One of the hot topics at a small science education conference I recently attended was the Nature of Science strand of the new curriculum. There was considerable discussion about the kind of support that would assist teachers both to understand what Nature of Science is about and to change their teaching of science to incorporate the intentions of this strand. Teachers may (legitimately) ask: Why would we want to change the way science is taught?
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In a recent “Assessment News” we wrote about an impending new series of standardised science tests for Years 7–10. The tests, Science: Thinking with Evidence, have now been published and were launched earlier this year with a series of information afternoons around the country.
A look at the range of assessment tools available, what they do, and how to select the most appropriate tool for your assessment needs.
The banks provide tools for formative assessment. Recently developed resources support self- and peer-assessment. Recent small-scale research projects provide information to support assessment and learning. Assessment Services are proactively networking and sharing information with other providers of professional development in assessment.
This article proposes that if we want students to care about and for the environment they need to develop an understanding of the "big picture"—that is, how the separate elements of a system interact.
A small research project explaining students' understanding of the interconnectedness of the elements of a waterway is discussed.
Using assessment information formatively to contribute to teaching skills and knowledge that underpin the key competencies. The example used is from a study of 600 student scripts answering questions on the water cycle.
This Assessment News article explores the possibilities for "noticing" when there are opportunities for providing feedback about key competencies as students are learning in subject areas. The context discussed is a model used for demonstrating evaporation to science students.
This small study provides some evidence that even at a young age, students are able to begin developing self-regulation skills in the context of science investigations.