Energy Stories: Assessments as Learning Events

We are conducting research to examine how narrative activities can contribute to the curriculum and to assessment of energy concepts. In these activities, students are asked to write explanatory narratives about domain-specific and everyday phenomena in terms of the energy processes involved. These energy stories are intended to function as a dual-purpose assessment and instructional tool that will be embedded in CLEAR curriculum modules.

Energy stories require students to explain phenomena involving energy concepts they may have yet to master, yielding data comprised of a rich mix of sophisticated ideas as well as intuitions.

CLEAR Energy Stories as instructional tools

We are investigating how energy stories should be used as an embedded instructional tool in the CLEAR curriculum. Energy stories will provide students with multiple, spaced opportunities to generate, reflect on, and integrate their growing repertoire of ideas about energy as they progress through instruction across multiple contexts and grade levels.

Energy stories will serve as a “snapshot” representation of students’ conceptual repertoire at a given point in instruction and will also help elicit and/or introduce additional ideas about energy not accessed during instruction. Energy stories can also scaffold the knowledge integration process via critique, reflection, and revision activities.