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Title: Scientific Practices


1
Scientific Practices the Scaffolding thereof in
the Primary Grade Classroom
  • Kathleen Metz
  • University of California Berkeley

2
Aspects of the scientific practice .. that need
to be better represented in the primary grade
classroom
  • Immersion in strategically selected domain(s)
  • Centrality of big ideas
  • Centrality of curiosity as the driving force of
    the enterprise
  • Goal-structure of discovery, understanding,
    prediction control
  • Key role of both empirical inquiry analysis of
    text/ previous work in construction of knowledge
  • Essential social nature of scientific
    knowledge-building
  • Challenge -- delight -- of structuring the
    ill-structured

3
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4
Problems with this Model of Childrens Purported
Capabilities Limitations
  • Has led to curricular decomposition of the
    scientific inquiry process impoverished
    curricular goal structure.
  • Out of sync with the developmental literature, in
    the sense that this research base indicates that
    children have much richer repertoire of
    intellectual resources than it assumes.
  • Scientific cognition developmental lit., upon
    which this schema is purportedly based, has paid
    negligible attention to impact of supportive
    environment.
  • School-age scientific cognition developmental
    lit. has paid negligible attention to the
    knowledge factor
  • confound between weak knowledge weak
    reasoning capacities
  • ----gt Vicious Cycle

5
Vicious Cycle
School -age cognitive developmental lit tended to
ignore knowledge-factor in design of contexts for
assessing scientific reasoning
Children frequently handicapped by testing of
scientific reasoning in the context of a domain
where they have weak knowledge
Underestimation in the research lit of childrens
scientific reasoning capacities
Schools failure to optimally empower childrens
scientific knowledge reasoning
Curricular schemas for developmentally
appropriate science education that fail to take
full advantage of childrens capabilities
6
Metz NSF Research Project
  • What are the mutable and immutable cognitive
    developmental constraints on young childrens
    scientific inquiry?
  • How can we design primary grade science education
    to empower childrens scientific inquiry
    understanding of science as a way of knowing?
  • Funder IERI, NSF

7
Modus Operandi
  • Formulate educational design principles that I
    conjecture empower childrens reasoning
    understanding of science
  • Write curricula (botany, animal behavior) to
    operationalize the design principles. support
    teachers in the enactment.
  • Multiple generations of the educational design
    experiment in multiple classrooms, with data re
    enabling context (how is the curriculum enacted)
    student cognition
  • Video record of classroom activity
  • Data base of all student work generated in
    connection with the curriculum
  • Student lab-based interviews
  • Study enactment of curriculum X childrens
    learning, capitalizing on planned naturally
    occurring variations.

8
Design Principles cum Aspirations
  • Centrality of engagement in the authentic inquiry
  • Maintain integrity of the goal-focused
    intellectual enterprise across curriculum.
  • Teach science processes methods in the context
    of their purpose use
  • Capitalize on the context of childrens
    scientific inquiry to reflect on science as a way
    of knowing.
  • Interplay of inquiry knowledge within the
    curriculum
  • 4 Develop relatively rich knowledge of the
    domain in which the inquiry is embedded, in
    conjunction w/ the big ideas of the discipline
  • 5. Foster the synergy between developing
    knowledge of the domain and knowledge of inquiry.
  • Scaffolding principles
  • 6. Manipulate collaboration unit between class
    dyad, to iteratively bring tasks of greater
    cognitive demand within reach then to fade
    support as their emergent expertise enables them
    to assume more responsibility.
  • 7. Build knowledge responsibility to the point
    where dyads have primary responsibility over
    their own investigation analysis thereof vis a
    vis others work at the conference.

9
EXPANDING LINES OF ANALYSIS
  • Student scientific reasoning outcomes
  • Reasoning about uncertainty, theory/ evidence,
    hypothetical-deductive reasoning, research
    design, understanding of science as a way of
    knowing (Metz, Ball)
  • Teacher scaffolding of conceptual understanding
    (Wong)
  • Relation between teacher beliefs about science
    their curriculum enactment (Eslinger Metz)
  • Relation between teacher beliefs about the power
    of children to reason scientifically their
    curriculum enactment (Ly Metz)
  • Dynamics of teacher professional development
    meetings cum learning community (Little)
  • Embedded Case Study Design To Make Connections
  • 4 cases veteran second third grade teachers,
    same student population
  • (Their beliefs X their curriculum enactment X
    their student outcomes ) change over two years
    time.
  • (Ball, Eslinger,Little, Metz, Wong)
  • Extreme case of youngest cohorts (first
    graders), of one of most expert teachers (Metz,
    Wong)

10
The Long-term goal Connecting the Dots
  • Teacher beliefs re
  • a) factors that affect the power of childrens
    scientific reasoning
  • b) science as a way of knowing
  • c) Goals in the teaching of science

Feedback loop
Interpreted Curriculum
Enacted Curriculum
Student Learning
Intended Curriculum
Teacher Professional Development Monthly
Meetings
11
Data sources uses thereof (examples)
  • Video record of classroom ( research
    conference) used in analysis of
  • Face of science in the classroom
  • Transformation of cognitive load from
    intended to enacted curriculum
  • Cohort comparison of student outcomes (what
    were children taught/ invented intensity of the
    scaffolding)
  • Discourse in classroom ideas developed
    therein X scaffolding
  • Video record of monthly teacher professional
    development meetings (over two years) used in
    the analysis of
  • Scaffolding provided to teachers
  • Teacher beliefs goals.
  • Teacher change over time lens onto genesis of
    changes
  • Teacher feedback re curriculum suggestions,
    needed changes
  • Teacher professional learning community
  • Teacher lessons evaluations
  • Weaknesses in the curriculum that we need to
    address
  • Teacher goal structure.
  • Teacher attribution of the genesis of
    pedagogical problems the resolution thereof.

12
Continued..
  • Student written work
  • Competence at engaging in the practice
  • Student thinking e.g. attribution of inference
    observation relation thereof knowledge level
    of questions.
  • (Huge caveat limits of primary grade childrens
    writing)Student thinking (caveat limits of
    primary grade childrens writing)
  • Structured interviews of pairs reflecting on
    their investigations they designed conducted.
  • Differentiation of theory / evidence
    application thereof
  • Understanding of research design.
  • Conceptualization of the goal structure of the
    enterprise
  • Level of epistemic reasoning in critique of
    their study conceptualizations of improvements
    Do they think uncertainty enters in? If so, how?
    Their strategies to improve study.

13
Example of analysis From the Case Study of 1st
grade teacher her students
  • Top level
  • First graders capacity to assume large
    responsibility for a study of their own (with a
    partner), following instructional scaffolding.
  • Fine-grained, emphasis
  • Epistemic reasoning reflected in reasoning about
    their research project.

14
  • First graders capacity to assume large
    responsibility for a study of their own (with a
    partner), following instructional scaffolding.
  • Involving (with scaffolding)
  • all of the science process skills

15
Can they engage in this practice? Top-level
indicators caveats
16
Do crickets become more aggressive as they get
older?
Procedure I will take 3 different stages of
crickets young crickets middle age crickets and
adult crickets. I will put the young male
crickets in a habitat. We will watch for
aggressive behavior. We will put 4 week old male
crickets the adult crickets the same. We will
repeat thes 3 or 4 times.
Analysis I found out that 4 week old crickets
did more biting than 6 week old crickets. The 5
week old crickets did the most biting. The 5
week old crickets did the most whipping of
antennae. The 5 week old crickets got on top of
each other more often. The 5 week old crickets
were the most aggressive. The six week old
crickets were next. The four week old crickets
were the least aggressive.
4 week old cricket aggression
5 week old
6 week old
17
Animal Behavior (Yr 2) Low level dyad
Do crickets behave differently in the dark?
Drawing of who did the study
We think they will be more active in the dark
Variables we will not change
Procedure Take a cricket and put it in a habitat
and watch behavior in the light in the dark. I
will use time sampling of behavior
Variables we will change
Light
Time sampling of Behavior Data
Analysis There was more jumping in the dark.
There was no jumping in the light. There was
more standing still in the dark. They moved
their antennae more in the dark.
Conclusion We think that crickets behavior does
change in the dark. We think this is true
because we saw it.
18
How do different colored lights affect the way
plants grow?
Analysis The plants grew bigger every day and
then suddenly the black and red light started
getting smaller. We think it was because of the
water level.
Hypothesis The plants in the black light would
all burned up. We thought the plants would all
be the same. We also thought the black light
wouldnt get to much light to the plants so it
wouldnt grow.
Conclusion The grow lights did the best and the
clear lights got all tangled and the red light
got less water and the black light did the worst
because the water got low because the heat was
making the water evaporate.
19
Epistemic Reasoning within this Practice
20
Driver et al. framework of epistemological
reasoning
21
Driver et al. ages X epistemological reasoning
  • Frequency
  • Phenomenon- based reasoning Mode for 9 yr olds.
  • Relation-based Mode for 12 16 yr olds
  • Model- based Increased with age, but still
    minority of students even at 16
  • Interpretation Application
  • This sequence could be useful to consider when
    planning curriculum materials for different age
    levels
  • Why so little model-based reasoning?
    interpreted either in terms of personal
    cognitive development of the students, in terms
    of portrayal of science in school science lessons
    or some interaction of the two.
  • Issue
  • Whats immutable versus mutable developmental
    constraint?

22
Childrens highest level of epistemological
reasoning
  • Level O
  • School-general, weak strategies
  • Do it better, think harder, make it harder, add
    something, improve how it the poster looks.
  • No response or response limited to echo of
    partner
  • Level I (Phenomenon-based)
  • Try it see what happens
  • Tinker with the situation to try to obtain more
    extreme result
  • Improve ones looking
  • Level II (Relation-based)

23
Relation-based strategies (Level II)
  • Get more data on grounds that current data base
    is inadequate to justify confidence in
    relation-framed empirical generalization.
  • Run experiment again with a different kind of
    organism under same range of environment
    conditions to see if outcome will be improved.
  • Run experiment with other multiple types of
    organisms to investigate whether relation-framed
    outcome will be the same or different.
  • Run experiment under larger variation of
    experimental conditions for better test of
    relation or generality of trend.
  • Redesign study to eliminate extraneous variable.
  • Experimentally manipulate another variable
    identified as potentially influential, within
    same study or separate investigation.

24
How some 1st graders transcended Driver et al.
epistemic caveats to relation-based reasoning
  • Epistemic Caveats
  • Explanation between features of phenomena which
    are observable/ taken as existing. Such
    relations can take the form of a) correlation
    between variables or b) linear causal sequence.
  • In correlational reasoning, students tend to
    consider only one factor as possibly influencing
    the situation --- the one they see as the
    cause Other possible influential factors are
    overlooked. No place for conjecture or
    imagination
  • Manifestations
  • Correlation does not imply causation. More than
    one factor considered as influencing the
    situation.
  • Unpacking of a variable Not taken as existing
    in the world. Multiple possible representations

25
Examples
  • In study of jump distance in relation to cricket
    age Nymphs seeing adults might change their
    behavior --gt Solution as separate them.
  • In study of jump distance in relation to gender
    How much they eat also influential factor --gt
    Measure how much each cricket eats before testing
    for jump distance.
  • In study of does the color of water affect
    plant growth? identify number of drops of the
    dye as influential --gt Manipulate in a new study.
  • In study of how do different colored lights
    affect the way plants grow?, identify how much
    heat given off by the different colored lights as
    another influential variable ---gt put a paper
    bag over the light raise the light use colors
    of light that dont give out heat.
  • In study of does noise affect the behavior of
    crickets question, although noise correlated
    with change in behavior, conjecture that key
    causal factor may be calmness.

26
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27
Does noise affect the behavior of crickets?
Analysis we think that noise does affect the
behavior of crickets. When it was quiet was
almost always standing still. When it was noisy
it was climbing, walking, jumping and whipping.
The graph shows that when it was quiet the
cricket was standing still 47 times. When it was
noisy it was standing still only 2 tims.
Procedure Were going to put some crickets in a
habitat. We wil witch crickit in a quiet place.
We will ues time sampling of behavior. Then we
will put a tape recorder with a noisy animal tape
by the habtitat. We will do this 6 times.
Conclusion We found out that when it was noisy
the cricket was more active. Next time we should
put standing still on our check off sheet. We
should also have put something in for them to
drink. Wed like to do an investigation to see
if nymphs are more active than aduls.
28
At the poster research conference
29
The biggest challenges in the Scaffolding of
Scientific PracticesAmong Primary Grade Children
  • Teacher knowledge
  • About science as a way of knowing
  • About the plasticity of childrens scientific
    reasoning their capacities under more optimal
    instructional conditions
  • Teacher discomfort with disagreements
  • Writing curriculum that adequately scaffolds the
    teachers to scaffold the discourse, within
    terrain where they have weak knowledge of the
    content epistemic enterprise.
  • Value placed on the teaching of science to
    primary grade children, cf within the state of
    California

30
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33
Menu
We put Thelma in a corral and watched her. We
made a list of behaviors. We discussed
difference between inference -- observation.
Careful observation
We categorized rats behavior, and drew pictures
as clues. With a partner we used a check-off
sheet and a timer, we marked behavior of rat we
observed at end of minute10 times.
Time sampling of behavior
We turned check off sheet into a bar graph.
We made a map of the corral. We had sticky-dots
numbered 1 through 10. Using a timer we marked
where Thelma was at the end of each minute.
Time sampling of location
34
Do male crickets jump higher than female crickets?
Procedure We will take 20 male crickets one at a
time in a big box. When they jump, we will put a
stiki dot on the wall of the box to show how high
they jumped. We will cut a piece of blue yarn
the height of thir jumps. We will take 20 female
crickets and put them in a big box. When they
jump we will put a sticky dot on the wall of the
box to show how high they jumped. We will cut a
piece of red yarn the height of their jumps.
Analysis When we look at the median, the jumps
in the middle, the female jump are longer. A few
are almost 2 cm higher. When we look at the
lowest female jump and compared it to the females
jump was a little higher about 1 cm. When we
look at the highest jumps, the male jumped about
2 cm higher.
Conclusion We found out that male and female
crickets jump about the same height.
35
Does the color of water affect the plant growth?
Hypothesis Brassica Rapa would grow an inch tiny
in colored water. Thought dye would affect
plants. Thought they would change colors. In
plain water they would grow more tall.
Analysis The dirt changed color soaked into soil
and got into the roots. Brassica rapa in plain
water grew tiny, grew first. Plants grew just
above the dirt above an inch tall.
Conclusion Dye really affects the way plants
grow plain water kinda grows taller
36
Do crickets chirp more when kids are around? By
Lauren, Matthew, and Jeremiah
Question We wanted to know do crickets chirp
more when the kids arn't around or are around?
We thought the crickets would chirp more when the
kids wer't around.
No kids
Kids
In balloon I hrde 1
Conclusions The crickets cherp more when the
kids were around. Matthew thinks maybe its
because the heating pad under it and because of
the noise. Lauren thinks that the heat pad
wasn't heated up high enough for the crickets or
maybe because the crickets have good ears and
have Matthew and I moving around.
37
Will Charlie and Suzy be more active with other
crickets or alone? By Jennifer and Katherine
Question Will Charlie and Suzy be more active
with five other crickets or alone? Katherine I
thought that they would be more active alone
because there would be more room. Jennifer So
they won't be inbarest.
Conclusion We were thinking they would be more
active alone becalse they had more room. And our
guess was correkt. They were more active alone
whithout 5 other crickets.
Method 1) I'll put 2 crickets in one cage and
watch them. 2) I'll sample Charlie's and Suzie's
movements with a one minute timer. At the end
of each minute we put a sticker on a map. We had
ten minutes each. 3) Then we'll take the other
map put Charly and Suzie and five other crickets
in the same terrarium. We'll put dots on
Charlie's and Suzie's bakes. We sampled them as
we did before for ten minutes.
38
Invested Interests in this Agenda
  • For the field of Childrens science instruction
  • How can we design instruction that effectively
    empowers childrens scientific cognition?
  • How can we strategically characterize the design
    space of promising learning environments for the
    purpose of empowering childrens scientific
    cognition?
  • How can we strategically sequence structure the
    K-12 science curriculum?
  • For the field of Cognitive Development
  • What are the invariants plasticity in the
    development of childrens scientific cognition?
  • How does the developmental trajectory change
    under different forms of enabling conditions?
  • How stage-like is the development childrens
    scientific cognition? How useful is the
    construct of stages in predicting accounting
    for the development?

39
LINES OF ANALYSIS
  • Student scientific reasoning outcomes
  • Reasoning about uncertainty, theory/ evidence,
    hypothetical-deductive reasoning, research design
    (Metz, Ball)
  • Teacher scaffolding of conceptual understanding
    (Wong)
  • Relation between teacher beliefs about science
    their curriculum enactment (Eslinger Metz)
  • Relation between teacher beliefs about the power
    of children to reason scientifically their
    curriculum enactment (Ly Metz)
  • Dynamics of teacher professional development
    meetings cum learning community (Little)
  • Embedded Case Study Design To Make Connections
  • 4 cases veteran second third grade teachers,
    same student population
  • (Their beliefs X their curriculum enactment X
    their student outcomes ) change over two years
    time.
  • Extreme case

40
Driver et al. framework of epistemological
reasoning
41
II Replicate to increase confidence in
empirical generalization. II Run experiment
with other types of organisms to investigate
whether outcome will be the same or different.
42
Childrens highest level of epistemological
reasoning
  • Level O
  • School-general, weak strategies
  • Do it better, think harder, make it harder, add
    something, improve how it the poster looks.
  • No response or response limited to echo of
    partner
  • Level I (Phenomenon-based)
  • Try it see what happens
  • Tinker with the situation to try to obtain more
    extreme result
  • Improve ones looking
  • Level II (Relation-based)

43
Pushing the bounds of relation-based reasoning,
as defined by Driver et al.
  • DRIVER
  • In cases of correlational reasoning as opposed
    to chain of cause effect relations, students
    tend to consider only one factor as possibly
    influencing the situation --- the one they see as
    the cause As a consequence, other possible
    influential factors are overlooked.
  • One-to-one correspondence relation with the
    world Although alternative factors may be
    entertained in developing empirical
    generalizations, there is a tendency to assume
    that one of these will be true the explanation
    is in a correspondence relation with the material
    world.
  • STRATEGIES PUSHING THE BOUNDS
  • Child identifies an additional factor that
    might influence the situation
  • Redesigns study to eliminate extraneous variable.
  • OR
  • Experimentally manipulate that identified as
    another potentially influential variable, within
    same study or separate investigation (Not clear 2
    X 2 design).
  • Child takes variable as object of thought (not
    taken as existing) Conjectures alternative
    explanation based on one property of the variable

44
Carey Smith (1993)
Knowledge unproblematic The sources of belief
are perception, testimony, one-step inference
Individuals with this epistemology believe there
is only one objective reality which is knowledge
is a straightforward way by making observations.
Ultimately, misinformation deceit are the
causes of having false belief.
Knowledge problematic Individuals develop their
beliefs through a process of critical inquiry.
Different people may draw different conclusions
from the same perceptual evidence because they
hold different theories that effect their
interpretation of evidence. Reality exists, but
our knowledge of it is elusive uncertain.
Two questions of urgent importance to educators
now arise. First, in what sense are these levels
developmental? Second (and distinctly), do
these levels provide barriers to grasping a
constructivist epistemology if such is made the
target of the science curriculum? i.e.,
are they immutable constraints? Carey Smith
conjecture Some aspects of knowledge
problematic are within reach of 12 year olds
under optimal instructional design.
45
Knowledge unproblematic The sources of belief
are perception, testimony, one-step inference
Individuals with this epistemology believe there
is only one objective reality which is knowledge
is a straightforward way by making observations.
Ultimately, misinformation deceit are the
causes of having false belief.
Knowledge problematic Individuals develop their
beliefs through a process of critical inquiry.
Different people may draw different conclusions
from the same perceptual evidence because they
hold different theories that effect their
interpretation of evidence. Reality exists, but
our knowledge of it is elusive uncertain.
  • Some aspects of knowledge unproblematic are
    mutable constraints for many 1st graders.
  • In this context of thinking critically about
    their own studies
  • Beyond reliance on observation to gain
    knowledge
  • Sources of being wrong transcend simply
    misinformation deceit Empirical study as a
    tool for knowing that can be imperfect in many
    ways a source of false belief
  • Reality as elusive uncertain

46
Problems with this Model of Childrens Science Ed
  • Has led to curricular decomposition of the
    scientific inquiry process impoverished
    curricular goal structure.
  • Out of sync with the developmental literature, in
    the sense that this research base indicates that
    children have much richer repertoire of
    intellectual resources than it assumes.
  • Scientific cognition developmental lit. has paid
    negligible attention to impact of supportive
    environment.
  • School-age scientific cognition developmental
    lit. has paid negligible attention to the
    knowledge factor
  • confound between weak knowledge weak
    reasoning capacities

47
Design Principles cum aspirations
Rationale
48
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