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Knowledge Integration Framework
Students grapple with multiple, conflicting, often confusing ideas about science. Research by TELS Director Marcia C. Linn and others has shown that instruction is most effective when teachers use students' views as a starting point for investigating scientific phenomena - guiding learners as they articulate their repertoire of ideas, add new ideas, sort out these ideas in a variety of contexts, make connections among ideas at multiple levels of analysis, develop more nuanced criteria for evaluating ideas, and, ultimately, formulate a linked set of views about the phenomena.
This approach to helping students articulate their perceptions about science and reflect upon these perceptions in light of new information - which Linn characterizes as Knowledge Integration (KI) - is the basis for TELS curricular projects and assessments.
Assessing Knowledge Integration
To measure KI and to establish consistent norms for KI across scientific topics, TELS researchers designed assessments that include questions from prior research as well as questions from standardized tests. We use standardized items (items released by test designers, state assessment offices, etc.) to help validate our assessments by connecting our results to results from national, state, or standardized assessments.