CRESPAR Report #64: From National Movement to Local Action: The Status of Standards-Based Science Instruction in Middle School Classrooms
Swanson, Christopher B.
Plank, Stephen B.
Hewes, Gina M.
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This study contributes to the growing body of research on classroom instruction by exploring the possibility of measuring a specific instructional strategy using statistical methods based on item response theory (IRT). We seek to measure teachers’ instructional practices using the same rigorous statistical techniques that are now applied to most large-scale assessments of student achievement. We focus specifically on teachers’ use of pedagogical techniques consistent with those espoused by the national standards-based reform movement in science. We use data for a nationally representative sample of public school eighth graders and their teachers from the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).