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Suggested Citation:"About the Authors." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23548.
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About the Authors

Alexandra Beatty is a senior program officer with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Testing and Assessment. Since 1996 she has contributed to many projects: among them are an evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools; studies of teacher preparation, National Board certification for teachers, and state-level science assessment; and the Committee on Education Excellence and Testing Equity. She has also worked as an independent education writer and researcher. Prior to joining the National Academies staff, she worked on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and College Board programs at the Educational Testing Service. She has a B.A. in philosophy from Williams College and an M.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College.

Heidi Schweingruber is the director of the Board on Science Education (BOSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In this role, she oversees the BOSE portfolio and collaborates with the board to develop new projects. She has worked on multiple National Academies’ projects on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, including co-directing the study that resulted in the report A Framework for K–12 Science Education. She co-authored two award-winning books for practitioners that translate findings of National Academies reports for a broader audience: Ready, Set, Science!: Putting Research to Work in K–8 Science Classrooms (2008) and Surrounded by Science (2010). Prior to joining the National Academies, she was a senior research associate at the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education and the director of research for the Rice University School Mathematics Project, an outreach program in K–12 mathematics education. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology (developmental) and anthropology, and a certificate in culture and cognition from the University of Michigan.

Suggested Citation:"About the Authors." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23548.
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Suggested Citation:"About the Authors." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23548.
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Page 115
Suggested Citation:"About the Authors." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23548.
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Science educators in the United States are adapting to a new vision of how students learn science. Children are natural explorers and their observations and intuitions about the world around them are the foundation for science learning. Unfortunately, the way science has been taught in the United States has not always taken advantage of those attributes. Some students who successfully complete their K–12 science classes have not really had the chance to “do” science for themselves in ways that harness their natural curiosity and understanding of the world around them.

The introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards led many states, schools, and districts to change curricula, instruction, and professional development to align with the standards. Therefore existing assessments—whatever their purpose—cannot be used to measure the full range of activities and interactions happening in science classrooms that have adapted to these ideas because they were not designed to do so. Seeing Students Learn Science is meant to help educators improve their understanding of how students learn science and guide the adaptation of their instruction and approach to assessment. It includes examples of innovative assessment formats, ways to embed assessments in engaging classroom activities, and ideas for interpreting and using novel kinds of assessment information. It provides ideas and questions educators can use to reflect on what they can adapt right away and what they can work toward more gradually.

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