The American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the groups that helped develop the Next Generation Science Standards is seeking science teachers to field-test multiple-choice items for an assessment on energy.
The 45-minute field test, which can be administered in March, April, or May of 2015 using a computer or pencil and paper, covers students in grades 4-12. Though the questions are about energy, students need not have had instruction on that topic.
Education Week’s Curriculum Matters blog reports that the AAAS says the test items “will be designed to reveal misconceptions students might have about energy while also requiring them to engage in important scientific practices such as making predictions, explaining energy phenomena, and interpreting tables, charts, and diagrams.”
The AAAS also says the study is not intended to evaluate teachers or students, but to learn how students respond so items can be designed that are valid measures of understanding. Data will remain strictly confidential and individual students will not be identifiable.
According to Education Week, the project is funded by the federal Institute of Education Sciences and “meant to be used by any classroom teachers who are curious about their students’ understanding of energy,” explained Cari Herrmann Abell, a senior research associate at AAAS.
So far, 13 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize scientific inquiry, engineering design, and applied learning. No assessments have been developed yet.