Designing Assessments Designing high-quality science assessments that are consistent with the framework, that satisfy the different purposes of assessment, and that function in the varying contexts of use is an important goal, which will require attention and investment to achieve. Obviously, improving achievement will require changes to be made to the teaching and learning processes. Several models have been identified by Grubb, Davis, and Lum 1991. If the teachers are in the early stages of implementation and a major change occurs in the curricular area, the survey data may reflect natural frustration associated with the change process. Don't Don't forget to design professional development that puts the responsibility for implementing the curriculum at the building level.
In one sense the question cannot be answered empirically, since the question is value-laden. States can make tests easier so that more students can meet proficiency standards. The Framework should lay down nationally agreed curriculum objectives and set out broad areas of study and key ideas and concepts applicable to each area. While there may be some value in offering such courses for enrichment purposes at all levels, McDonnell's research 1989 stresses that multiyear sequential curricula will have greater payoffs than single courses that are not part of an overall program of studies. Team members need to understand how to write effective assessments and discuss the process for collecting these assessment data so that they can be relevant to classroom and district practice.
Units are designed to help students develop deep understandings of the concepts that are taught. Deciding the important outcomes is not always easy, but it is a critical first step in creating authentic assessments. The costs for setting aside this time for both small and large districts can interfere with this recommendation; however, if the mission of school is learning, then writing curriculum for teaching and learning and ensuring its implementation warrants top priority in budget allocation. The desire to produce a product trumps the process, and as a result we have curriculum guides collecting dust that have little relevance to teachers or students. Science Education, 93 6 , 1,050-1,075.
As the change agent for the district, the curriculum leader needs to stay the course and understand that this is a natural part of the change process. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 21 3 , 309-328. Keeping the car aligned has a lot to do with the driver and the team that supports the driver. A benchmark is a school-level or grade-level objective derived from the standards. Double talk: Synthesizing everyday and science language in the classroom.
Also, the vocational curriculum should be a means for integrating the vocational and the academic. When assessment is aligned with instruction, both students and teachers benefit. The Federal Role in Education. Do Do pilot all materials with students for an extended period of time. The team needs to know how to write assessments that align to the standards and big ideas in the curriculum.
Board on Testing and Assessment, Committee on Science Education K-12, Mathematical Sciences Education Board. The central office administrator can use common assessments to establish benchmarks for the district and to monitor improvements and efficiency of district curriculum; however, we do not advocate developing units at the district level. The results have been mixed. Examples are Aviation High School in New York and the High School for Health Professions in Houston, Tex. Powerful professional development needs to be embedded in the curriculum development process. A curriculum generally consists of a scope, or breadth of content, in a given subject area and of a sequence of concepts and activities for learning.
For example, researchers have studied classroom teaching interventions involving curriculum structures that support epistemic practices i. Symbolic communication in mathematics and science: Co-constituting inscription and thought. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19 4 , 506-538. Journeys into inquiry-based elementary science: Literacy practices, questioning, and empirical study. In order for districtwide improvement to happen, teachers must have the time to revise and develop curriculum that is focused on instruction. To do otherwise slights the integrity of instructional leadership.
The performances combine core ideas and practices. Next Generation Science Standards Changing or integrating new academic standards is a complex process that requires significant investments of time, money, and human resources. If these are the appropriate functions for states, what are the roles and responsibilities of educators at the district and school levels? These concepts need to become part of the language of science that students use when framing questions or developing ways to observe, describe, and explain the world. First, it allows the publisher to dictate curriculum, and second, it perpetuates the notion that the texts are the curriculum instead of a resource. Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments.
Institutionalization of Technology Except for some critics of technology for example, Apple, 1988 , there is general agreement among educators that schools will continue to increase their use of sophisticated technologies. Many of the desirable design characteristics, shared or unique to each context of use alike, are currently unmet by the current generation of science assessment tools and resources. Make sure that teachers work in vertical teams to discuss achievement gaps at all levels. And those frameworks, unlike the general guidelines that marked past efforts, seem to be detailed some would say prescriptive and backed by state-developed tests. Once it was built, it had no relevance to him.