NAEP Reveals Shallow Grasp of Science
Elementary, middle, and high school students failed to demonstrate a deep understanding of science concepts when they performed activity-based science tasks and investigations, concludes a study released today from the first national assessment of both hands-on and interactive computer-based science activities.
The hands-on tasks, which required students to use materials and laboratory equipment to perform science experiments, and the new, interactive computer tasks, which simulated an environmental or laboratory setting and asked students to solve scientific problems, were administered as part of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress in science for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders. The report follows on the heels of the 2011 traditional pencil-and-paper science NAEP results released last month.
Both the hands-on and computer tests asked students to predict what might happen in a particular scientific scenario, make observations about what occurred in the scenarios, and explain the findings of the experiments or investigations they launched. These questions examined how well students could conduct and reason through “real life” science situations and grasp the scientific concepts of what occurred in their investigations, according to the report from the National Center on Education Statistics , the U.S. Department of Education...
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