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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring in-service science teachers' assessment literacy on teaching with models Gonzalez Donoso, Alexis Miguel


Model-based Teaching (MBT) is an approach to teaching science that promotes the generation, evaluation, and modification of students’ mental models (GEM cycle). This study is a sequential mixed-methods study to explore in-service science teachers (ISTs)’ assessment literacy about teaching with models. A questionnaire was administered to 416 ISTs from Chile and Canada to investigate their knowledge of models in science education and how often they assessed their students’ reasoning with models. Then, a focused investigation on the development of five Chilean ISTs’ assessment literacy in MBT was undertaken. This investigation involved classroom observations and interviews before and after participating in an online professional development course on MBT. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were analyzed using regression analysis and factor analysis. A cross-case analysis was conducted with the five teachers to compare their assessment literacy. Results of the questionnaire showed that ISTs’ knowledge of models and modeling was positively and significantly related to their assessment literacy. Regarding the five ISTs’ pedagogy, it was found that most ISTs had beginner levels of proficiency in assessment literacy in MBT. After attending the online course, they continued using models to convey information. One experienced teacher; however, promoted a full GEM cycle which indicated that her enactments might have been influenced by her pedagogical content knowledge and years of teaching experience. These results showed that when ISTs are more literate in MBT, it influences their pedagogy regarding how they promote student generation and evaluation of their own models. Specifically, evidence was found that ISTs use assessment to i) judge students’ reasoning with models; ii) communicate feedback to clarify students’ conceptual doubts; iii) give opportunities to express their models and iv) promote the revision of generated models, for example, through the evaluation of models’ predictive power and revising them to fit new evidence. This study is significant in science education because it offers a new validated instrument to characterize ISTs’ assessment literacy. Furthermore, the characterization of ISTs’ assessment literacy offers an opportunity to identify which aspects of ISTs’ MBT could benefit from further enrichment through science teacher education.

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