Preparation for Standardized Testing and Inquiry


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  • Introduction (CU Graduate Student) Environmental Science Teacher TEAMS alumna– 2004-2006
  • 5 minutes per slide. Make an observation and interpretation of what is occurring in this image (draw from NAS).
  • Expand to a 25 minute section on inquiry
  • Preparation for Standardized Testing and Inquiry

    1. 1. TEAMS SEMINAR, JANUARY 24, 2009 UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO XENIA MEYER, DOCTORAL CANDIDATE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY Critical Thinking in Science Education and Standardized Testing: Two Birds with One Stone through Inquiry-based Instruction
    2. 3. What did we just do? <ul><li>Engaged in student-centered instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Interacted with our peers </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledged multiple possibilities (more closely models actual science) </li></ul><ul><li>Made observations </li></ul><ul><li>Made inferences based on observations </li></ul><ul><li>Used evidence to state claims </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry! </li></ul>
    3. 4. Inquiry? “ The diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence derived from their work. Inquiry also refers to the activities of students in which they develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world” (National Research Council [NRC], 1996, p. 23). What is it?
    4. 5. Learning science, rather than learning about it… <ul><li>Abilities to do inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>formulating questions </li></ul><ul><li>designing investigations </li></ul><ul><li>dealing with data </li></ul><ul><li>constructing and testing explanations </li></ul><ul><li>communicating results </li></ul> (NRC, 1996) <ul><li>Knowledge about inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists use varied methods </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific inquiry involves testing ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists use logic, higher-order thinking, and current knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific investigations lead to more questions </li></ul>
    5. 6. What does inquiry look like? From
    6. 7. Bybee’s Instructional Model
    7. 8. If that’s inquiry, why don’t we see more of it?
    8. 9. From Comparing Inquiry and Traditional Science Instruction INQUIRY BASED TRADITIONAL Principle Learning Theory Constructivism Behaviorism Student Participation Active Passive Student Involvement in Outcomes Increased Responsibility Decreased Responsibility Student Role Problem solver Direction follower Curriculum Goals Process oriented Product oriented Teachers Role Guide/facilitator Director/ transmitter
    9. 10. But, what’s wrong with traditional instruction? <ul><li>Traditional school science tends to be disconnected from both actual science and students’ everyday lives </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional instruction oftentimes takes the shape of didactic teaching, lectures, verification labs, and worksheets. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are not encouraged to engage in scientific questions and to think </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deeply and critically about what they are learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are not participating in the activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of science and thereby not appropriating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scientific knowledge and culture </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. How does this connect to NCLB? <ul><li>“ State test[s] led teachers to abandon more constructivist, open-ended activities for more structured, worksheet-based activities that more closely mirrored the test” </li></ul><ul><li> (Sloan, 2007, p. 28). </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>When “a child-centered culture is supplanted by a test-centered culture, it is likely that academic achievement, as well as meaningful school experiences and personal bonds among teachers and students, will diminish” </li></ul><ul><li>(Valli & Chambliss, 2007, p. 73). </li></ul>
    12. 13. Conclusions from Ethnographic Research <ul><li>“ Cross-state studies link high-stakes testing with increases in dropout rates for ELLs and minority students, as the achievement gap widens” (Fine et al. 2007, p. 78) </li></ul><ul><li>An increased focus on testing diminished the student-centered approaches that provided educators with a better understanding of how to meet their students’ needs. </li></ul><ul><li>While educators may have the best intentions of assisting struggling students with test preparation, these approaches must be reconsidered. </li></ul>
    13. 14. Equity in Science Education: Challenged by NCLB <ul><li>Educational researchers point out that many students in urban schools learn science through traditional instructional approaches (Settlage & Meadows, 2002) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many urban students are from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences (Latino, black, Native American, Pacific Islander) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction is focused on standardized test preparation rather than engaging in the activities of science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students indicate lack of interest in science and pursuing science careers </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Meeting success through alternatives <ul><ul><li>Educational researchers conducted case study investigations of schools serving underrepresented and ELL students that are meeting educational success (Fine, Walter, Pedraza, Futch, & Stoudt, 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Graduation Rate: 88.7%; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>>90% graduates go on to college </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Findings: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student-centered instruction used </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative instructional approaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation methods include portfolio-based assessments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative planning and curriculum development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>amongst teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student sense of ownership and agency at the school </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 16. Discussion: Think , Pair, Share <ul><li>In what ways, if any, may engaging students in inquiry prepare them for standardized tests? </li></ul><ul><li>How would it be possible to bring more inquiry into your own classroom? </li></ul>
    16. 17. Review: Is this inquiry? <ul><li>1. Having students follow a procedure to complete a lab </li></ul><ul><li>2. Having students classify substances based upon their observable properties. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Having students make presentations of data collected during lab. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Hands-on labs </li></ul><ul><li>5. Giving students a white powder and asking them to determine </li></ul><ul><li>what the powder is </li></ul><ul><li>6. A class discussion about the arrangement of the periodic table. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Crawford, 2008, Fossil Finders Presentation on Inquiry) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 18. References <ul><li>Bybee, R. (1997). Achieving scientific literacy: From Purposes to practice. Portsmouth: Heinemann. </li></ul><ul><li>Fine, M., Jaffe-Walter, R., Pedraza, P., Futch, V., & Stoudt, B. (2007). Swimming: On </li></ul><ul><li>oxygen, resistance, and possibility for immigrant youth under siege. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 38 , 76-96. </li></ul><ul><li>National Academy of Sciences. (1998). Teaching about evolution and the nature of </li></ul><ul><li>science . Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. </li></ul><ul><li>  National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, </li></ul><ul><li>D.C.: National Academy Press. </li></ul><ul><li>  National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education </li></ul><ul><li>standards. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Settlage, J., & Meadows, L. (2002). Standards-based reform and its unintended </li></ul><ul><li>consequences: Implications for science education within America’s urban schools. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39 (2), 114-127. </li></ul><ul><li>Sloan, K. (2007). High-stakes accountability, minority youth, and ethnography: Assessing the multiple effects. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 38 , 24-41. </li></ul><ul><li>Valli, L., & Chambliss, M. (2007). Creating classroom cultures: One teacher, two lessons, and a high-stakes test. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 38 , 57-75. </li></ul>
    18. 19. <ul><li>Xenia Meyer </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>