ideas associated with some natural phenomenon. In the second instance, the student generates scientific information based on data. In either case, the quality of the reasoning can be inferred from how well connected the chain of reasoning is, how explicit the student is about the assumptions made, and the extent to which speculations on the implications of having made alternative assumptions are made.

The writing and speaking requirements of this extended investigation provide ample evidence for assessing the ability of the student to communicate scientific ideas.

Changing Emphases

The National Science Education Standards envision change throughout the system. The assessment standards encompass the following changes in emphases:

LESS EMPHASIS ON

MORE EMPHASIS ON

Assessing what is easily measured

Assessing what is most highly valued

Assessing discrete knowledge

Assessing rich, well-structured knowledge

Assessing scientific knowledge

Assessing scientific understanding and reasoning

Assessing to learn what students do not know

Assessing to learn what students do understand

Assessing only achievement

Assessing achievement and opportunity to learn

End of term assessments by teachers

Students engaged in ongoing assessment of their work and that of others

Development of external assessments by measurement experts alone

Teachers involved in the development of external assessments



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