The Earth Sciences and Student Ideas Preparing Teachers

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

53 13 225 9 48 11 38 200 Total Selected 13 74 Grade 6

43 47 5 175 25 117 150 6 125 105 105 5 7

6 27 27 29 100 75 59 19 65 2 12 8 11 50

13 25 25 32 0 25 5 13 57 8 5 9 5 9

32 18 19 7 5 3 26 9 11 63 59 52 24

24 17 10 30 21 16 12 21 88 85 4 14 44

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

70 60 Mr. Esposito 50 50 Mrs. Esposito 40 30 8 20 10 0 2 8

1 8 4 3 10 26 8 9 7 8 6 8 Grade 1

Grade 6 Grade 8 Grade 9 17 21 85 26 11 21 6 1 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12 17

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?

Collaborators & Contact information at MMSA: Francis Eberle, Executive Director [email protected] Lynn Farrin, Science Specialist [email protected] Page Keeley, Senior Program Director [email protected] Joyce Tugel, Science Specialist [email protected]

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