Measuring Classroom Coverage of Content and Practices in the New Generation of Mathematics and Science Standards

Laura Hamilton (PI), Brian M. Stecher (Co-PI), & Kun Yuan (Co-PI), RAND Corporation

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 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 project will explore existing measures from the social, behavioral, and educational sciences as well as opportunities for developing new measures of Indicator 5, one of the highest priority indicators listed in the report: student experience in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classes that can be adopted on a large scale to collect evidence about classroom coverage of mathematics and science content and practices in standards for college and career readiness. This project will contribute to advancing knowledge about STEM research and education through building consensus among researchers and practitioners about how to improve the measurement of students’ exposure to mathematics and science content and practices and providing concrete action steps to inform the development of high-quality, usable indicators.

Research activities will be carried out in two stages. During Stage I, the project team will conduct a review of existing measures of student experience in classrooms and innovative data collection methods. Research methods used include literature review and interviews with developers and subject-matter experts. Key deliverables from Stage I are a draft research report and associated briefings about findings from the reviews of literatures and proposed future plan and action steps to measure instruction aligned with the college and career ready standards in mathematics and science on a large scale. During Stage II, the research team will hold a one and one-half day conference with experts and policymakers to collect feedback on deliverables from Stage I activities and to address ways to adapt existing measures or develop new measures to assess students’ exposure to STEM content and practices for use in a large-scale indicator system. A project website will summarize project activities and serve as a repository for all project documents, which will be made available for downloading free of charge.

See NSF award information.

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