Assessing Children’s Science Learning and Process Skills in the Elementary Classroom

  • Brenda Main


Today’s classroom teacher must meet the needs of a very diverse group of students. [AAAS] emphasizes inclusiveness, assuming that no individual or group is excluded from an opportunity to become science literate, and that no student is presumed unable to become science literate. Students have a better opportunity to develop into well-rounded and scientifically literate individuals if teachers use a variety of instructional methods and a variety of assessments. The aim is to provide each student an opportunity to feel comfortable enough to strengthen and develop understandings and skills.


Assessment Task Process Skill Inquiry Investigation Practical Task National Science Education Standard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990). Science for all Americans. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Baxter, G.P. & Shavelson, R.J. (1994). Performance assessments: Benchmarks and surrogates. International Journal of Educational Research, 21, 279–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bell, B. (1995). Interviewing: A technique for assessing science knowledge. In S. Glynn & R. Duit (Eds.), Learning science in the schools: Research reforming practice (pp. 347–364). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  5. Bell, B. Osborne, R., & Tasker, R. (1985). Finding out what children think. In R. Osborne & P. Freyberg (Eds.), Learning in science: Implications of children’s science (pp. 151–165). Auckland, New Zealand: Heinemann Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Biddulph, F. & Osborne, R. (1984). Pupils’ ideas about floating and sinking. Paper presented at the Australian Science Education Research Association Conference, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  7. Elstgeest, J. (1985). The right question at the right time. In Harlen, W. (Ed.), Primary science: Taking the plunge (pp. 36–46). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  8. Frederick, A. & Cheesebrough, D. (1993). Teaching mathematics. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  9. Grimellini, N., Gandolfi, E., & Pecori, B. (1990). Teaching strategies and conceptual change: Sinking and floating at elementary school level. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  10. National Research Council (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  11. National Science Resources Center (1997). Science for all children: A guide to improving elementary science education in your school district. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  12. Piaget, J. (1973). The child’s conception of the world. London, England: Paladin.Google Scholar
  13. Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Smith, C., Carey, S., & Wiser, M. (1984). A case study of the development of size, weight, and density. Cognition, 21(3), 177–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sugrue, B., Webb, N., & Schlackman, J., (1998). The interchangeability of assessment methods in science. CSE Technical Report 474. Los Angeles, CA: Center for the Study of Evaluation, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California.Google Scholar
  16. Tishman, S., Perkins, D., & Jay, E. (1995). The thinking classroom: Learning and teaching in a culture of thinking. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  17. White R. & Gunstone, R. (1992). Probing understanding. London, England: The Farmer Press.Google Scholar
  18. Wragg, T. (1997). Assessment and learning: primary and secondary. London, England: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda Main

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations