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Weaving Science Inquiry and Continuous Assessment: Using Formative Assessment to Improve Learning

By Maura O'Brien Carlson, Gregg E. Humphrey, Karen S. Reinhardt


State and local tests are being increasingly used to document levels of learning and build accountability into the education system. But educators committed to learning for all need more than just standardized tests and end assessments.

This book, coauthored by former WestEd staff member Maura O’Brien Carlson, offers teachers and professional leaders tools for monitoring and improving student achievement in the sciences.

With over a decade of experience working with hundreds of science teachers, the authors have developed a program that enables teachers to identify difficult areas of student learning and to modify teaching strategies to further student success.

This constant assessment also allows teachers to identify troublesome concepts and address them before the state and local assessments are given and the results tabulated.

Through clear examples—supported by research—the authors provide a rationale and practical tools for weaving continuous assessment and reflective instruction into the fabric of science learning.

Resource Details

Product Information

ISBN: 978-0-7619-4590-1
Copyright: 2003
Format: Trade Paper
Pages: 179
Publisher: Corwin Press

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Praise for this Resource

  • Recommended by the National Science Teachers Association

    “This wonderful ‘how-to’ book offers new approaches for assessing inquiry-based teaching and learning. Readers will be convinced of the many advantages of continuous assessment, not only for students but also for their own professional development. This book is a must for the science educator’s library.”

    Sharon Fisher, High School Biology Teacher
  • “The authors provide a rationale and practical tools for weaving continuous assessment and instruction in science into the fabric of learning. Teachers who use the methods in the book will know what and how students are learning every day and gain insights into how to best facilitate learning in their classrooms”

    From the Foreword by Susan Mundry, Project Director, WestEd
  • “Assessing what students know and are able to do is a major component of standards-based education and is one of the hottest topics on the educational scene. This book addresses assessment in a unique way and provides an excellent opportunity for readers to view and understand formative assessment as equal to summative assessment.”

    Kathy DiRanna, Statewide Director, WestEd