Elizabeth De Los Santos: Investigating alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in secondary science classrooms
Investigating alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in secondary science classrooms
Elizabeth De Los Santos
Elizabeth De Los Santos, Ph.D., is assistant professor of secondary education. Her research interests include science teacher learning, assessment, and the development of research-practice partnerships to support large-scale changes in educational systems. Prior to completing her Ph.D. at Michigan State University, she taught middle and high school science for 11 years in public schools in Maryland and California.
Supporting science teachers to meet the demands of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were adopted by the State of Nevada as the new ambitious standards for K-12 science, requires alignment between curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Yet, alignment is difficult to achieve in complex educational systems. The goal of this project is to better understand how teachers make sense of their classroom practices, particularly focusing on how curriculum, instruction, and assessment do or do not align, with outcomes for teachers’ practices and student learning. Interviews, observations, and classroom artifacts are collected as data to inform analyses of teachers’ sensemaking practices—that is, the decision-making process about what and how they will teach science in their classrooms based on their local contexts. Students working on this project will have the opportunity to learn more about social science and educational research, including working on a research team, using qualitative research methods, and writing for dissemination and publication.