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Assessment strategies for Inqui~-Centered science Assessing science through paper-andjencit tests is akin to assessing a basketball pZayer's skills ~ viny a written test. We may find out what someone knows about basketball, but we won't know how well that person plays the game. -George Hein and Sabra Price, Active Assessments for Active Science, 1994 Principals and science coordina- tors often hear teachers lament that traclitional assessments simply don't work in inquiry-centere(1 classrooms. "Paper-and-pencil tests only give information on part of what we teach," they say. "We need something else to use to give us a better picture of what our students know and are able to do." Traditional tests usually multiple-choice, short-answer tests given at the end of a unit of study cannot assess all the richness of learning that takes place in the inquiry-centerecI science cIass- room. A multiple-choice test cannot effectively evaluate whether loo

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science students have learned how to design an experiment, make accu- rate observations and measurements, analyze data, and reach rea- sonable conclusions. Multiple-choice tests are also not very effec- tive in assessing student understanding of concepts such as buoyancy or the role bees play in the life cycle of plants. Measur- ing students' grasp of these skills and concepts requires alternative forms of assessment. This chapter outlines several ways to structure assessment ac- tivities that can effectively determine each student's progress to- waro the attainment of science inquiry skills and concepts. To il- Justrate each form of assessment, we have included examples from three curriculum programs Full Option Science System (FOSS), Insights, and Science and Technology for Children (STC). Throughout the chapter, we will concentrate on how the teacher can assess student learning on a daily basis. The chapter also describes strategies that can be used to as- sess the science program as a whole. We present guidelines school districts can use to determine how the implementation of the sci- ence program is proceeding. Assessing Student Learning Just as it is challenging to institute inquiry-basea instruction in the classroom, so is it difficult to incorporate new assessment strategies into classroom evaluation. For this reason, it is reassuring to know that teachers need not create new assessment strategies on their own. Many of the national curriculum programs include such strategies in their teacher's guides. These suggestions provide a . . good starting point. Most teachers Gina it helpful to begin to use the new assess- ment strategies slowly and carefully. It is neither necessary nor au- visable to eliminate traditional testing. In fact, one of the guiding principles behind assessment is that the more adverse the strate- gies used, the more the teacher can learn about each student. Over time, each teacher will discover ways to balance traa-i-tional tests and alternative assessments to obtain a complete picture of how well students are progressing. Although the focus in this section is on assessment in the classroom, it is important to recognize that assessment is a contro ~o~

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change During an informal assessment for a module on ecosystems, a teacher talks with fQh-grade students about shear observations. versial issue in science education. Within the classroom, using a range of assessment tools provides information on both student learning and future teaching strategies. Within a school district, however, standardized tests are often used as a means of making schools accountable for student learning. Our focus here is on helping teachers develop more effective strategies for assessing student learning in their classrooms. The following assessment strategies have been used effectively in many inquiry-centered science classrooms throughout the country. Many of them have been incorporated into national science cur- riculum programs. Matched Prep and Post-Moduie Assessments Pre- and post-moclule assessments serve two important functions. The first is to track how much students have learned cluring the unit. For example, the teacher could ask a question or assign an investigation at the beginning of each module to find out how 102

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science much students know about the subject. At the end of the module, students could answer the same question or perform the same in- vestigation, enabling the teacher to observe how their under- standing of a subject has grown. Such assessments can take many forms. For example, many modules in the STC elementary science curriculum begin with a brainstorming session during which children are asked what they know about a subject and what they wouIcl like to learn about it. At the end of the moclule, they are asked the same questions again, giving the teacher an opportunity to assess how much students have learned over the course of the unit. A pre-moclule assessment can also give the teacher informa- tion on what questions students are interested in pursuing. As the class progresses through the unit, the teacher can refer to the pre- moduTe assessment to further refine teaching strategies. The post- moduTe data can then be used as a way for the teacher to measure the success of his or her teaching strategies. Other examples of pre- and post-module assessments include having students write about a subject, draw a picture, or perform a simple experiment. These devices give teachers important "be- fore-and-after" information. Figure S-] shows examples of pre- and post-module assessments. The Insights elementary science program has a more formal pre-module assessment. Each module in this program begins with an introductory questionnaire that is linked to the goals of that moclule. The questionnaire may include content-related questions as well as questions designed to assess students' problem-solving abilities. At the end of the module, students complete the ques- tionnaire again; the two versions of the questionnaire provide teachers with a written record of students' progress. Younger stu- dents complete the questionnaire through interviews. Figure S-2 shows part of an introductory questionnaire from the Insight Reading the Environment module. Embedded Assessments These assessments are woven, or embedded, into the instructional sequence in the module. They may be part of the activities that naturally occur in a lesson or a logical extension of the lesson's 103

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change ... _ , _ , _. __ , . ., _ ._ ._ . .~, .- . .,_ . _, ,~ . _ _ ., ... , . . . _ __ ___ , . ._ . . .. . ~. . _ , .. _~e,. ~ La - ...~. 1~.~. .~. . . ... ~ .... .._ .. .~.. ... ~...~....~ _~, ~ . M_ 4 .lh ~_ ... ,._. .. , ,. ,_ _., _ _ . L~O ,~' ~EI$$, Brandon Weiss Grade 6 01~ ~ ,~ =~ is =~E ~ ~~ ~= Slam Its ]~ ~ ~~ <~ ~ U- ~= L~-Be. (Men I~ COLD ~ - On - ~ ~ =,UI~ OW ~ WILL CALL ~ $~ ~ t~ I ~~ o off' ~q~$= ~ L)Q~ Figure 8-1. Pre- and post-module writing samples and drawings from the sixth-grade module The Technology of Paper (STC) and the second-~,rade module The Life Cycle of Butterflies (STC) 104

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Assessment strategies for Inquiry-Centered science \5~rok 6-tet-~>'1 T1 Luke Bostian Grade 2 stuTy antonn-ad tf . ~ ~ s~ \ W.` sputa 105

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change Introductory Questionnaire Name DIRECTIONS TO STUDENTS Date Reading the Environment Introductory Questionnaire Answer each question below as completely as possible in the space provided. Use the back of the paper or an extra sheet if you need more space. In some of the questions, there are words in italics. If you think you know the meaning of the word (even if you are not sure), try to answer the question. If you do not know the meaning of the word at all, and cannot even guess, write: "I do not know this word." If there are any other words (not in italics) whose meaning you do not know, ask your teacher to explain them. 1. Think of something in your neighborhood that is not living and that has changed in the past couple of years. In the space below, name it and describe as completely as you can what it was like in the past, before it changed. Reading the Environment EDC ~ 7991 Figure 8-2. Introductory questionnaire from the fourth-grade module Reading the Environment (Insights) 106

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science r Introductory Questlonnalre 2. What evidence do you see that tells you the thing you named in question 1 has changed? Describe below what this thing is like now. State exactly what the change is that you have noticed. For example: Where was a change in the street. It has cracks in it. The evidence I see is a Tack and the street around it is breaking into small pieces. I think it is being worn down." 3. What do you think caused the change(s) you noted in question 2? 4. Give an example of a fossil and describe what it looks like. Readino the Environment EDC ~ 1991 107

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change central activity. Embedclec! assessments are based on the assump- tion that assessment and learning are two sides of the same coin. In fact, many educators assert that from the students' vantage point, there shouIcl be a seamless flow between instruction and as- sessment.~ The biggest difference between an embeddecI assess- ment and other learning activities is that the assessment is de- signed to enable the teacher to obtain and recorc! information about student learning. The following are examples of embecIdec! assessments: After studying STC's Electric Circuits module for fourth- graders, students are asked to wire a carciboard house. The ac- tivity enables the teacher to assess whether students can apply what they have learned about circuits to a "real-life" situation. Throughout the FOSS Paper module (a kindergarten unit), students are invited to engage in discussions that reveal their understancling of key concepts. At the end of STC's f~fth-gracle Food Chemistry module, stu- dents use tests they learned about in the unit to determine which nutrients are in a marshmallow. ~Prediction Activities A prediction is different from a guess because it is based on previ- ous experience and knowledge of a subject. By asking students to make predictions at appropriate times, teachers can assess the sci- ence concepts their students have mastered and how well they can apply that knowledge to a new situation. For example, cluring a module on buoyancy (STC's Floating and Sinking), students may be given an assortment of objects and asked to predict which ones will float and which will sink. If students consider both weight and vol- ume in making their predictions, the teacher will know that stu- dents have gained some understanding of the concept. If they guess randomly, they are telling the teacher that they have a limit- ec3 unclerstanding of the concept. In either case, the teacher has gained valuable information. foe

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science Final Assessments These assessments are user! at the end of a science unit or moclule. Although many final assessments include paper-and-pencil tests, they can take many other forms. Examples of final assessments are described below. Hands-on Assessments. This type of assessment provides an opportunity for teachers to observe how well students can perform an experiment similar to one they worked on during the module. Hancis-on assessments allow teachers to see how students ap- proach a problem, gather data, record results, and draw conclu- sions from their findings. For example, after experimenting with water in the FOSS Watermodule, students are given a new problem that must be solved through experimentation. The Insights mod- ule Relating the environment has a hands-on assessment in which stu- dents are asked to design an experiment that will help them de- cide what kind of stone to use for building in a city where acid rain is a problem. Another way to organize hands-on assessments is for the teacher to set up stations throughout the room that offer a series of tasks for children to complete. For example, after finishing a moclule on chemical tests, students may be asked to perform a filtration task at one table, a mixing task at another, and data analysis at a third table. By observing how the students go about the tasks, reviewing the kinds of records they make, and checking their results, the teacher will gain information about what the students have learned. This work can be done individually or in cooperative groups. Paper-and-Pencil Tests. These are questions included at the end of the unit. The FOSS curriculum divides paper-and-pencil as- sessments into two categories: pictorial assessments en cl reflective questions assessments. FOSS pictorial assessments evaluate how well students can think through problems that require both knowl- edge and the application of ideas to a new situation. For example, pictorial assessments from the Water module include figuring out why a plastic bottle of water left in the car trunk overnight cracked when the temperature cropped and why water that spilled on the sidewalk seemed to disappear. Reflective assessments evaluate how well students can express 109

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change themselves in writing, as indicated by the way students respond to problem-solving questions. In the STC module Measuring Time, students are asked to graph hypothetical data, analyze dicta from a graph, ant! discuss in detail reasons for the moon's phases. Activities such as these encourage stu- dents to go beyond simply recalling isolated pieces of information and to think critically in applying knowledge to new situations. Science Notebooks. Students can be asked to prepare indi- viclual science notebooks that include all the observations and records generated during the module. The notebooks may in- clude stories and poems (see Figure 8-3), record sheets, charts, tables, and graphs. Drawings also reveal what students have learned (see Figure S-4~. The teacher should assess the level of cletail, use of labels, and quality of explanations accompanying the drawings. Science notebooks are useful for both teachers and students. Note- books are a powerful assessment too] for teachers and an effective way for students to keep a record of what they have clone in the module. A portfolio is a selected group of student work. Students themselves can select pieces that they fee] represent significant learning. Usually, the teacher and students work together to cle- velop selection criteria, which may include materials that were the hardest to do or projects that provoked the most learning. Through this process, students have an opportunity to reflect on what they've learned. IntormaZ Assessments Many teachers also find it helpful to conduct informal assessments of students' progress. These involve reviewing written materials, observing students at work, en cl simply walking around the room and listening to students' conversations. By asking the right ques- tions, teachers can uncover students' reasoning en cl the steps they usect to solve pro Stems. ~ ne questions that students ask can also be a source of information about their unclerstancling. In aclclition, incliviclual en cl group presentations can give teachers insights into stuclents' interpretation of what they have learned. Finally, ques- tions posed by students following presentations can provide op- portunities to gather important information. . . . . . an. .. Rio

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science ~tP~ I"nnei s~J~^n~ wilier came l|,r~gh40~L~ o]~- I~ tether ~ ~i{~f lies All h T tt I ~ ~ ~ ante t\~o~.3h p~ 1\ Abut . . . Wf`,~t '~ Sot l ~ (~)rd9 50i/ 15 read: of 5013 crud l o is ~? /4 Inera/s. I t n eels ~ ~ ~ i~ help p/94f~ orgy. g6O`~: Food icon 1~5. Soil 15 C/~ So/] 6~/p5 Why Baronet S=// ic/p5 I Ed V~g~t~bt5. He need soil To 9r~w plats, Lunden Letofsky Grade 2 Faith Washington Grade 2 Daniel Hall Grade 2 rd Show 7 E Name: i Date -~f5;J (74 8e~ Draw what you see ~ t~ liar Lea I Jon a' dock this ten you about the mystery mixture? ~_ ~ \ ,~ A. Pixel lo Van maq~='.~'~? -Q-fel<,~., ~ Ft~l7~tK-<~o---~;14--e---~-t~-a-f t is 5~ lien Figure 8-3. Writing samples from the second-grade module Soils (STC)

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change i . . ~. i . ...... _ )__' _ )eCteL- tL~ ~ .e - 1~_ = ~ ,- , Shaughn Bischoff Alex Jaeger Jenny Minnard Margaret Pace Emilee Schultz Julie Wilke Grade 4 Figure S-4. Student drawings from the fourth-grade module Motion and Design (STC) 1 1 2

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry- Centered Science Documentation and Record Keeping One of the hardest parts of incorporating alternative assessments into the inquiry-centered science program is developing an accu- rate recorcI-keeping system. Many teacher's guides include record- keeping charts that help teachers focus on the goals of each as- sessment instrument. For example, the STC program includes an observation sheet that teachers may photocopy anti use in evaluating each student. The sheet highlights each module's key concepts en cl skills. For one mo(lule, Balancing and Weighing, concepts listed in- clude the relationship between the amount of weight anct its po- sition on the balance beam, what is meant by the term "weigh- ing," and the relationship between weight and volume. Skills listed include performing simple experiments with a balance beam, using an equal-arm balance, and applying strategies for comparing and weighing to solve problems. Alongside each of these concepts and skills is a space for the teacher to write oh servations. Figure 8-5 is a sample recording chart from the STC program. The chief advantages of this chart are that it provides a structure for teachers to use as they experiment with new assess- ment strategies and it can be adapted to suit the needs and record-keeping styles of different teachers. The FOSS program includes a student worksheet with each of its assessments. To help teachers interpret the results on these sheets, the teacher's guicle includes a chart that identifies the purpose of each question. For example, teachers are told that the purpose of the question about the cracked water bottle is to give students an oppor- tunity to explain what happens when water freezes. The purpose of the question about the water that disappearecl is to determine whether the students can explain how water evaporates. Figure ~6 shows a sample observation chart from FOSS's Water module. The Insights program has four parts to its assessment frame- work: the introductory questionnaire (pre-assessment), the embecl- cled assessment, the post-moclule assessment, and ongoing assess- ments throughout the module. The teacher uses student profile charts to record the ongoing assessments and an evaluation rubric to inform the analysis of the formal pieces. The rubric ranges from "0" (no answer or "I don't know") to "5" (a complete and correct re- sponse). Figure S-7 shows the complete Insights rubric. 113

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change Blacklin. Master Balancing and Weighing: Observations of Student Performance Concepts Balance is affected by the amount of weight, the position of weight, and the position of the fulcrum. Weighing is the process of balancing an object against a certain number of standard units. The weight of an object is not determined by its size. Equal volumes of different foods will not all have equal weights: equal weights of different foods will not all have equal volumes. Obeenrations Skills Performing simple experiments with balance. Applying previous experiences with balancing to build mobiles. Using an equal-ar~n balance to compare and weigh. Predicting the serial order for the weights of objects and foods. Applying strategies for comparing and weighing to solve problems Recording results on record sheets, bar graphs, line plots, data tables, and Venn diagrams. Communicating ideas, observations, and experiences through writing, drawing and discussions Reading to learn more about balancing and weighing. STC / Balancing and Weighing Figure S-5. Teacher's observation chart from the second-grade module Balancing and Weighing (STY ~4

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Assessment Strategies for Inquir~-Centered Science = ~ The Reflective {questions Assessment The Reflective Questions Assessment is made up of written questions that ask students to describe and explain events. It takes students about 20 minutes to complete all the questions. Getting Ready for the Reflective Questions Assessment Make copies of the two student sheets for this assessment. The entire set of questions can be given at one sitting. The tasks can be easily completed by students at their own desks. No equipment is needed. Doing the Reflective Questions Assessment Instruct students to read each task carefully. then do what the directions say. In most cases they will be asked to explain events . Recording the Results of the Reflective Questions Assessment The answer sheet gives answers or reasonable responses to the tasks. Feel free to adjust the ranges for acceptable answers based on the capabilities of your students. On the Water Module Reflective Questions Assessment Teacher's Chart, each task in the assessment is clearly delineated along the top margin. This sheet provides a convenient visual summary of indi- vidual students' and the class's understanding of water properties and interactions. The simplest way to use the teacher's chart is to place a check beside each student's name under the appropriate task. A blank indicates that the student did not complete the task satisfactorily. | The Water Module REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS ASSE SSMENT Te~tcher's Chart | Student name t 3 4 A< 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 . Change of State . 1. explolnr Intact of explam~ how wafer Incang wear ,,r,pontr Hardness Water Use bald Water (Ju: OCR for page 100
The Nuts and Bolts of Change Introductory Questionnaire Introductory Questionnaire Materials For each student: Introductory Questionnaire extra paper if desired NOTE Win Me exception of words identified In italics, this is an assessment of understanding and experience, not an assessment of technical vocabulary. Note which students are having trouble with the language of the questionnaire. They may need extra help throughout the module. Advance Preparation Make copies of the Introductory Questionnaire for each student. The questionnaire is intended as a written assessment; however, if you have students with special needs or limited English facility, you are encouraged to translate, paraphrase, or replace it with an interview . . Familiarize yourself with the questions so as to be able to elaborate on them if students have trouble with particular words. Evaluating the Introductory Questionnaire Guidelines to code the level or depth of knowledge the student has about a concept or skill. 5 - a complete and correct response. 4 - an essentially correct response but one that omits some detail(s), or underlying explanations, or contains a slight inaccuracy. 3 - a response that is wrong or skimpy simply because the student does not know the concept or information. a naive conception: a response that is logical and coherent, and explains the data from the student's point of view, but happens to be scientifically wrong. There are many examples in history, such as the flat-earth theory. Note that this is different from an error that is made Trough mere lack of information. 1- a naive, childish answer, or one that repeats the question. O - no answer, or "I don't know." Education Development Center, Inc. 27 Figure 8-7. Rubric for evaluating the introductory questionnaire in an Insights module ~6

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science Assessing the Science Program In addition to assessing individual student progress with the new curriculum, school districts need two different kinds of informa- tion to assess the overall success of the science program. The first, and by far the most challenging to acquire, is information about whether the science program is resulting in significant changes in teaching and in student learning. The National Science Eclucation Standards address this issue en c! acknowlecige the difficulty in gathering this information, which needs to include the assessment of student knowledge and skills over time as well as changes in stu- dents' attitudes toward science. The second kind of information that school districts need is a measure of how they are progressing in their efforts to address each of the five elements of science ed- ucation reform: curriculum, professional development, materials support, assessment, and administrative anct community support. George Hein, director of the Program Evaluation and Re- search Group at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and evaluator of the National Science Resources Center's (NSRC) Ele- mentary Science Leadership Tnstitute program, developed five rubrics that districts can use to assess the progress of their science programs (Figure 8-~. Each rubric corresponds to one of the ele- ments of an effective elementary science program. The rubrics begin at level O (no action has been taken) and end at level 5 (complete implementation). Levels 2 through 4 describe the se- quence typically followed in establishing a science program: cle- veloping a plan, initiating a small-scale reform effort, and expand- ing this effort each year. Hein, Carol Baldassari, and Laura Hudson used the rubrics to determine the progress that school district teams that have at- tencled the NSRC Leadership Institutes have made and to find out the paths they followecl during their reform efforts. By inter- viewing each team and applying the rubrics to the responses, Hein and his colleagues determined that assessment has been the most clifficult element to implement. Curriculum development and professional development have been easier to incorporate and have usually been done first. Establishing a materials support system has been accomplished as funding en c! administrative support have permitted. 1 1 7

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change Five Rubrics Used to Assess the Progress of Science Programs Levels of Curriculum Reform Level 0 Totally textbook-dominated program, no materials. Level 1 Some (any) inquiry-centered science curriculum units based on individual school (or teacher) decision. Level 2 District piloting inquiry-centered science curriculum units in part of system, with textbooks still dominant. Level 3 Districtwide plan exists to introduce inquiry-centered science cur- riculum into entire system and/or early stage of implementation. Level 4 Considerable progress in implementing inquiry-centered science curriculum units in entire system and/or evidence that texts are no longer used or are used primarily as supplements. Level 5 Systemwide implementation of inquiry-centered elementary sci- ence program. Levels of Professional Development Activities Level 0 No teacher professional development program. Level 1 Professional development program limited to introduction of hands- on science curriculum units to some teachers. Level 2 A plan for professional development for all teachers and/or begin- ning of development of teacher leaders exists. Evidence of other activities (workshops, museum, college connections). Level 3 Implementation of first-level workshops for most or all teachers in the district. A plan for advanced professional development activi- ties for teacher leaders exists. Ongoing classroom support for up to one-half of teachers in district. Level 4 Implementation of first-level activities for all teachers and provision for advanced professional development for all teachers. Evidence of systematic connection between district activities and opportunities at other institutions (museums, colleges, etc.~. Ongoing classroom support for most teachers. Level 5 Funded, coherent, continuous system for staff development articulat- ed with developmental needs of all teachers, curriculum implementa- tion, assessment, and other professional development activities. Figure 8-8 118

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science ~ .. I........ A,..... :~...~....~.....~......~:,.....~:,.... :..~.....~.... hi........ I.. :....~.....~......~..................~......~. :,......: .. ~ hi.. a.... ............,.... C,...... :,....~............... C..........,....~......... ..... Levels of Development of Centralized Materials Support Systems Level O No plans for a materials support system. Level 1 Recognized need for a materials support system for science, chose school-based or individual teacher responsibility, or began planning for center, but plans aborted. Level 2 Temporary system that includes ordering and refurbishing materi- als and supplies for pilot classrooms or schools, or in the planning stage for districtwide system. Level 3 Beginning to implement systemwide materials support system, but current system only partial: insufficient staffing, funding, etc. Level 4 Established districtwide materials support system. Level 5 Integrated districtwide math/science materials and professional de- velopment center; a functioning"teacher center." Levels of Student Assessment Level O No change, no plan for change. Level 1 Studying the issue, planning, changes driven by outside forces (new state mandates). Level 2 Some use of alternative assessment strategies in individual schools or by teachers using inquiry-centered curriculum materials. Policy of acquiring curriculum materials that incorporate active assess ment strategies. Level 3 Systematic professional development on assessment and/or teach- ers developing active assessments. Level 4 Initiating systemwide implementation of active assessment tied to grading practices and substituting for traditional, test-based grades. Level 5 Complete implementation of districtwide active science assessment, and/or new science assessment is part of large districtwide assess ment plan. ............................ ............ continued on next page 119

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The Nuts and Bolts of Change Five Rubrics Used to Assess the Progress of Science Programs continued Levels of Partnership Activities Level O No stakeholders from the community, including scientists or engi- neers, are working with the district for the sole purpose of sup- porting its science program. Level I Some stakeholders (scientists, engineers, parents, etc.) have been identified, and relationships between them and teachers or princi- pals in some schools have been initiated.Their purposes may vary, or their involvement may be short-term or event-specific. Level 2 Through a formal structure, district seeks to coordinate existing disparate efforts or to involve new institutions as partners to sup- port the inquiry-centered science program. Level 3 Partial plan for district, corporate, and/or university partnerships has been created and first steps have been initiated. Level 4 District develops comprehensive plan with partners to secure community support and financial assistance for systemic reform. Level 5 Plan is implemented and maintained. 120

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Assessment Strategies for Inquiry-Centered Science New assessment strategies are needed for inquiry-centered sci- ence, because traditional tests cannot assess the wide range of learning that takes place. Key strategies include pre- and post-module assessments, embed- ded assessments, prediction activities, and final assessments. If teachers are clear about the objective of an assessment, they will understand why a particular type of assessment is being used. For example, if a teacher wants to know whether students have learned how to design an experiment, an appropriate assessment would be to ask them to solve a problem through experimentation. Five rubrics one for each element of the science program can help school districts assess the progress they are making in im- proving their elementary science programs. For Further Reading Cawelti, G., ed. 1993. Challenges and Achievements of American Education: 1993 Year- book of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Hein, G., and S. Price. 1994. Active Assessment for Active Science: A Guide for Elemen- tary School Teachers. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann. Herman,.T. L., P. R. Aschbacher, and L. Winters. 1992. A Practical Guide to Alter- nativeAssessment. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curricu- lum Development. National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washing- ton, D.C.: National Academy Press. Raizen, S. A., J. B. Baron, A. B. Champagne, E. Haertel, I. V. Mullis, and J. Oakes. 1989. Assessment in Elementary School Science Education. Washington, D.C.: Na- tional Center for Improving Science Education. Resnick, L. 1987. Education and Learning to Think. Washington, D.C.:-National Academy Press. Rothman, R. 1995. Measuring Up: Standards, Assessment, and School Reform. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Shavelson, R. J., G. Baxter, and T. Pine. 1992. "Performance Assessments: Political Rhetoric and Measurement Reality." Educational Researcher 21 (4~: 22-27. 121