Project Assessment

Its History, Evolution, and Current Practice

Authored by: Sarah Beth Woodruff , Jane Butler Kahle

Handbook of Research on Science Education

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  July  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415629379
eBook ISBN: 9780203097267
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221972


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Since the 1980s, systemic reform has been widely accepted as a meritorious approach to improving K–12 science education (Clune, Porter, & Raizen, 1999). Further, different waves of systemic reform have targeted particular aspects of the science education system that have had critical impact at each level—for example, assessment systems, accountability systems, systems of standards, and governance systems (Slavin, 2005). For this discussion, it will be helpful to conceive of the system of science education as both a horizontal and vertical arrangement of interconnected components and subsystems. For example, a horizontal systemic reform might address elementary science in all schools in a district. On the other hand, a vertical systemic effort might target teachers’ knowledge of physical sciences in all school buildings and districts, within the purview of a state system of education. These systems are embedded in a national system of education that has increasingly influenced education policy and practice at all levels.

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