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Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 56

Author: Kilfeather, Paula; O'Leary, Michael; Varley, Janet

Year: 2006

Title: Adapting science performance tasks developed in different countries for use in Irish primary schools

Journal: Irish Educational Studies

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

Pages: 3-33

Short Title: Adapting science performance tasks developed in different countries for use in Irish primary schools

Keywords: formative assessment, foreign countries, tasks

Abstract: This article describes a four-year project undertaken to develop a set of performance tasks that could be used for assessing hands-on science in Irish primary schools. It begins by considering some of the literature on performance assessment and concludes with a discussion on the potential of the tasks to support teaching and learning in science. The main body of the article is structured to reflect the five phases of the research project itself. In phase one, science assessments used in a variety of educational systems in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States were located and catalogued. In phase two, approximately 170 performance tasks were selected and adapted by the authors to suit the requirements of the Irish primary science curriculum. In phase three, a purposive convenience sample of teachers evaluated the extent to which the tasks (a subset of 67) were suitable for use at different grade levels. The teachers' feedback was used to amend tasks. In phase four, the researchers observed 11 different tasks being implemented in classrooms. The eleven teachers involved were interviewed about their experiences immediately afterwards. Again, based on the outcomes of this study, changes were made to the tasks. The fifth phase of the project, due to be completed in 2006, will involve the dissemination of 124 of the tasks to teachers via a booklet and a CD-ROM. Future prospects relating to other elements of the project such as Web-based resources, professional development courses and exemplars of performance are also discussed.

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 148

Author: Laffosse-Marin, M.O.

Year: 2004

Title: L'accompagnement scientifique en primaire à travers les interactions langagières.

Journal: Aster

Volume: 38.

Pages: 41-67

Short Title: L'accompagnement scientifique en primaire à travers les interactions langagières.

Abstract: Carried out in the framework of La main à la pâte program, this study analyses language interaction during a primary school science class in the presence of a scientific partner and examines the particularities of such a teaching situation. It is also based on interviews conducted with scientific partners (both engineering students and science academics) as well as primary school teachers given academic support in sciences. The verbal exchanges which comprise the sequence were translated into diagrams in an effort to explore their sequence structures as well as the dynamic complexity of the interactions. A language grid was used in order to analyse the different aspects of the lesson's verbal interactions and as a tool to study the beginning and the end of the sequences as well as the teacher's time -management. It is also contributed to our understanding the factors which govern the extent of any mediation opportunities created by this new teaching situation in which teacher and academic play complementary roles. A change in the approach to knowledge and learning became evident by the different positions that pupils "discovered and chose" in the midst of the various and complex interactions between the interlocutors and actors of the lesson.

Reference Type: Book

Record Number: 149

Author: Larcher, C.; Goffard, M.

Year: 2003

Title: L'expérimental dans la classe : Enjeux, références, fonctionnements, contraintes

City: Paris

Number of Volumes: 1

Number of Pages: 156

Edition: INRP

Short Title: L'expérimental dans la classe : Enjeux, références, fonctionnements, contraintes

ISBN: 2734209055

Keywords: primary school, scaling up, La main à la pâte, skills, pedagogical issues

Abstract: This document was written on the basis of research report of IUFM and college teams having in response to a request done by the INRP (National Institute of Pedagogical Research). It concerns different school levels from primary school to high school; bringing elements of thought related to "La main à la pâte" approach. Research analyses give indications about pupils thinking facing tasks proposed to them; in particular about language skills and pedagogical issues. Tips are proposed to implement lesson plans and standards.

Reference Type: Thesis

Record Number: 150

Author: Launay, Yann

Year: 2006

Title: L'évaluation des enseignants / Teachers evaluation

Academic Department: Master recherche didactique des sciences et des techniques

University: Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan

Thesis Type: Master

Short Title: L'évaluation des enseignants / Teachers evaluation

Keywords: Teacher training, professional development

Abstract: This bibliographical research propose a questions review, i.e. meta-analyzes of current research on skilss evaluation of teachers and their practices. It pursues several goals:

- To define characteristic trends on research and main results obtained in this field,

- To identify topics research, questions, problems tackled and the solutions available

- To present different approaches of evaluation and current international paradigms


Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 63

Author: Lee, O.; Luykx, A.

Year: 2005

Title: Dilemmas in scaling up innovations in science instruction with nonmainstream elementary students.

Journal: American Educational Research Journal

Volume: 42

Issue: 3

Pages: 411 - 438

Short Title: Dilemmas in scaling up innovations in science instruction with nonmainstream elementary students.

Keywords: non mainstream students, summative assessment, scaling up, teacher professionnal development, policy

Abstract: In the climate of standards-based instruction and accountability, scaling up educational innovations is necessary to bring about system-wide improvements. Due to fundamental tensions around effective educational policies and practices for diverse student groups, scaling up is especially challenging in multilingual, multicultural, and inner-city settings. This paper maps out major difficulties that arise in scaling-up efforts, specifically with regard to students’ linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity in elementary school science. Grounded in the instructional congruence framework, it highlights the challenges facing schools and teachers in articulating science disciplines with non mainstream students’ linguistic and cultural experiences while also promoting English language and literacy. Rigorous attention to such challenges is needed to make scaling up of educational interventions more effective and to resolve the impasses around the question of what constitutes “best policies and practices” for diverse student groups.

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 64

Author: LEVITT, Karen E.

Year: 2002

Title: An analysis of elementary teachers' beliefs regarding the teaching and learning of science

Journal: Science education

Volume: 86

Issue: 1

Pages: 1 - 22

Short Title: An analysis of elementary teachers' beliefs regarding the teaching and learning of science

Keywords: elementary teachers, classroom observation, interview, teachers' beliefs

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to ascertain the beliefs of elementary teachers regarding the teaching and learning of science and the extent to which the teachers' beliefs were consistent with the philosophy underlying science education reform. Sixteen teachers from two school districts involved in a local systemic initiative for science education reform participated in the study. Each teacher was observed teaching a lesson from the program. The observation served as the context for an interview with the teacher regarding his or her beliefs about the teaching and learning of science. One overarching belief emerged: Teachers believe that the teaching and learning of science should be student centred. Five patterns of teachers' responses support this characterization of the teachers' belief. Although varying gaps exist between the teachers' beliefs and the principles of reform, the teachers' beliefs suggest that the teachers are moving in a direction consistent with science education reform. A modified case study of three teachers represents the patterns of beliefs expressed by teachers.

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 65

Author: Lewandowski, Anne; CARRER, Sarah SLEIMAN LE; MELGUEN, Yves; POULLAIN, Loïc

Year: 2005

Title: Et si on évaluait aussi les capacités expérimentales à l'école primaire ?

(What if we do also the evaluation of experimental skills at primary school?)



Journal: Bulletin de l'union des physiciens

Volume: 99

Issue: 870

Pages: 59-66

Date: January

Short Title: Et si on évaluait aussi les capacités expérimentales à l'école primaire ?

(What if we do also the evaluation of experimental skills at primary school?)



Keywords: France, La main à la pâte, skills, process

Abstract: The inquiry based teaching recommended by the Plan of renovation of science and technology teaching at school (PRESTE inspired by La main à la pâte) is strongly based on experiments conducted by children themselves. A good observation of a physical or biological phenomenon depends on a good experiment implementation.

This teaching method deserves then to be evaluated. Moreover, it takes into account attention, cooperation, dexterity, fine motor skills of children seldom evaluated at the school within "traditional" frameworks.



Notes: This is a teachers report on a pre-service training. The authors were interested in formative and somative evaluation of the students experimental practice often neglected in sciences teaching because in general of material reasons. The purpose was to create an assessment tool (a grid) to make up for this lack at primary school.

The experimentation plays an important part in the acquisition of the knowledge suggested by the program. The pupil must learn how to make experiments correctly to avoid distorted conclusions. An experiment badly carried out is not convincing, the pupil is likely to be consolidated wrongly.

Evaluation could be justified, at the same time for the teacher and the pupil. Through a diagnostic evaluation, the teacher detects difficulties and the gaps of the pupils when manipulating. He can thus set up situations of training and solution.

It is necessary to evaluate the pupil during experimental situation, during and at the end of the teaching sequence.

We interviewed some secondary and some primary teachers to draw up a list of assessment criteria. It was noticed that in general only theoretical knowledge is generally evaluated, and that there is no tool for evaluation of the experimental practice.

The acquisition of experimental know-how requires of a regular practice and evaluations. The pupils must face experimental situations as often as possible; they will finish by being able of a practical self-evaluation.

We should be conscious that individual and small group evaluations of the pupils are time consuming and need to be taken into account for the class management.

In addition, it is important to adapt the grid according to the objectives of the sequence, of the material used and moment when it is carried out. This grid is a long term tool to evaluate the individual progresses, but also to evaluate the class. It would be useful that a part of the grid is reserved to the self-evaluation so that the pupil becomes actor of his/her learning and he/she will be conscious of his/her own progression.

(written by P. Lucas)

Reference Type: Report

Record Number: 66

Author: Loarer, Christian

Year: 2002

Title: La rénovation de l'enseignement des sciences et de la technologie à l'école primaire

(Renovation of science and technology teaching at primary school)



Pages: 51

Date: February 2002

Type: Report to the French education Ministry

Short Title: La rénovation de l'enseignement des sciences et de la technologie à l'école primaire

(Renovation of science and technology teaching at primary school)

Keywords: state of the art, La main à la pâte, scaling up, France

Abstract: The report shows the situation and the evolution of science and technology teaching at the end of October 2001, the second year of application of the renovation program. The survey was carried out by general inspectors of the Group of primary education teaching in seven academies (or Local Education Authorities), in each one of these seven academies, ten classes randomly chosen within two different districts of national education inspectors were visited. The study also integrates, information collected by interviewing of vice-chancellors and their advisers, and also of inspectors leaders of academy of national education departmental services (IA-DSDEN) and their collaborators. It also examines, the degree of implementation of coaching measures at national, academic and departmental level

Notes: The report shows the situation and the evolution of science and technology teaching at the end of October 2001, the second year of application of the renovation program based on La Main à la pate approach. The survey was carried out by general inspectors of the Group of primary education teaching in seven academies (or Local Education Authorities), in each one of these seven academies, ten classes randomly chosen within two different districts of national education inspectors were visited. The study also integrates, information collected by interviewing of vice-chancellors and their advisers, and also of inspectors leaders of academy of national education departmental services (IA-DSDEN) and their collaborators. The report also examines, the degree of implementation of coaching measures at national, academic and departmental level

The implementation of the renovation was carried out over 3 years since the beginning of the school year 2000, and implied in priority cycle 3 (this renovation of science teaching was based on La main à la pâte experience). The author draws up a report on the situation of the teaching of sciences and of technology in the classes, observed at the end of October 2001, e.i. around two months after the beginning of the second year of plan application.

The comparison of the observations carried out will allow building hypotheses about factors of success and problems encountered.

The survey was carried out by the primary general inspectors on seven academies. In each academy ten classes from cycle 3 were randomly selected for visits. Interviews of the academy inspector and his collaborators were also undertaken.



Results:

Field reality is very heterogeneous

Intensity of science teaching/week 1h27mn

Duration of treatment of one topic 5h

Classes where pupils have a folder or a copybook 97 %

Teachers that made a planning for their class 89 %

Schools having a general planning for cycle 3 47 %

School projects with science and technology specificity 31 %

Financial contribution to equipment /school 106 euros

Inspectors implementing a specific science and technology policy 50 %

- According to teachers’ interviews:

Positives points for teachers (the main 4) : participation to teachers trainings, possibility of transfer of the approach to other disciplines, experimentation and manipulation, diversification of the practices.

Positives points for pupils:

- Better oral expression

- Motivation of low achievers students

- Improvement of language mastering

- Improvement of readings skills

Main difficulties (first 4)

- Lack of material (equipment)

- Many ministry priorities

- Lack of scientific knowledge

- National standards so ambitious

Teachers wishes (main):

- Availability of kits of materials

- Pedagogical support (training sessions)
NB: In 1995 (in cycle 3), sciences and technology do not had a specific schedule. They are assembled with history, geography and civics, in one set of disciplines having a 4-hour weekly duration.

The pupils thus are benefiting of a scientific and technological teaching. The totality of the program cannot be covered and there is an insufficiency of cycle programming (47 % of the schools). There is also an imbalance between the disciplines (biology occupies twice more time than physics and technology).

It is difficult to precisely evaluate the number of classes involved in the implementation of the renovation of sciences and technology education plan. According to the observations this can be estimated to 15-20 %, the proportion of classes of cycle 3. This percentage is rather disappointing under a scope of generalization over 3 years.
Results about pedagogical practices

The pedagogical freedom of teachers has a disadvantage: at the end of primary cycle, pupils had followed very different courses.

The time granted to one topic is often too long.

Teachers consider that the pupils observe, handle, even carry out information retrievals test, but classes’ observations done by the inspectors reveal other reality: the teacher may know "the approach theory" without being aware that he/she is not implementing the renovation plan… In some cases the renovation plan is completely unknown

The renewal of science teaching is easily implanted by teachers that use to work on active methods. Young teachers are often more engaged.
Factors of success

The results are better in the departments previously engaged in La main à la pâte approach, where a coaching action was carried out. In addition it is also possible to identify districts (circumscriptions) where the inspector has worked for several years in the sense of the renovation plan and where the practices are undoubtedly more advanced.

The generalization of the renovation plan can only be carried out at long term but the responsibility for implementing it is in charge of the teachers on their classes, in join action with their colleagues.

Coaching (support) is necessary and proves to be useful when introduced into the schools.

At the department level, effective measures were applied: creation of resources centers, and of positions of activity leaders in science, teacher trainings, trainers speeches and organization of scientific events aiming at maximal participation of pupils rather than a media window.
- A district of reference (Remiremont):

42 % of district teachers (i.e. close to the triple of the national average) practice a scientific and technological teaching in conformity with the recommendations of the plan.

Training and coaching have played a determining role. The number of teachers concerned is to be brought closer the real and durable priority granted to sciences and cycle 3.
- A department of reference (Loire Atlantique)

The classes labelled as applying the renovation of science and technology teaching plan are those where pedagogical and scientific approach is regularly carried out; where the pupils are in situation of investigation and where pupils written records reflect questioning, research, argumentation, ending by the construction of knowledge. In such classes teachers endeavours a work of language mastering (vocabulary, texts writing, pupils motivation to speak). On these bases, the plan of renovation is applied in approximately 30 % of the classes, which doubles of the national average.

In this department La main à la pâte implied generally one motivated teacher in a school while the plan of renovation involves a whole team. Training, scientific equipment and supporting actions of proximity constituted the principal elements of an effective policy in this department.

In 2001-2002, 10% of department teachers attended trainings (this is definitely higher than the national average)

Partnership took here a dimension to underline: it really invested the field and played a very complementary part of national education ministry actors (students of the Ecole des Mines –engineering students intervened in 70 classes each year). La main à la pâte represented an indisputably asset and showed the importance of the factor “time” in the achievement of the objectives at the department level.

Sciences and technology are taught in all the classes but, only 15 % of the teachers practise a pedagogy in conformity with the specifications of the plan of renovation: The generalization of the process is thus far from being acquired.



Results inscribed into this report deserves however to be moderate. The quality achievements are numerous, especially in the sites previously engaged in the La main à la pâte experience, which indicates, the evidence that the duration and constancy represent of the capital data.

URL: ftp://trf.education.gouv.fr/pub/edutel/syst/igen/ep-renovscitech.rtf

http://www.education.gouv.fr/syst/igen/groupes/ensprim.htm

Author Address: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche 110 rue de Grenelle 75357 PARIS 07 SP

Reference Type: Journal Article

Record Number: 67

Author: Luera, Gail R.; Otto, Charlotte A.

Year: 2005

Title: Development and Evaluation of an Inquiry-Based Elementary Science Teacher Education Program Reflecting Current Reform Movements

Journal: Journal of Science Teacher Education

Volume: 16

Issue: 3

Pages: 241-258

Short Title: Development and Evaluation of an Inquiry-Based Elementary Science Teacher Education Program Reflecting Current Reform Movements

Keywords: hands on implementation, national standarts, practice improvement

Abstract: The National Science Education Standards (National Research Council 1996, National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press) and various other national and state documents call for teachers who possess science content knowledge, employ an inquiry approach in teaching, and engage in reflective practices. This paper describes a rationale for choosing particular recommendations to implement and how we incorporated those as we revised our elementary science education program. An analysis of the impact of the reformed inquiry-based content courses revealed that students who take more than one reformed content course improve their science content knowledge and efficacy towards teaching science significantly more than students who take fewer courses.
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