Science process skills/Assessment
Assessment of Scince Process Skills
Educative process acts as a means to bring about certain developments, among children, in cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. It is the process by which children would be able to increase their understanding about the universe through continuous observation, experimentation, application and verification. In these days of rapid expansion of scientific and technological knowledge, the role of science education is paramount in developing scientific insights among children. The teaching – learning programs at school level should emphasis on the acquisition of science process skills through science teaching. The learning outcomes in science are generated through the use of science process skills by the learner. In order to initiate better learning outcomes, it is necessary to assess the ability of a child in using science process skills. This project is an earnest attempt to prepare a scheme to assess science process skills.
There are number of ways of conceiving and categorizing the science process skills. In this project the process skills as conceived by Herlen (1998) have been taken into consideration. This paper contains the scheme of assessment for following process skills – observing, hypothesizing, predicting, raising questions, investigating, interpreting, communicating, respect for evidence, flexibility and critical reflection. Assessment may be formative or summative. The purpose of formative assessment is to help teaching and learning. It is usually informal in that the child is not aware that it is taking place. The purpose of summative assessment is to indicate achievement at a certain point. It is usually formed in that information is obtained by a test or examination at the end. Both the types of assessments have been considered here.
Under formative assessment several activities and situations which help a child to exhibit the above process skills are given in this paper followed by assessment of child responses. These are some of the suggested activities. Basing on these suggested activities, a teacher has to create some more such activities to assess the process skills during classroom transaction. Teacher can assess the process skills individually and in group. In individual assessment, teacher has to assess and record the responses of individual student. In a practical classroom situation, it may not be possible to assess individual students. In such situations, teacher can resort to group assessment. He/she can ask all the students of the class to write their responses and those responses can be assessed.
Items and situations which assess process skills must have some content. Process skills cannot be assessed in vacuum. For each process skill, some situations in both physical science and biological science are provided. Sometimes, one situation may help a teacher to assess more than one process skill.
Under summative assessment, some model tests are provided in appendices. Teacher can make use of these model tests to prepare some more such tests as per his/her requirement. These tests would help us in assessing process skills of a group of students at a time.