Students learn scientific concepts and acquire science process skills in different sequences and at different rates. Highly effective teaching requires an awareness of where a child is in the process of concept and skill development. Dr. Ted Chittenden of the Educational Testing Service proposes an effort that combines research with teacher enhancement. Dr. Chittenden and a cadre of experienced kindergarten and primary school teachers will research two important questions: 1) Can systematic documentation of student speech, writing, and artwork add significantly to teacher effectiveness in science teaching? 2) What training, materials, and institutional supports are needed to realize this added effectiveness? In-class research by the teachers and project leaders will lead to the development of prototypical protocols and materials for training teachers to use documentation in their teaching practices. The Educational Testing Service will develop these prototypes into marketable tools for teacher enhancement to be disseminated in partnership with a publisher. The proposed research has the potential to establish an important new tool for science teaching in early childhood classrooms. The teacher enhancement materials that will emerge from this research could have wide impact on teachers and schools. This project is supported jointly by the Teacher Enhancement Program and the Research in Teaching and Learning Program. The Educational Testing Service is cost sharing on this project by underwriting the costs of developing the prototype materials into marketable products.

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Educational Testing Service
United States
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