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ERIC Number: ED563187
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
Foundations of Science Literacy: Using Instruction-Embedded Formative Assessment to Strengthen the Relation between Gains in Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Children's Scientific Thinking
Clark-Chiarelli, Nancy; Gropen, Jess; Fuccillo, Janna; Hoisington, Cindy
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The need for a scientifically-literate American population has gained great prominence on the educational landscape of priorities over the past decade; young children will be increasingly exposed to the STEM fields and encouraged to excel in these areas. Professional development is key to assuring that early childhood teachers provide children with cognitively-challenging early learning experiences. Focusing on the Head Start community, "Foundations of Science Literacy" (FSL) is a credit-bearing professional development course that directly addresses the achievement gap in early science education. The program not only addresses an urgent need, it also integrates the resources, structure, and support that preschool teachers need to improve early science learning and teaching. First, based on data from an efficacy study nearing completion, the authors assess whether "FSL without" embedded formative assessments leads to gains in preschool children. Second, drawing on insights from a new development project, the authors describe how instruction-embedded formative assessment can be used to "strengthen" and "clarify" the relation between gains in teacher pedagogical content knowledge and gains in children's scientific thinking. For the efficacy study, FSL was implemented in the greater New York City area and the population included preschool teachers and a sample of children in their classrooms using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design. The authors highlight a promising approach to learning from mixed (summative) results using formative assessment to provide more nuanced information about children's learning over time and to allow teachers to tailor instruction so that it is more effective. One figure is appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: New York
IES Funded: Yes