Reference Type: Journal Article Record Number: 139 Author



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SciencEduc – Work package 3 – Deliverable N° 3
Evaluation Report and data base
Britt Lindahl, Sweden (britt.lindahl@mna.hkr.se)
Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 139

Author: Abdullah, A. , Scaife, J.

Year: 1997

Title: Using interviews to assess children's understanding of science concepts

Journal: School Science Review

Volume: 78

Issue: 285

Pages: 79-84

Short Title: Using interviews to assess children's understanding of science concepts

Keywords: Alternative Assessment; Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; Interviews; Science Instruction; Scientific Concepts

Abstract: Describes how children's understanding of science concepts can be assessed through interviews. Analyzes data from interviews using categories and criteria that have been chosen to indicate the extent of a child's knowledge and quality of knowledge. Describes methods of interviewing and analysis.

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 3

Author: Amaral, Olga Maia; Garrison, Leslie; Klentschy, Michael

Year: 2002

Title: Helping English Learners Increase Achievement Through Inquiry-Based Science Instruction

Journal: Bilingual Research Journal

Volume: 26

Issue: 2

Pages: 213-239

Short Title: Helping English Learners Increase Achievement Through Inquiry-Based Science Instruction

Keywords: education change and policy, grade K-6, science notebook, English learners, STC, FOSS, and Insights, formative assessment, summative assessment

Abstract: This study summarizes the results of a four-year project in science education conducted in a rural setting with English learners in grades K–6 in the El Centro Elementary School District in southern California. Data were collected to measure student achievement in science, writing, reading, and mathematics for participating students. These data were analyzed relative to the number of years that students participated in kit- and inquiry-based science instruction that included the use of science notebooks. Results indicated that the achievement of English learners increased in relation to the number of years they participated in the project. The longer they were in the program, the higher their scores were in science, writing, reading, and mathematics.

Notes: Program frame:

Science was the subject area selected as part of a Local Systemic Initiative, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, to assist local schools in (a) the overall improvement of science education, (b) the development of science process skills, (c) the enhancement of critical thinking, and (d) writing improvement.

The Valle Imperial Project in Science (VIPS) is now being implemented at the elementary level in all 14 school districts in Imperial County. This program supports a constructivist approach in science through the use of kit-based instruction. Since the student population of Imperial County is 81.5% Latino and 46.7% of all students are limited English proficient, the effectiveness of this approach is paramount.

This paper reports the results of this study on the achievement of English learners in the areas of science, reading, writing, and mathematics when assessed with instruments in English.



Protocol:

Kits or modules drawn from: 1. Science and Technology for Children (STC), 2. Full Option Science System (FOSS) and 3. Insights. Students are exposed to 4 instructional units per year except at the kindergarten level where students are exposed to 3, they contain all tools for students to experiment through a hands-on approach various concepts in science.

Most of the instruction in bilingual and in SEI classrooms is in English, Students are encouraged to interact in English but are allowed to use Spanish as necessary during instruction

The study population consisted of 615 students in fourth grade and 635 students in sixth grade. Students were divided into groups based on the number of years (0–4) they had been in the VIPS program

Writing was selected for study because of the emphasis placed on the development of writing skills through the use of science notebooks. Other areas of achievement examined included reading and mathematics.

The science process skills were classified into the following areas: (a) using and analyzing evidence and models, (b) recognizing consistency and patterns of change, and (c) comparing form and function.

Student science notebooks are an integral part of the science program as students are expected to collect, record, analyze, and report data for each of the inquiry units. Students are encouraged to make entries in English whenever possible, but the use of their native language is also acceptable.

El Centro School District measures student achievement in writing through the district writing proficiency test, a locally developed assessment that uses prompts requiring a specific type of writing at each grade level by Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9). The number of years each student had participated in inquiry-based science was computed by matching students with teacher implementation information.



Results:

There are distinct differences between students who participated in the district science program (for all five categories of language proficiency) during the 1998–99 school year and had been in attendance in the El Centro School District continuously for the prior four years, there are higher achievement scores for students with hands-on learning when compared to traditional textbook instruction. The longer they were exposed to the inquiry-based science program, the higher their achievement scores in science.

For Grade 4, in descriptive writing (object, event, or experiences), 86 % of 4 years in the project passed the test (average score of 3)

In grade 6: in reporting writing, student pass rates increased proportionately in relation to the number of years of participation.

Performance of students in writing was also analyzed by language proficiency designation: improved as long as they are in the program (> 90% for 4 years)

(written by P. Lucas)



URL: http://brj.asu.edu/

Reference Type: Manuscript

Record Number: 140

Author: Assessment, National Council for curriculum and

Year: 2004

Title: Assessemnt in primary schools

Short Title: Assessemnt in primary schools

Keywords: Assessment, curriculum, primary school

Abstract: Assessment is integral to teaching and learning. Assessment relates to all aspects of the curriculum and encompasses the cognitive and affective domains. There is a variety of assessment modes, each of which is appropriate in particular circumstances. Assessment can play a critical role in the early identification of learning difficulties. Schools should implement procedures both at school and classroom levels for recording and reporting assessment outcomes. It is important for teachers to recognise the technical qualities of different assessment instruments. Teachers need support in the implementation of assessments, and in the recording and reporting of assessment outcomes.

Reference Type: Book

Record Number: 9

Author: Aubusson, P.; Steele, F.

Year: 2002

Title: Evaluation of Primary Investigation

City: Sidney

Publisher: University of technology, Sidney

Number of Pages: 112

Edition: Australian Academy of Science

Short Title: Evaluation of Primary Investigation

ISBN: 085847 219 8

Keywords: summative assessment, Australia, quality, efficiency , effectiveness, Primary Investigations

Abstract: This evaluation was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training and the Australian Academy of Science, in response to a recommendation made by Goodrum, Hackling and Rennie in their report, The status and quality of teaching and learning of science in Australian schools (2001). Primary Investigations (PI) was developed by the Australian Academy of Science in answer to a growing need for a hands-on, investigation-based sequence of activities for primary school science. It endeavoured to provide a whole school, step-by-step guide to the teaching of primary science, using a constructivist theoretical framework. The program was extensively trialled before its launch in 1995 and initial indications were that PI was very successful in helping reluctant primary school teachers begin to teach science (Featherstone, 1995; Goodrum, 1996). However, a recent national study of science teaching in schools (Goodrum, Hackling and Rennie, 2001) showed that many primary schools are still not teaching science, and that more needs to be done to improve the quality of primary science. As PI has now been available for seven years, it is timely to evaluate its performance.

Notes: This evaluation was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training and the Australian Academy of Science, in response to a recommendation made by Goodrum, Hackling and Rennie in their report, The status and quality of teaching and learning of science in Australian schools (2001).

Primary Investigations (PI) was developed by the Australian Academy of Science in answer to a growing need for a hands-on, investigation-based sequence of activities for primary school science.

The program was extensively trialled before its launch in 1995 and initial indications were that PI was very successful in helping reluctant primary school teachers begin to teach science (Featherstone, 1995; Goodrum, 1996). However, a recent national study of science teaching in schools (Goodrum, Hackling and Rennie, 2001) showed that many primary schools are still not teaching science, and that more needs to be done to improve the quality of primary science. This is the evaluation of the project seven years after its implementation.

Objectives of the evaluation

- 1. Assess and provide advice on the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of PI in meeting its stated goals:

To obtain:

a significant uptake by schools, an increase in teacher confidence, an improvement in students’ attitudes to science, an increase in student achievement


- 2. Assess and provide advice on: the factors that facilitated the meeting of the stated goals, the barriers that inhibited the meeting of the stated goals, PI’s future development and direction
- 3. Make recommendations concerning options or approaches to enhance or extend the project.
Protocols

The method used involved both quantitative and qualitative techniques:

- analysis of secondary sources;

- interviews

- group discussions with teachers

- survey of teachers

- survey of students
Results

- There has been a significant uptake of PI by schools in Western Australia, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, parts of New South Wales, and perhaps Tasmania.

- Teachers who have used PI are more confident about teaching science and are less reluctant to teach it.

- Because there are more teachers interested and engaged in science teaching, more students have positive attitudes to science.

- There has been no large-scale State or national study on PI student achievement in science but evaluation suggests that it has had a positive impact.

- the quality of the program; the support of education, systems and other key groups; the degree of match with the State or Territory syllabus; and the presence of committed local advocates are factors that have helped PI to meet its goals.

- one factor alone seems to have been sufficient to sink PI: the lack of support of the State or Territory education system and science teachers association in raising awareness about PI and encouraging professional development.

- PI should be retained and revised in the future. Cooperation of stakeholders to develop, trial, promotion and support is of importance.


Conclusions

PI has made a significant positive contribution to primary science education in Australia. It should be more flexible and adapted to different State requirements and the needs of different teachers.

A forum should be implemented for developing guidelines for the revision of PI.

It is necessary to establish a mechanism to regularly survey primary schools about students’ science experience

(written by P. Lucas)

URL: www.science.org.au/pi/evaluation.pdf

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 13

Author: Bartholomew, Hannah; Osborne, Jonathan; Ratcliffe, Mary

Year: 2004

Title: Teaching students "ideas-about-science": Five dimensions of effective practice

Journal: Science Education

Volume: 88

Issue: 5

Pages: 655-682

Short Title: Teaching students "ideas-about-science": Five dimensions of effective practice

Alternate Journal: Science Education

ISSN: 1098-237X

Abstract: In this paper, we report work undertaken with a group of 11 UK teachers over a period of a year to teach aspects of the nature of science, its process, and its practices. The teachers, who taught science in a mix of elementary, junior high, and high schools, were asked to teach a set of ?ideas-about-scienc? for which consensual support had been established using a Delphi study in the first phase of the project. Data were collected through field notes, videos of the teachers' lessons, teachers' reflective diaries, and instruments that measured their understanding of the nature of science and their views on the role and value of discussion in the classroom. In this paper, drawing on a sample of the data we explore the factors that afforded or inhibited the teachers' pedagogic performance in this domain. Using these data, we argue that there are five critical dimensions that distinguish and determine a teacher's ability to teach effectively about science. Whilst these dimensions are neither mutually independent nor equally important, they serve as a valuable analytical tool for evaluating and explaining the success, or otherwise, that individual teachers of science have when confronted with teaching aspects about science. In addition, we argue that they are an important means of identifying salient aspects of pedagogy for initial and in-service training of science teachers for curricula that incorporate elements of ?ideas-about-science? © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed, 88:655-682, 2004

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.10136

Author Address: Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London SE1 9NN, UK; School of Education, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Reference Type: Report

Record Number: 135

Author: Baxter, G. P.; Elder, A. D.

Year: 1996

Title: Assessment and instruction in science classroom

Type: CSE technical report

Short Title: Assessment and instruction in science classroom



Report Number: 418

Keywords: cognitive capabilities, performance, 5th grade students, formative assessment

Abstract: Changes in knowledge underlie the cognitive capabilities that are displayed in competent performance and the acquisition of improved performance. It is important to bring these knowledge-generated processes to attention because they represent possibilities of instructional design that might improve learning. In this paper, the role of performance assessments in making relevant cognitive activity apparent to teachers and students is discussed. Descriptions of the cognitive activity of fifth grade students while carrying out a science performance assessment reveal critical differences between those who think and reason well with their knowledge of circuits and those who do not. Differences of quality of explanations adequacy of problem representation, appropriateness of solution strategies, and frequency and flexibility of self monitoring indicate more or less effective learning of the subject matter. Awareness of an attention to these cognitive characteristics of competent performance in an assessment situation provide teachers the necessary feedback to construct classroom environments that encourage reasoning and knowledge integration. In this way, performance assessments not only evaluate student performance but suggest changes in instructional practice to support effective learning in the elementary science classroom.

URL: http://www.cse.ucla.edu/Reports/TECH418.PDF

Reference Type: Report

Record Number: 136

Author: Bérard, Jean-Michel; Claus, Philippe; David, Jean; Loarer, Christian

Year: 2005

Title: Sciences expérimentales et technologie, Histoire et géographie - Leur enseignement au cycle III de l’école primaire

Short Title: Sciences expérimentales et technologie, Histoire et géographie - Leur enseignement au cycle III de l’école primaire



Abstract: The general inspectors of the primary education group wanted to check the degree of implementation of new standards published on 2002 on history, geography and experimental sciences and technology for students on cycle 3 (9-11 years old). The study was carried out during the third quarters of the school years 2003- 2004 and 2004-2005 in 14 academies and 23 departments. (NB: An academy corresponds to an administrative unit of the education system that do not fit necessary to the geographical administration, there are 30 academies on France, the department is a geographical unit of administration)

Notes: The study was founded on collection of quantitative and qualitative data coming from teachers observations and students records. It focused basically pedagogical trends. Topics related to pupils’ evaluation were not tackled.

The observation of transdisciplinarity mastering of the language – sciences showed that these aspects were few or not tackled by the teachers during sessions of experimental sciences and technology, history and geography.

- the timetables displayed an intensity of about 1h40 per week for experimental sciences and technology whereas the programs stated a minimum of 2h30 and a 3 a.m. maximum per week.

- Less of quarter of the classes have a recent textbook. There is not necessarily one copy by pupil (but this is more frequent in history and geography that in sciences)

- In two cases out of three, the inspector noticed that the program planned seemed to be able to be fully treated.

- In general, eight topics are tackled during the school year. The observations done in the copybooks do not fit always to the progressions planned.

- Pupils write little and copybook holding is mediocre: in science, the experiment book has a positive effect in this sense.

- The followed methodology does not allow comparisons with the statistical elements included in the 2002 report of the general inspection related to the renovation of sciences and technology teaching at primary school.

- Teachers spend too much time on the same topic and in addition, the displayed timetable is insufficient and badly respected, they cannot release time needed to cover all the program.

- the scientific vocabulary is in general correct but poor

- work on preconceptions (initial representations) is rare

Conclusions

- Subjects tackled come from the standards instructions. They allow, very generally, the construction of knowledge. It was given to us to observe achievements of great quality, even within schools located in ZEP (Zone of priority education).

- the lack of teachers rigor is quite spread .

- the programs are not fully tackled.

- the teaching approaches do not always fit to expectations: in sciences, the inquiry approach is not still highly represented, the phase where students face their results to validated scientific knowledge is often insufficient

- History, geography and experimental sciences are not used to develop pupils’ skills on mastering French.



Proposals

- Take particular care to enroll teachers having a basic scientific and epistemological knowledge in the whole disciplinary fields of primary school. Timetables of the institutes for teachers training should be reinforced

- Publish documents for supporting teachers in standards implementation

- To help the teachers in the establishment of planning and progressions, within the framework of training activities or schools network

- Give increased attention to pupils written records: texts presentation, spelling, copybooks and folders structuring

- To give particular attention to precision and exactitude scientific vocabulary employed in conclusion sentences.



(written by P. Lucas)

URL: ftp://trf.education.gouv.fr/pub/edutel/syst/igen/rapports/sciencesTechnoHistGeo.pdf

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 141

Author: Best, Rachel M.; Dockrell, Julie E; Braisby, Nick R.

Year: 2006

Title: Real-world word learning: Exploring children's developing semantic representations of a science term

Journal: British Journal of Developmental Psychology

Volume: 24

Issue: 2

Pages: 265-282

Short Title: Real-world word learning: Exploring children's developing semantic representations of a science term

Keywords: formative assessment, language skills, sciences terms, semantic knowledge, conceptual knowledge

Abstract: Assessments of lexical acquisition are often limited to preschool children on forced-choice comprehension measures. This study assessed the nature of the understandings 30 school-age children (mean age = 6;7) acquired about the science term eclipse following a naturalistic exposure to a solar eclipse. The knowledge children acquired about eclipses and a control term comet was assessed at three points in time (baseline-test, 2-week post-test and 5-month post-test) using a range of assessment tasks (multiple-choice comprehension, picture-naming, drawing and a model solar system manipulation task). Children's knowledge at the baseline-test and 2-week post-test was compared with that of 15 adult controls. The analysis focused on the range of knowledge children acquired about eclipses and the relationships between aspects of knowledge they acquired. We found that children acquired extensive knowledge about eclipses, but not comets. At the 2-week post-test, the majority of children were able to produce the term eclipse and provided evidence of accurate comprehension and wider conceptual knowledge about solar eclipses, which was retained at the 5-month post-test. Further, children's ability to produce the term was related to their acquisition of `rich' semantic and conceptual knowledge.
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