The CBALTM Science Competency Model and Provisional Learning Progressions

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) offers a general framework for the development of science curricula. However, the Standards was not meant to be the only input into the design of instruction, assessment, and professional development. Instead, one would want to supplement the Standards with theoretically and empirically based results from learning-sciences research. The goal of the CBAL™ Science Competency Model and Provisional Learning Progressions is to provide such a supplement, one that we believe can provide fresh insight as to how assessment, instruction and professional development might be designed so that they have maximum positive impact on teaching and learning.

The CBAL Science Competency Model and Provisional Learning Progressions offer
  • A general framework to represent the dimensions of science proficiency
  • A clarification of science inquiry practices
  • Hypothesized learning progressions for core ideas and science practices based on existing literature

The CBAL Science Competency Model and Provisional Learning Progressions is a work-in-progress subject to empirical validation and theoretical challenge. We hope that it will stimulate discussion, encourage debate and promote empirical research about the best ways to bring the learning sciences to bear in assessment reform.

Read the ETS Research Report (PDF)
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About the CBALTM Research Initiative

ETS has been conducting a long-term research and development initiative called Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL). We are engaging in this complex initiative because we believe that existing approaches to K–12 accountability assessment could be markedly improved by incorporating
  • Findings from learning-sciences research about what it means to be proficient in a domain (in addition to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards)
  • Tasks that model effective teaching and learning practice
  • Mechanisms for returning information about student performance in a rapid enough fashion to be of use to teachers and students
  • Testing on multiple occasions so that highly consequential decisions have a stronger evidential basis

Read more about the CBAL research initiative