Date of Award



© 2021 Alyssa Mocharnuk

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Deborah Jameson

Second Advisor

Dawn Mackiewicz

Third Advisor

Shannon Wasilewski


The experiences and perceptions of high school science teachers with the transitions in teaching and assessment related to the adoption of the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Framework based on the Next Generation Science Standards were studied in this interpretative phenomenological analysis. The Next Generation Science Standards incorporated both traditional disciplinary content ideas and the new science and engineering practices (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Teachers were required to develop new materials, and difficulty in developing new ways of teaching and assessing science (Friedrichsen and Barnett, 2018; Kawasaki and Sandoval, 2020; Wilde, 2018) was exacerbated by the delay in high-stakes testing until June 2022.

The results of this study were captured in five main themes: Memorization and Rote Tasks vs Deeper Understanding, Teachers Value Collaboration and Reflection, The Role of the Standards and How They are Tested, Positive Perceptions Related to the Science and Engineering Practices, Preparing Emotionally Resilient, Scientifically Literate Citizens. All participants perceived the new standards for teaching and assessing science in Massachusetts to be an improvement over the 2006 STE Framework. The participants had overwhelmingly positive experiences teaching the 2016 STE Framework to their students and perceived their students to have had positive outcomes directly or indirectly related to the new standards.

The design and impact of high-stakes exams should be considered by state-level testing authorities when implementing new science standards like the inclusion of the science and engineering practices. District and building-level administrators should focus on providing support to their high school science teachers transitioning their teaching and assessing to meet the requirements of standards based on NGSS.


Ed.D. Dissertation