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ERIC Number: EJ722714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0887-2376
Formative Assessment Probes: Uncovering Students' Ideas in Science
Keeley, Page; Eberle, Francis; Farrin, Lynn
Science Scope, v28 n4 p18-21 Jan 2005
Seventh-grade science teacher Sonia Mangano stared at the results of her district's mid-year science assessment and asked herself, "Why is it my students seem to have trouble with matter-related ideas? Our district's spiral science curriculum builds on previous concepts from year to year. Yet these results show my students have difficulty with basic ideas that were introduced well before seventh grade. What is going on here? Why is it so many of my students are failing to grasp the ideas they have been taught?" Formative assessment probes are designed to address difficulties identified in the research on student learning. Information from an assessment probe can be quickly analyzed by a teacher and used to design instruction using strategies that explicitly target their students' ideas and guide them through a conceptual change. The probe may be used before the teaching unit as well as during the unit when feedback may indicate a need to change course and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of students who may be conceptually resistant to ideas that challenge their current conceptions. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782 (Toll Free); Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A