Brock Professors of Education Xavier Fazio and Louis Volante had a piece recently published in The Conversation about the need for an increase in performance-based assessment in science classrooms.
These unprecedented times are a reminder to all of us about the importance of science and its impact on society. Citizens face significant cognitive demands in evaluating scientific evidence, models and explanations presented online or in media reports about both our ongoing climate change crisis and COVID-19.
In formal school settings, the important competencies to assess and evaluate science are learned primarily in science classes and connected disciplines under the moniker of STEM education. Science classes are a powerful place to foster these important competencies with elementary, secondary and post-secondary students.
But our educational systems should be doing more to ensure that STEM classrooms are places where relevant inquiry and analysis pertaining to real-life issues thrives. That can’t be done without changing the nature of student testing.
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