A Psychometric Approach to the Development of a 5E

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  A Psychometric Approach to the Development of a 5ELesson Plan Scoring Instrument for Inquiry-BasedTeaching M. Jenice Goldston  ã John Dantzler  ã Jeanelle Day  ã Brenda Webb Published online: 25 December 2012   The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012 Abstract  Thisresearchcentersonthepsychometricexaminationofthestructureofaninstrument,knownasthe5ELessonPlan(5EILPv2)rubricforinquiry-basedteaching.The instrument is intended to measure an individual’s skill in developing written 5Elesson plans for inquiry teaching. In stage one of the instrument’s development, anexploratory factor analysis on a fifteen-item 5E ILP instrument revealed only threefactorloadingsinsteadoftheexpectedfivefactors,whichledtoitssubsequentrevision.Modificationsintheoriginalinstrumentledtoarevised5EILPv2instrumentcomprisedof twenty-one items. This instrument, like its precursor, has a scoring scale that rangesfrom zero to four points per item. Content validity of the 5E ILPv2 was determinedthroughthe expertise ofapanelofscience educators.Overthecourseoffivesemesters,three elementary science methods instructors in three different universities collectedpost lesson plan data from 224 pre-service teachers enrolled in their courses. Eachinstructor scored their students’ post 5E inquiry lesson plans using the 5E ILPv2instrument recording a score for each item on the instrument. A factor analysis withmaximum likelihood extraction and promax oblique rotation provided evidence of  M. J. Goldston ( & )The University of Alabama, 204 Graves Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405, USAe-mail: DantzlerThe University of Alabama, Carmichael Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405, USAe-mail: DayEastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Str., Rm 144 Webb Hall,Willimatic, CT 06226, USAe-mail: dayj@easternct.eduB. WebbUniversity of North Alabama, Florence, AL, USAe-mail:  1 3 J Sci Teacher Educ (2013) 24:527–551DOI 10.1007/s10972-012-9327-7  construct validity for five factors and explained 85.5 % of the variability in the totalinstrument. All items loaded with their theoretical factors exhibiting high ordinal alphareliability estimates of .94, .99, .96, .97, and .95 for the  engage, explore, explain,elaborate,andevaluate subscalesrespectively.Thetotalinstrumentreliabilityestimatewas 0.98 indicating strong evidence of total scale reliability. Keywords  Assessment    Inquiry-based teaching    5E lesson planning Background Today, evaluation is a predominant feature woven within the fabric of science andmathematics education in the United States. In fact, the importance placed onevaluating student achievement in science and mathematics reaches a global scalewith the testing of U.S. students in the fourth and eighth grade as part of the Trends inInternational Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). With the TIMSS, studentsare tested across the globe in science and mathematics, whereby participating nationsare ranked based on their students’ test scores. On a national level, every four to fiveyears, U.S. students are tested in the disciplines, and their scores are reported in theNation’s Report Card for the fourth-, eighth- and twelfth-grade levels (NAEP 2010a,b). Furthermore, every spring across the United States, evaluation is ubiquitous withstate-mandated, standardized testing for all students. For K-12 teachers, the impact of testing has become more pronounced with the reauthorization of the Elementary andSecondary Education Act of 1965, known today as No Child Left Behind (NCLB)(2002). As a result of NCLB, standardized test scores have resulted in what is viewedby many as equivalent to a student’s success and the single measure for determiningsuccessful schools and the teachers working therein. Shifting from the broadperspectives on testing and evaluation to peer into a K-12 science teacher’sclassroom in a local setting, one will find evaluation again revealing itself in manyforms. Teachers may use many forms of evaluation as a mechanism for meeting localstandards and classroom objectives that measure student’s learning of sciencecontent and skill. No matter its purpose or whether it is conducted locally or globally,evaluation as part of accountability is deeply embedded within the fabric of theUnited States’ educational system where student outcomes are made public and theeyes of society are constantly viewing and critiquing the results.Teacher preparation programs and associated faculty, much like our K-12 publicschool counterparts, are also held accountable for student performance. For instance,in some states, the Colleges of Education and the professoriate who teach pre-servicemethods courses are accountable for the performance of their graduates for up to2 years after graduation and certification from their teacher preparation programs. Inother words, if a graduate from their teacher preparation program is unsuccessful as ateacher hired by a school district in the first 2 years of their career, the professors of the College of Education program can be called, free of charge, to remediate theirrecent graduate if requested to do so by a public school administrator.Today, as never before accountability and emphasis on high-quality scienceteaching is paramount at all levels of teacher preparation. According to the  Nation’s 528 M. J. Goldston et al.  1 3   Report Card on Hands - On and Interactive Computer Tasks Assessment   from the2009 Science Assessment (NAEP 2010a, b), the majority of students were able to make observations of data, but were unable to make decisions about the appropriatedata to collect in investigations and even fewer students could select correctconclusions and explain results. Inquiry-based teaching approaches if implementedproperly can afford teachers’ opportunities to lead students through exploratoryactivities that address content and practices across STEM fields. Science methodscourses are designed to prepare pre-service teachers in using inquiry-based teachingapproaches that foster K-12 student learning of science concepts, as well aspractices of the STEM fields as advocated in documents such as the NationalScience Education Standards (NRC 1996), Benchmarks for Science Literacy(AAAS 1993), and Blueprints for Reform (AAAS 1998). With the publication of   A Framework for K  - 12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas  (NRC 2011), the forerunner to the Next Generation Science Standards(NGSS) (Achieve 2012), there is a continued and clear need for classroom inquirypedagogies that foster student learning of both content as well as science andengineering practices.  A Framework for K  - 12 Science Education Practices,Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas  identifies eight practices in science andengineering that are essential for classroom curriculum. These include thefollowing: (a) asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering),(b) developing and using models, (c) planning and carrying out investigations,(d) analyzing and interpreting data, (e) constructing explanations (science) anddesigning solutions (engineering), (f) engaging in argument from evidence, and(g) obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information (2012, p. 49). Thoughsome of these practices are often different in science and engineering, addressingboth provides students with a way of understanding how scientists and engineerswork. Despite a shift away from the use of the term inquiry within  A Framework for K  - 12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas  (NRC2011) and  The Next Generation Science Standards  (Achieve 2012), many of thescientific practices advocated are not new and can be seen in the following NSESdescription of student inquiry as amultifaceted activity that involves making observations, posing questions;examining books and other sources of information to see what is alreadyknown; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data;proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating theresults. Inquiry requires identification of assumptions, use of critical andlogical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations. (NRC 1996,p. 23)Along these same lines, Settlage et al. (2008) sum it up by stating that ‘‘inquiry isthe process students go through to encounter the evidence that serves as the sourceof scientific ideas’’ (2008, p. 179).Given the emphasis of the NGSS that students acquire knowledge and skills of scientific and engineering practices, it is even more important that preserviceteachers are competent in using inquiry teaching practices. It is through the use of a Inquiry-Based Teaching 529  1 3  range of classroom inquiry pedagogies that students acquire knowledge of andpractice such skills . Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards  (NRC2000) describe scientific practices as a part of student inquiry and as focal point forbuilding classroom inquiry strategies as seen in  The Essential Features of Classroom Inquiry and Their Variations.  These essential features include the following: (a)  thelearner’s engagement in scientifically oriented questions , (b)  priority of evidence inresponse to questions , (c)  formulation of explanations from evidence , (d)  explana-tions connected to scientific knowledge  and (e)  communication and justification of explanations  (NRC 2000; p. 29). Though these features are but a framework forinquiry teaching, they offer varying degrees of engagement for students to gainknowledge and skill with scientific practices. The Essential Features of ClassroomInquiry clearly represent some important scientific, as well as, engineering practicesas noted earlier that all students should acquire as part of the K-12 school experience.For elementary and secondary science methods courses, teaching science usinginquiry-based pedagogies with its many permutations is a central premise aroundwhich other components of the methods course connect. According to Marek et al.(2003), it is classroom inquiry-based pedagogy that links all the components of science methods courses. Thus, classroom inquiry as the centerpiece of sciencemethods courses leads to the focus of this study—the development of an assessmentinstrument that provides science instructors a tool for assessing and evaluating pre-service teachers’ skills in developing inquiry-based lesson plans using a 5Einstructional model. Inquiry in Science Teaching Despite decades of science reform with focused endeavors advocating the use of inquiry as a pedagogical practice in the science classroom, it is still not a commonteaching approach seen in elementary or secondary science classrooms today (Weiss2006; Weiss et al. 2003). Research findings suggest several rationales that K-12 teachers give for not using inquiry teaching approaches. In general, the reasonsinclude the following: (a) managing inquiry is difficult, (b) inquiry takes too muchtime, (c) inquiry is for advanced students, (d) inquiry does not provide informationto students needed for the next grade level, (e) lack confidence responding to studentquestions due to a lack content knowledge, and (f) pressure to teach other subjects(Hodson 1988; Welch et al. 1981; Pomperoy 1993; Slotta 2004; Sunal and Wright 2006; Appleton 2008). Further confounding the reasons teachers give for not utilizing inquiry teaching approaches in their science classes is the term  inquiry itself. The term inquiry used without care can be confusing because it often refers to(1) teaching approaches and (2) what students do (Colburn 2008). In bothelementary and secondary science teacher preparation, recognizing the distinction isimportant. As noted in  A Framework for K  - 12 Science Education: Practices,Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas,  having knowledge of the progression of classroom inquiry practices, preservice teachers will be able to guide their studentsthrough ‘‘careful and systematic investigations’’ (NRC 2011, p. 61) appropriate foreach grade level. 530 M. J. Goldston et al.  1 3
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