Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Scaffolding for Success: When High School Science Teachers Scaffold Their Summative Classroom Assessments: Opportunities, Observations, and Outcomes
by Couling, Joanne, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2018, 178; 10826901
Abstract (Summary)

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has brought with it a need for classroom assessments that measure students’ ability to make sense of, explain, and use science, with many of the performance expectations asking students to apply scientific principles and evidence to produce an explanation. But creating coherent written scientific explanations that demonstrate understanding of scientific principles is not an easy task for students and selecting or creating classroom assessments to properly evaluate this skill is not an easy task for teachers. This study serves to incorporate both of these problems by exploring what happens when scaffolds are included in the assessment process for the students of a group of science teachers at an urban high school in Northern California who were receiving coaching in scaffolding assessments. Presented as three distinct but related chapters I examine how the scientific explanations of students changed when a detailed graphic organizer/rubric scaffold, called SET4CER, was provided; I explore coaching as a conveyor of professional development for high school science teachers to incorporate scaffolding techniques into their classroom assessments; and I document how students in a kinesiology class interact with teacher designed checklist scaffolds to support a summative quiz taken under test conditions. The findings illuminate the difficulties facing teachers in both assessment and scaffold design and indicate that well-designed scaffolds add value to assessments by supporting students to give their best performance and ensuring that assessments evaluate students’ conceptual understanding rather than their memorization or organizational skills. Analysis of the coaching cycles revealed that although the coaching process is not always straightforward, it has potential as a method of professional development delivery that facilitates adoption of the techniques being introduced.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stoddart, Trish
Commitee: Ash, Doris, Bravo, Marco, Shaw, Jerome
School: University of California, Santa Cruz
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Secondary education, Science education
Keywords: Assessment, Coaching, High school science, Professional development, Scaffolding
Publication Number: 10826901
ISBN: 978-0-438-24901-1
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