A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas ( 2012 ) begins its chapter on Crosscutting Concepts with this quote:
Some important themes pervade science, mathematics, and technology and appear over and over again, whether we are looking at an ancient civilization, the human body, or a comet. They are ideas that transcend disciplinary boundaries and prove fruitful in explanation, in theory, in observation, and in design. —American Association for the Advancement of Science .
Those themes are referred to as crosscutting concepts in NGSS and the Framework. You can take a look at your grade level’s quick guide to see how these concepts fit in with DCI and science and engineering practices. Below I have linked each crossing cutting concept with Paul Andersen’s video which does an excellent job of explaining the concept.
- Patterns (I also found this NSTA seminar helpful. It provides concrete examples of how this cross-cutting concept can be applied in your lessons.)
- Cause & Effect: Mechanism & Explanation
- Scale, Proportion, & Quantity
- Systems & System Models
- Energy & Matter: Flow, Cycle, Conservation
- Structure & Function
- Stability & Change