College of Education

Impact on Science Education

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Our Curriculum

We currently have publicly available materials for four units—two for middle school and two for high school. Pilot teachers are testing two additional units for elementary school grades.

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Elementary School Units

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Middle School Units

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High School Units

We are developing life science curriculum for elementary, middle school, and high school.
View all PAGES curriculum ›
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Our Approach

PAGES (Progressing through the Ages: Global change, Evolution, and Societal well-being) is an ambitious Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned curriculum development and K–12 teacher education program.

Our approach to curriculum development and teacher education is based on current science education research findings for improving teacher skills and student learning. Here are the core components of our approach:

  • Tackle important science ideas. Climate change is already affecting ecosystems and biodiversity today. In addition, 50% of Americans do not accept evolution, a core idea related to all life on Earth. PAGES curriculum will concentrate on these important topics while connecting to multiple science ideas within NGSS.
  • Support teachers. Many teachers are expected to develop curriculum and educate students on topics for which they have little background. PAGES’s uses the successful NGSX platform to support teacher education and curriculum development.
  • Connect content learning to relevant social topics. People learn content more readily when they can see how it is relevant to their own lives and society. Students learn PAGES’s science ideas through the context of topics related to societal well-being, such as human health and global food production.
  • Develop a progression of learning across all grades. Learning occurs when new ideas are built upon previous knowledge and understanding. PAGES involves teachers from—and will develop curriculum for—all grades in K–12.
  • Integrate all aspects of science learning. Supported by the best science education research findings, NGSS calls for the integration of science learning strands, including core ideas, practices, and cross-disciplinary concepts. This means students learn big science ideas through hands-on inquiry and investigations.
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Want to be involved?

If you’re a K–12 science teacher in the United States, we may have upcoming opportunities that you can be involved with developing or testing the PAGES curriculum.

Contact us ›
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Founded in Research

This effort is aligned to the newly released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which places heavy emphasis on ecology, evolution, and climate change. Knowledge of these biological processes is crucial to addressing many modern health challenges and societal problems. While almost two-thirds of the U.S. public (63%) believe that the earth is warming, only 48% believe this is due to human activities. Similarly, many Americans (33%) reject the idea humans share an evolutionary history with other animals. Teachers themselves often lack content knowledge in these areas. However, the NGSS sets numerous rigorous performance expectations in these areas at all grade levels across K–12 education. The NGSS performance expectations build on one another over time. Hence, K–12 teachers are tasked with developing new, in-depth curriculum materials that integrate across grade levels in areas of science where they may face skeptical parents/students and where they themselves may lack critical content knowledge.

In order to address these needs, PAGES merges a curriculum development program, centered on the NGSS and research being done at the University of Illinois, with a rigorous professional development plan integrating the NGSX platform to teach critical content and pedagogical knowledge to teams of teachers spanning K–12. PAGES will help create a new generation of students that understands the biology underlying many problems facing our society and will motivate them to help solve these problems.

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Who We Are

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Partners and Funding

This project is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25GMR129196. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.