ERIC Number: ED481803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
From National Movement to Local Action: The Status of Standards-Based Science Instruction in Middle School Classrooms.
Swanson, Christopher B.; Plank, Stephen B.; Hewes, Gina M.
This study explores the possibility of measuring a specific instructional strategy using statistical methods based on item response theory. It measures teachers' instructional practices using the same rigorous statistical techniques now applied to most large-scale assessments of student achievement. It specifically examines teachers' use of pedagogical techniques consistent with those espoused by the national standards-based reform movement in science. Data come from a nationally representative sample of public school eighth graders and their teachers from the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress. The paper describes: "The Standards Movement; "The Case of Science"; "Data on Teacher Instructional Practices"; "A Descriptive Portrait of Middle School Science Instruction"; "The Item-Response Theory (IRT) Approach--A Primer" (the basic data matrix, introduction to IRT parameters, and advantages of an IRT approach); and "IRT Analysis for Standards-Based Science Instruction" (a model-building strategy, stages in model-building, a generalized model of standards-based science instruction, and placing standards-based instruction in context). Results suggest there are many benefits to applying IRT models to instruction. The diagnostic information produced by the IRT analyses provided an empirical means to systematically identify practices that did not appear to align conceptually with the construct of standards-based instruction. (Contains 37 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Data Analysis, Educational Change, Evaluation Methods, Grade 8, Middle Schools, Models, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Teaching Methods
Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Johns Hopkins University, 3003 North Charles Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 410-516-8800; Fax: 410-516-8890; Web site: http://www.csos.jhu.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.