Developing Consensus Guidelines for Tools and Processes that Assess Science Instructional Materials
The recent National Research Council (2013) publication, Monitoring Progress to Successful K-12 STEM Education (Monitoring Progress) identified fourteen indicators to assess the health of STEM education in US schools. This project is addressing the indicator that specifies the creation of a set of criteria to determine how well widely-used STEM instructional materials support the intent of national standards. The intellectual merit of this project lies in the creation of this criteria set. No other document exists that represents the collective knowledge and perspectives of science education leaders and clearly articulates the criteria to be used at a national level to determine how well science instructional materials embody the NGSS.
The project includes three phases: 1) a literature review of tools and processes that have been used to analyze the quality of science instructional materials; 2) a national Summit conference of science education leaders who are identifying, specifying, and building consensus around the criteria to be included in any tools or processes for analyzing the quality of these materials; and 3) the production and dissemination of a set of Guidelines that developers of such evaluation tools and processes can use to ensure that they include criteria for assessing alignment of materials with the NGSS, criteria that represent a consensus among leading science educators. The Guidelines produced are being disseminated throughout the science education community by the key leaders participating in this project. The Guidelines will inform development of tools and processes to consistently evaluate alignment of materials with the intent of the NGSS.