• Explore the potential of new technologies that provide the opportunity to incorporate formative assessment into teaching in an efficient and user-friendly fashion.

This research effort should consider as well the relationship between formative and summative assessments. If the goal of learning is to achieve deep understanding, then formative assessment should identify problems and progress toward that goal, and summative assessment should measure the level of success at reaching that goal. Clearly they are different stages of the same process and should be closely tied in design and purpose.

4. Develop and evaluate videotaped model lessons for broadly taught, common curriculum units that appear throughout the K–12 education system. Many lessons and units of study are taught almost universally to students in the United States. Examples include the rain cycle in science, the concept of gravity in physics, the Civil War in history, and Macbeth in English. A sample of familiar teaching topics should be chosen to illustrate teaching methods that are compatible with the findings in this volume. The research and development should be undertaken by teams composed of disciplinary experts, pedagogical experts, master teachers, and video specialists. The model lessons or units envisioned by the committee would in all cases:

  • Illustrate a methodology for drawing out and working with student preconceptions and assessing progress toward understanding (results from project area 5 below could contribute to this endeavor).

  • Present the conceptual framework for understanding or organizing the new material.

  • Provide clear opportunities for transfer of knowledge to related areas.

When appropriate, they would also.

  • Provide instruction on the use of meta-cognitive skills.

  • Include examples of group processes in the development of understanding, illustrating the nature (and potential advantages) of capitalizing on shared expertise in the classroom.

The model units would be prefaced and heavily annotated to guide the viewer’s understanding. Annotations would include both subject content and pedagogical technique. Companion assessment tools should be developed that measure understanding of the core concepts taught in the lessons. Multiple models of teaching the same unit in different school contexts are recommended. These could serve several purposes. First, the goal of the

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