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Great Challenges and Great Opportunities in Science Education Measuring and Developing 21 st Century Competencies.

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Presentation on theme: "Great Challenges and Great Opportunities in Science Education Measuring and Developing 21 st Century Competencies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Great Challenges and Great Opportunities in Science Education Measuring and Developing 21 st Century Competencies

2 Chris Wardlaw, "Mathematics in Hong Kong/China – Improving on Being First in PISA" Expectations for Learning are Changing The new context means new expectations. Most studies include: Ability to communicate Adaptability to change Ability to work in teams Preparedness to solve problems Ability to analyse and conceptualise Ability to reflect on and improve performance Ability to manage oneself Ability to create, innovate and criticise Ability to engage in learning new things at all times Ability to cross specialist borders

3 The Need for More Powerful Teaching

4 What Do Expert Teachers Do?

5 Chris Wardlaw, "Mathematics in Hong Kong/China – Improving on Being First in PISA" Expectations for Learning are Changing The new context means new expectations. Most studies include: Ability to communicate Adaptability to change Ability to work in teams Preparedness to solve problems Ability to analyse and conceptualise Ability to reflect on and improve performance Ability to manage oneself Ability to create, innovate and criticise Ability to engage in learning new things at all times Ability to cross specialist borders

6 NAEP, 8 th and 12 th Grade Science 1. What two gases make up most of the Earth's atmosphere? A) Hydrogen and oxygen B) Hydrogen and nitrogen C) Oxygen and carbon dioxide D) Oxygen and nitrogen 2. Is a hamburger an example of stored energy? Explain why or why not. ____________________________________ ____________________________________

7 Side Effects of High-Stakes Multiple-Choice Testing on Teaching “I have seen more students who can pass [the test] but cannot apply those skills to anything if it’s not in the test format. I have students who can do the test but can’t look up words in a dictionary and understand the different meanings…. As for higher quality teaching, I’m not sure I would call it that. Because of the pressure for passing scores, more and more time is spent practicing the test and putting everything in the test format” -- A Texas teacher

8 Ironic Effects of Poorly Designed High Stakes Tests Greater emphasis on teaching to narrow tests may reduce the time in the curriculum devoted to more authentic, transferable learning. For example, studies have found that more attention to standardized test material and formats reduces time spent on projects, lab work, and written products. In addition, strong increases on high- stakes tests do not always translate into increases on other measures (e.g. Texas)

9 The “Texas Miracle” Achievement Gap Appears Narrower

10 … But the Stanford-9 Tests Show Little Gain and Little Closing of the Gap ( Mean Stanford Math Scores by Race/Ethnicity) 01-0200-0199-0098-9997-98 School Year 700.00 600.00 500.00 400.00 Mean Stanford Math Score White, not of Hispanic origin Hispanic Black, not of Hispanic origin Asian or Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaskan Native Ethnicity

11 In the U.S. under NCLB: Every state has gained steeply on state tests, BUT Gains have slowed on the Nat’l Assessment of Educational Progress, and even dropped in 8 th grade reading, U.S. scores and rankings dropped from 2003 to 2006 in math and science on PISA– a test measuring higher order thinking and performance skills.

12 U.S. Outcomes in International Perspective (8 th Grade PISA Results in OECD Nations, 2006) Science Finland Canada Japan New Zealand Australia Netherlands Korea Germany United Kingdom U.S. is # 21 / 30 OECD nations #31 / 40 top nations Math Finland Korea Netherlands Switzerland Canada Japan New Zealand Belgium Australia U.S. is #25 / 30 OECD nations #35 / 40 top nations

13 Performance Assessments Can Help Measure 21 st Century Skills in Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Contexts: Performance tasks that ask students to do or demonstrate something specific (e.g. design and conduct a science inquiry; research a social science problem; write a persuasive essay; develop an engineering design) Student work samples that are scored based on common standards – e.g. math solutions, genres of writing, art work Portfolios that collect & evaluate work over time Exhibitions evaluated by outside jurors

14 Connecticut 9th / 10th Grade Science Assessment Acid Rain Student Materials Acid rain is a major environmental issue throughout Connecticut and much of the United States. Acid rain occurs when pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide from coal burning power plants and nitrogen oxides from car exhaust, combine with the moisture in the atmosphere to create sulfuric and nitric acids. Precipitation with a pH of 5.5 or lower is considered acid rain. Acid rain not only affects wildlife in rivers and lakes but also does tremendous damage to buildings and monuments made of stone. Millions of dollars are spent annually on cleaning and renovating these structures because of acid rain. Your Task Your town council is commissioning a new statue to be displayed downtown. You and your lab partner will conduct an experiment to investigate the effect of acid rain on various building materials in order to make a recommendation to the town council as to the best material to use for the statue. In your experiment, vinegar will simulate acid rain. You have been provided with the following materials and equipment. It may not be necessary to use all of the equipment that has been provided. Suggested materials: Proposed building materials: containers with lids limestone chips graduated cylindermarble chips vinegar (simulates acid rain)red sandstone chips pH paper/meterpea stone safety goggles access to a balance

15 Designing and Conducting Your Experiment 1. In your words, state the problem you are going to investigate. Write a hypothesis using an “If … then … because …” statement that describes what you expect to find and why. Include a clear identification of the independent and dependent variables that will be studied. 2. Design an experiment to solve the problem. Your experimental design should match the statement of the problem and should be clearly described so that someone else could easily replicate your experiment. Include a control if appropriate and state which variables need to be held constant. 3. Review your design with your teacher before you begin your experiment. 4. Conduct your experiment. While conducting your experiment, take notes and organize your data into tables.

16 Communicating Your Findings Working on your own, summarize your investigation in a laboratory report that includes the following: A statement of the problem you investigated. A hypothesis (“If... then … because …” statement) that described what you expected to find and why. Include a clear identification of the independent and dependent variables. A description of the experiment you carried out. Your description should be clear and complete enough so that someone could easily replicate your experiment. Data from your experiment. Your data should be organized into tables, charts and/or graphs as appropriate. Your conclusions from the experiment. Your conclusions should be fully supported by your data and address your hypothesis. Discuss the reliability of your data and any factors that contribute to a lack of validity of your conclusions. Also, include ways that your experiment could be improved if you were to do it again.

17 Chris Wardlaw, "Mathematics in Hong Kong/China – Improving on Being First in PISA" Expectations for Learning are Changing The new context means new expectations. Most studies include: Ability to communicate Adaptability to change Ability to work in teams Preparedness to solve problems Ability to analyse and conceptualise Ability to reflect on and improve performance Ability to manage oneself Ability to create, innovate and criticise Ability to engage in learning new things at all times Ability to cross specialist borders

18 Assessment in High-Achieving Systems Finland – Local performance assessments with a national sample assessment in 2 nd & 9 th grade. A college matriculation test is developed by teachers and professors and scored locally. Emphasis is on open-ended tasks that require reasoning, production, and reflection. Sweden – Teachers design local performance assessments to evaluate syllabus goals each year. At 9 th grade and above, they develop and score national exams in selected subjects with professors, and incorporate scores into their grades. Items are open- ended essays and problems, much like Finland, that emphasize reasoning and real-world problems.

19 Swedish Assessment Item, Year 5 Carl bikes home from school at four o’clock. It takes about a quarter of an hour. In the evening, he’s going back to school because the class is having a party. The party starts at 6 o’clock. Before the class party starts, Carl has to eat dinner. When he comes home, his grandmother calls, who is also his neighbor. She wants him to bring in her post before he bikes over to the class party. She also wants him to take her dog for a walk, then to come in and have a chat. What does Carl have time to do before the party begins? Write and describe below how you have reasoned.

20 Australia, Hong Kong Queensland – Local performance assessments are developed and scored by teachers with approval by a regional panel and moderation of scores. Centrally- developed “rich tasks” can be used by schools. Victoria – State tests at 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11-12 th grades feature mostly essays and open-ended items, augmented by local classroom tasks that = 50% of score. All are developed and scored by teachers (with professors at upper grades). Hong Kong’s new Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) is developing an online bank of assessment tasks to enable schools to assess students and receive feedback on their performance on their own timeframes. The formal TSA assessments, which include both written and oral components, are given in grades 3, 6, and 9 and scored by teachers.

21 High School Biology Exam, Victoria, Australia 3. When scientists design drugs against infectious agents, the term “designed drug” is often used. A. Explain what is meant by this term. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Scientists aim to develop a drug against a particular virus that infects humans. The virus has a protein coat and different parts of the coat play different roles in the infective cycle. Some sites assist in the attachment of the virus to a host cell; others are important in the release from a host cell. The structure is represented in the following diagram: The virus reproduces by attaching itself to the surface of a host cell and injecting its DNA into the host cell. The viral DNA then uses the components of host cell to reproduce its parts and hundreds of new viruses bud off from the host cell. Ultimately the host cell dies.

22 Analysis and Application of Knowledge B. Design a drug that will be effective against this virus. In your answer outline the important aspects you would need to consider. Outline how your drug would prevent continuation of the cycle of reproduction of the virus particle. Use diagrams in your answer. Space for diagrams is provided on the next page. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

23 Design and Scientific Inquiry Before a drug is used on humans, it is usually tested on animals. In this case, the virus under investigation also infects mice. C. Design an experiment, using mice, to test the effectiveness of the drug you have designed. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

24 School-Based “Coursework” Assessment Victoria, Australia In Unit 3 Biology, students are assessed on 6 pieces of work related the 3 outcomes specified in the syllabus. Outcome 1 – 3 practical tasks, one on plant & animal cells, another on enzymes, and a third on membranes. Outcome 2 – 2 practical activities related to maintaining a stable internal environment, one for animals, one for plants Outcome 3 – A research report / presentation on characteristics of pathogenic organisms and mechanisms by which organisms can defend against disease.

25 A Rich Task: Science and Ethics Confer Students must identify, explore and make judgments on a biotechnological process to which there are ethical dimensions. Students identify scientific techniques used as well as significant recent contributions to the field. They will also research frameworks of ethical principles for coming to terms with an identified ethical issue or question. Using this information they prepare pre- conference materials for an international conference that will feature selected speakers who are leading lights in their respective fields. In order to do this students must choose and explore an area of biotechnology where there are ethical issues under consideration and undertake laboratory activities that help them understand some of the laboratory practices. This enables them to: a) Provide a written explanation of the fundamental technological differences in some of the techniques used, or of potential use, in this area (included in the pre-conference package for delegates who are not necessarily experts in this area). b) Consider the range of ethical issues raised in regard to this area’s purposes and actions, and scientific techniques and principles and present a deep analysis of an ethical issue about which there is a debate in terms of an ethical framework. c) Select six real-life people who have made relevant contributions to this area and write a 150-200 word précis about each one indicating his/her contribution, as well as a letter of invitation to one of them.

26 Applications of knowledge and skills assessed in Science and Ethics Confer This assessment measures: research and analytic skills; laboratory practices; understanding biological and chemical structures and systems, nomenclature and notations; organizing, arranging, sifting through, and making sense of ideas; communicating using formal correspondence; précis writing with a purpose; understanding ethical issues and principles; time management

27 Potential Sources of Student, Teacher, and System Learning from Assessment Systems Curriculum-embedded tasks requiring reasoning and performance may ensure that higher-order skills are taught and practiced Centrally-developed tasks that are rich, generative, and evaluate application of knowledge may help equalize learning opportunities for students Teacher engagement in developing and scoring tasks with guidance and moderation support teacher learning Connection of tasks to standards, curriculum frameworks, or syllabi can support curriculum clarity System learning can occur through examination of practice by accreditors, sharing of practice across sites (electronically as well as face-to-face), and aggregation of results and student work exemplars


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