|Ph.D Thesis||Department of Education in Science and Technology|
|Supervisors:||Prof. Emeritus Berman Abraham|
|Assoc. Prof. Tal Revital|
|Full Thesis text|
A variety of enrichment programs is recommended for gifted students. Our study focused on pull -out programs for the gifted in regional centers where suitable assessment models are scarce. This study aimed at developing an Embedded Assessment for Learning (EAfL) framework in pull-out programs for the gifted. We identified and suggested possible means for assessing the learning and performances that enable gifted students to express their capabilities. We investigated the gifted students’ views of assessment, and the impact of the embedded assessment on inquiry, reflection and metacognition. The participants were 101 students attending three enrichments programs for the gifted who elected project-based-science courses.
The data included views-of-assessment questionnaire, self and peer-assessment questionnaires, observations of peer-assessment meeting, the students' inquiry projects and interviews with target students.
The assessment framework included several components, referred to individuals as well as to small groups of students and involved a few agents in the assessment process (self, peer, tutor, experts and parents). The assessment took place in three stages of each course: (1) Exposure: teaching the scientific content, doing inquiry activities, and meeting researchers and experts in the field, (2) Inquiry: developing driving questions, doing investigation, and building models and representations, (3) Summary: wrapping up the projects and making presentations.
The findings indicate that the students viewed the EAfL framework as an integral part of the learning process, and perceived it as a means to express autonomous learning and a range of performances, which correspond with their unique needs of learning.
We found that most of the students moved from technical-descriptive reflective statements to higher levels of reflection expressed by critical and dialogical responses. Students referred to their metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences, and were able to monitor and/or criticize their thoughts and the decisions they made.
Theoretically, this study adds to our knowledge about assessment processes in science education in general and in education for the gifted in particular. This study contributes to identification and establishment of standards for programs for the gifted that address: a) the curriculum, b) assessment principles, and c) teaching practices. The practical contribution of this study is the presentation of an approach that integrates curriculum, teaching methods, and assessment in programs for the gifted.