Next Gen Navigator
By Sandy Student
Posted on 2022-05-26
A key point in Call to Action is that there is no place for one-size-fits-all science instruction in equitable science education. Recent work on equity in assessment has drawn attention to the fact that American K–12 test-writing can often reflect the dominant cultural perspective by including, for example, test items that are provided without context (Mislevy 2018; Randall 2021). New science assessments should instead be constructed to reflect the context that makes science meaningful, engaging, and designed for the many ways that students engage with scientific phenomena. Assessment often drives instruction, and re-conceptualizing large-scale science assessment is a prerequisite to any effort to use assessment and accountability to advance science learning for all students.
Frankly, we are still figuring out how to design large-scale science assessment systems that positively reinforce the classroom practices outlined in A Framework for K–12 Science Education. Accomplishing that will require us to focus on the following areas of research:
The vision for science in Call to Action portends a bright future for all students’ science learning. The research and subsequent innovations in large-scale science assessment required to ensure that assessment and accountability systems support this vision will be vital to achieving success.
Au, W. 2007. High-stakes testing and curricular control: A qualitative metasynthesis. Educational Researcher 36 (5): 258–267. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X07306523.
Fine, C. G. McC., and E. M. Furtak. 2020. A framework for science classroom assessment task design for emergent bilingual learners. Science Education 104 (3): 393–420. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21565.
Llosa, L. 2021. Expanding the evidence of learning to promote equity through formative classroom assessment. National Council on Measurement in Education Classroom Assessment Conference; conference held remotely.
Mislevy, R. J. 2018. Sociocognitive foundations of educational measurement. London, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
National Research Council. 2012. A framework for K–12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13165.
Noble, T., C. Suarez, A. Rosebery, M. C. O’Connor, B. Warren, and J. Hudicourt-Barnes. 2012. “I never thought of it as freezing”: How students answer questions on large-scale science tests and what they know about science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 49 (6): 778–803. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21026.
Randall, J. 2021. “Color‐neutral” is not a thing: Redefining construct definition and representation through a justice‐oriented critical antiracist lens. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, emip.12429. https://doi.org/10.1111/emip.12429.
Solano-Flores, G., and S. Nelson-Barber. 2001. On the cultural validity of science assessments. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 38 (5): 553–573. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.1018.
Tekkumru-Kisa, M., M. K. Stein, and C. Schunn. 2015. A framework for analyzing cognitive demand and content-practices integration: Task analysis guide in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 52 (5): 659–685. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21208.
Sandy Student is a doctoral candidate in Research and Evaluation Methodology at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education and a part-time research associate with Lyons Assessment Consulting. His interests and research center on connecting technical issues in large- and small-scale educational assessment with their practical implications for students and teachers.
Note: This article is featured in the May 2022 issue of Next Gen Navigator, an e-newsletter from NSTA delivering information, insights, resources, and professional learning opportunities for science educators by science educators focusing on the themes highlighted in Call to Action for Science Education and on the Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional instruction. Click here to sign up to receive the Navigator.
The mission of NSTA is to transform science education to benefit all through professional learning, partnerships, and advocacy.
Blog PostFederal Government Shutdown Looms; Impact of the 2023 Elections; U.S. Dept of Ed Launches New PSA Campaign Elevating Teaching Profession
Web SeminarScience Update: The Grand Challenge of Coral Reef Sustainability, March 7, 2024
Join us on Thursday, March 7, 2024, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET, for an edition of NSTA’s Science Update about coral reef ecosystems. Even optimis...