

For more information, contact Amy Pratt, associate director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships, at

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 11/12/14