Operationalizing the Science and Engineering Practices
The National Research Council in 2013 released the report Monitoring Progress toward Successful K-12 STEM Education: A Nation Advancing?, which outlined 14 Indicators as well as the needed research and development to create a system to monitor the quality of STEM education in the nation. This project is funded in response to a Dear Colleague Letter request for research in the Promoting Innovation in Measurement and Evaluation program focused on developing research and tools to advance the nation’s capability to measure these indicators. The researchers in this project will engage an expert panel to identify key aspects of the science practices articulated in the new college and career-readiness standards, and develop and validate an instrument to be used as an indicator of science classroom coverage of content and practices as articulated in the new standards. This project will contribute to advancing knowledge about how to measure students’ opportunity to learn in science classrooms.
Research activities will be carried out in three phases. In phase one, an expert panel will be convened in a modified-Delphi process to identify the key aspects of science practices at different grade bands and domains of science. The resulting framework will be used in phase two to develop selected-response survey items for measuring teachers’ use of the practices. In phase three of the study, cognitive interviews, observations of teachers’ classroom practices, and factor analysis of a pilot test of the items will be conducted to validate the measures. A user manual will be produced that includes evidence of the items’ validity and scale reliability so that the instrument might be used by other researchers and contribute to future nationally representative studies.