Assessing the role of curriculum coherence in student learning about energy

David Fortus, Leeann M. Sutherland Adams, Joseph Krajcik, Brian Reiser

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    • 8 Citations

    Abstract

    Curricular coherence is an indication of the alignment of content ideas, the depth at which they are studied, and the sequencing of ideas within and across grade levels and has been identified as an important predictor of student performance. This study examined the contribution of inter-unit coherence on energy to the learning of this concept over time. The concept of energy was interwoven as a core disciplinary idea and as a cross-cutting theme in six different units in a reform-based middle school curriculum. The unit posttests of students from a national field test of the curriculum were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling to identify ways in which ideas learned in some units supported the learning in other units. Results indicate that inter-unit coherence enabled students to develop a deeper understanding of energy by providing repeated exposure over years rather than weeks, enabling knowledge constructed in one unit to become the prior knowledge to be built upon in subsequent units, and offering a broader range of contexts in which students could apply their ideas than could be accomplished in stand-alone units.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages1408-1425
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
    Volume52
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

    Profile

    energy
    curriculum
    learning
    student
    indication
    school grade
    reform
    coherence
    knowledge
    performance
    time

    Keywords

    • cross-cutting concepts
    • curriculum coherence
    • energy
    • middle school

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education

    Cite this

    Assessing the role of curriculum coherence in student learning about energy. / Fortus, David; Sutherland Adams, Leeann M.; Krajcik, Joseph; Reiser, Brian.

    In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Vol. 52, No. 10, 01.12.2015, p. 1408-1425.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fortus D, Sutherland Adams LM, Krajcik J, Reiser B. Assessing the role of curriculum coherence in student learning about energy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 2015 Dec 1;52(10):1408-1425. Available from, DOI: 10.1002/tea.21261
    Fortus, David ; Sutherland Adams, Leeann M. ; Krajcik, Joseph ; Reiser, Brian. / Assessing the role of curriculum coherence in student learning about energy. In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 2015 ; Vol. 52, No. 10. pp. 1408-1425
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