25. Conduct new assessment research to focus on improving and implementing formative assessments. Research conclusions indicate that teachers need a variety of supports and learning opportunities for making their classrooms assessment centered in ways that support learning. Research questions that remain to be addressed include: How does a teacher use assessment? What skills do teachers need in order to be able to use formative assessments in ways that will improve their teaching? What kinds of supports do teachers need for learning and adopting innovative assessment processes?

26. Explore the foundations for science learning. Research is recommended that would explore such questions as the following:

  • How can the field “scale up” successful demonstrations of research-based curricula so that they can be implemented in many diverse settings under the guidance of many different kinds of teachers?

  • Which factors influence the conversion of research knowledge into effective instructional methods in real settings?

  • Do strategies that work for science education also work to improve instruction in other subject areas?

  • How can preschool children be assisted in developing representational structures so that there are bridges, rather than gaps, between early and later school learning?

  • How can collaborative learning environments be organized in ways that counteract societal stereotypes and tap diversity as a positive resource for learning?

  • Which kinds of assessments can effectively measure new kinds of science learning?

  • How do the features of a constructivist curriculum interact with other social factors in classrooms?

  • What is the impact of new technologies on school performance?

27. Enhance the methodologies of the learning sciences. The research areas relevant to the science of learning are demonstratively broad, including cognitive development, cognitive science, developmental psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, social psychology, sociology, cross-cultural research, research on learning in subject areas such as science, mathematics, history, and research on effective teaching, pedagogy, and the design of learning environments. New technologies for assessing learning in ways that track the growth of learning, not just cumulative of facts, are needed. Developing effective research methodologies is particularly important for research from this diverse array of disciplines. Advancement of learning research methodologies is critical for such diverse and complex data.

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