Learning to Assess Science in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms: Tracking Growth in Secondary Science Preservice Teachers’ Assessment Expertise

Authors


Correspondence to: Edward G. Lyon; e-mail: eglyon@asu.edu

ABSTRACT

Although studies have documented teachers’ growth in assessing science resulting from professional development or science methods courses, little attention has been given to growth while being prepared to assess a linguistically diverse student population. In this study, the growth of 11 secondary science preservice teachers is documented by expanding the analytical lens—looking at not only how teachers understand and plan to use assessment formatively but also their consideration of assessment design and assessment equity for English learners. Drawing on interviews, open-ended prompts, and program artifacts collected throughout the yearlong teacher education program, quantitative and qualitative findings indicate that the teachers demonstrated the most growth in their expertise at using assessment to support learning. Although quantitative analyses indicate that changes in the teachers’ expertise at designing assessment and considering equity in assessment were not statistically significant, additional analyses revealed nuanced ways in which the teachers’ expertise grew: expanding their repertoire of assessment tasks, considering alignment of assessment tasks with learning objectives, and becoming more knowledgeable of the role of language while assessing. I argue that broadening how we analyze assessment, combined with an expanded time frame, provides new information about the extent to which teachers are prepared to assess science in linguistically diverse classrooms. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed 97:442–467, 2013

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