Peer Review Panel for Science

What is the Peer Review Panel for Science?

The Peer Review Panel for Science (“Science PRP”) was launched by Achieve in fall 2016 to address the issue of insufficient and inadequate examples of science instructional materials designed for the NGSS available to the public. The Science PRP reviews materials that are free and publicly available and shares out the best examples here.

The Science PRP is an elite cohort of educators from across the country with expertise in the NGSS and the EQuIP Rubric for Science that reviews lessons and units to determine the extent to which they are aligned with the NGSS.

Reviewers are selected via a competitive process and serve on one year renewable terms. Each Science PRP member reviews roughly four units a year, provides written commentary to other reviewers, and works to co-create consensus reviews of each submitted product.

Submit Materials to Science PRP

Learn more about submitting materials to the Science PRP

 

Achieve thanks the Arconic FoundationBayer Corporation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Pisces Foundation for their generous support of the Peer Review Panel for Science.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Want to Learn more about the Science PRP? Click on the questions below to find out more:

How are Science PRP members selected and developed?
How are instructional materials reviewed via this process?
Why is this work important?
How do I submit a lesson or unit for review?
Where are Examples of Quality NGSS Design Posted?
How do I know when something has received the highest rating from the PRP?

How are Science PRP members selected and developed?

From nearly 600 initial applications, Achieve selected 39 peer reviewers in a two-stage, rigorous application process that revealed applicants' expertise in the NGSS, in applying the EQuIP Rubric for Science to lessons, and in producing feedback that was clear and usable by others. The reviewers were selected to make sure they could represent expertise across every grade band and science domain and bring a wealth of practical teaching experience to the review process.

In its second year, the Science PRP will expand from 39 to 50 educators.

How are instructional materials reviewed via this process?

The Peer Review Panel for Science review process builds on the well-established process the Mathematics and English Language Arts Peer Review Panel used to identify high quality examples in those content areas.

When a lesson or unit is submitted to the Science PRP, the following happens:

  1. A team at Achieve applies the NGSS Lesson Screener to the submission, and those that meet the preliminary qualifications move to the next round to be reviewed with the full EQuIP Rubric. If the materials don’t pass this initial screen, the submitter receives confidential feedback and is encouraged to revise and resubmit

  2. The approved materials are then assigned to three members of the Science PRP with appropriate content and grade level backgrounds. Each reviewer produces an independent review of the the materials by using the EQuIP rubric.

  3. The three assigned Science PRP reviewers jointly write a consensus report, including detailed, criterion-based feedback and suggestions for improvement.

  4. Highly rated materials are posted publicly online along with the Science PRP’s consensus feedback. If materials are not rated highly, the submitter receives confidential feedback and is encouraged to revise and resubmit. Even if the submitter receives the second highest rating, they are encouraged to revise and resubmit in order to be awarded a digital badge.

It should be noted that the criterion-based reviews provided by the Science PRP are meant to be constructive and in the spirit of continuous improvement. All submissions receive feedback regardless of their rating and confidentiality will be ensured for those that are not ready to be shared publicly.

Why is this work important?

Research shows access to high quality instructional materials is incredibly important for effective teaching and learning. (See Achieve’s two pager on the importance of high quality instructional materials and the research to back it up.)

The work of identifying concrete examples of high quality lessons and units accomplished by the Science PRP helps K-12 science education in the U.S. in several ways:  

  • It helps teachers, schools, and districts understand more about what the NGSS looks like in practice.  

  • It helps authors and curriculum developers understand the targets they are seeking as they produce materials.  

  • It helps articulate the collective knowledge and insight of the field about what constitutes being designed for the NGSS.  

  • It provides a robust learning activity for those involved and those who read and review the products of this work.

How do I submit a lesson or unit for review?

To submit materials to the PRP for review, fill out this form.

Read more about submitting lessons and units here.

Where are Examples of Quality NGSS Design Posted?

Lessons and units that are rated by the PRP as Examples of High Quality NGSS Design, Examples of High Quality NGSS Design, If Improved, or identified as Quality Works in Progress will be publicly posted along with the EQuIP criterion-based feedback on the examples of quality NGSS design page so that all educators can benefit from these materials.

If materials don’t have a creative commons license, a link to the appropriate website is posted instead.

How do I know when something has received the highest rating from the PRP?

We have created a Digital Badge that is awarded to materials that receive the highest rating, Example of High Quality NGSS Design. The badge can be displayed on the website of the individual, group, school, district or organization that developed the lesson or unit.

Developers who receive the digital excellence badge agree not to extend the claim of NGSS design beyond the specific lesson or unit as it was reviewed. Those developers must also agree to post the EQuIP feedback along with the reviewed materials. We hope this change will increase the visibility of the highest quality materials and encourage developers to revise and resubmit in order to be awarded the badge.

To learn more about the Science PRP, see the Peer Review Panel FAQ.

The Science PRP determines the extent to which instructional materials are designed for the NGSS using the EQuIP Rubric for Science. The criterion-based feedback and ratings are only relevant the specific material reviewed and should not be generalized as an endorsement of any particular curriculum, product or template.