The Earth Sciences and Student Ideas Preparing Teachers
The Earth Sciences and Student Ideas Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science Carleton College May 11-12, 2007 Dr. Francis Eberle, MMSA Executive Director [email protected] Session Goals Learn about assessment for the purpose of encouraging student thinking and informing instruction Deconstruct an assessment probe Examine students ideas and examine instructional strategies and coherence of science Learn about companion resources
Framing Questions 1) How can educators use national standards and cognitive research to balance assessment of learning with assessment for learning? 2) What types and formats can help make students thinking in earth sciences visible? 3) How can the development and use of assessments that probe student thinking in the earth sciences impact curricular, and instructional decisions about student learning? One Key Finding from How People Learn Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside the classroom How People Learn, Bransford, Brown & Cockling. pp 14-15
Teaching and Learning Process Identifying students misconceptions Provide a context for students to confront their misconceptions and share thinking Help students reconstruct their knowledge using appropriate strategies Develop a coherence among ideas in science Misconceptions Alternative Frameworks Nave Ideas Alternative Conceptions Misunderstandings Facets of Understanding Formative Assessment Probes A probe is a purposefully designed
question that reveals more than just an answer. A probe elicits a response that helps teachers identify students ideas about phenomena or a concept. Probes are used to examine student thinking. Example: Is it a Rock? (Version 1) Example: Is it a Rock (version 2) Examine the Probe (Deconstruct) Individually review the probe (s) What do you think is the purpose of this probe?
Identify concept(s) addressed Is It A Rock? Version 1 250 Total Selected 200 12 17 15 16 24 24 12 17
15 16 25 14 17 25 25 150 55 49 47 100 50 71
25 75 65 24 8 9 22 55 10 12 23 72 69 33 66
25 20 26 18 11 31 30 21 Large Stone Piece of Gravel 31
27 Jagged Boulder Small Stone Pebble 15 Grade 12 17 Grade 10 26 Grade 9 35 18 31 0 50
# of Students per Grade Piece of Smooth Sand Boulder 23 60 Grade 8 8 7 21 15 11 10 16 Dust from tw o stones rubbed together
78 Grade 6 26 Grade 5 37 Grade 1 Is It A Rock ? Version 2 13 Grade 11 # of Students per Gr ade 59 Grade 9 300 144 Grade 8 275 12 28 Grade 7 250
96 25 45 56 31 71 50 Rock Definition 1. Rocks are aggregates of minerals. Science Desk Reference. New York Public Library. (1995) 2. A large mass of stone forming a hill. Cliff promontory, b. mineral matter of various composition. Consolidated or unconsolidated, assembled in masses or considerable quantities in nature, as by the action of heat of water.
Random House College Dictionary,1985 Rock Definition (cont.) Rocks are made of different kinds of minerals, or broken pieces of crystals, or broken pieces of rocks. Some rocks are made of the shells of once-living animals, or of compressed pieces of plants. Rocks are divided into three basic types, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic, depending upon how they were formed. USGS web site Examine Grades 2-12 Student Responses Scan through the student written
responses How do the responses match the definitions? If you were the teacher, how would you use this data to inform your instruction? Summarize your Ideas What surprised you? What was interesting to you? Related research
Freyberg found that the word rock is used in many different ways in our common language. Contributing to confusion over what is a rock - particularly size rather that characterized by what they are made of. (Driver, et al. 1994) Students have difficulty with the idea of racks being a range of sizes. They use the words boulder, gravel, sand and clay in ways related to where they are found rather than seeing them as rocks of different sizes. (Happs 1985) Students have difficulty making the distinction between natural things and those created or altered by humans. i.e. brick is a rock as it comes for natural materials, or polished marble is not a rock because humans made it smooth. (Happs 1982) Coding Student Responses
Accurate Idea Partially Accurate Idea Commonly Held Idea Idiosyncratic Idea Deconstructing a Probe Related National Standards Related Research Curricular and Instructional Considerations: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 Administering the probe Suggestions for Instruction and Assessment Other Earth Science Probes Mountain Top Fossil Sophia: The fossil flowed out of a volcano
that rose up form the ocean floor Rosa: A mountain formed in an area that was once covered by an ocean Mr. Esposito: A bird picked the organism ands dropped the shell as it flew over the mountain Mrs. Esposito: Water, ice or wind eventually carried the fossil to the top of the mountain Mountain Top Fossil 90 Sofia 4 Rosa 80 Total Selected
Number of students per grade 3 19 Building Coherence Learning Progression Learning Paths Conceptual Common Sequences Threads Possible Progression
K-2: Chunks of rocks come in many sizes and shapes (boulder => sand). Things can be described by physical characteristics size, shape, color 3-5: Rock is composed of different combinations of minerals. New materials can be formed by combining two or more materials and properties can be different. Assembled parts weigh the same as the sum of the parts. 6-8: Elements make of materials. Atoms and molecules. Formation of different types of rocks and features sedimentary to other general types 9-12 Formation of physical geology, rock cycle, weathering, beginning of chemical geology - atomic structure of minerals Probing Students Ideas in
Science Reveals: How ready individual students are for instruction. Ideas students have before instruction. How students ideas may differ from one grade level to the next. Whether students retain the accepted scientific ideas years after instruction or revert back to prior knowledge Whether student grasp the big ideas and see the connections in science. Possible New Earth Science Probes ?? Plate
Tectonics Stratigraphy Fossils Weather Oceans Soil Tools and Resources Framing Reflection Questions 1) How can educators use national standards and cognitive research to balance assessment of learning with assessment for learning? 2) What types and formats can help make students thinking in earth sciences visible? 3) How can the development and use of assessments that probe student thinking in the earth sciences impact curricular, and instructional decisions about student learning?
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