Educ. Sci. 2013, 3(3), 222-258; doi:10.3390/educsci3030222
Article

Planning Science Instruction for Critical Thinking: Two Urban Elementary Teachers’ Responses to a State Science Assessment

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Received: 6 February 2013; in revised form: 17 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 8 July 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Science education reform standards have shifted focus from exploration and experimentation to evidence-based explanation and argumentation to prepare students with knowledge for a changing workforce and critical thinking skills to evaluate issues requiring increasing scientific literacy. However, in urban schools serving poor, diverse populations, where the priority is on students’ assessment results in reading and math, students may not receive reform-based science. The rationale for this qualitative study was to examine how two elementary teachers from high-poverty urban schools planned for reform-based science in response to a quality state science assessment in conjunction with their training and resources. Their state assessment included an inquiry task requiring students to construct responses to questions based on their investigation data. From evaluating evidence using Zembal-Saul’s continuum for teaching science as argument, the findings indicated that both teachers adopted an investigation-based and evidence-based approach to science teaching to prepare students for the inquiry task. However, one teacher provided argument-based science teaching from her explicit training in that approach. The results suggested that the teachers’ training and resources informed their interpretation of the focus areas on the science assessment inquiry task and influenced the extent to which they offered students an equitable opportunity to develop higher-order thinking from reform-based science.
Keywords: elementary science; urban schools; assessments; critical thinking; teacher planning; argumentation; reform-based science
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mangiante, E.S. Planning Science Instruction for Critical Thinking: Two Urban Elementary Teachers’ Responses to a State Science Assessment. Educ. Sci. 2013, 3, 222-258.

AMA Style

Mangiante ES. Planning Science Instruction for Critical Thinking: Two Urban Elementary Teachers’ Responses to a State Science Assessment. Education Sciences. 2013; 3(3):222-258.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mangiante, Elaine S. 2013. "Planning Science Instruction for Critical Thinking: Two Urban Elementary Teachers’ Responses to a State Science Assessment." Educ. Sci. 3, no. 3: 222-258.

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