Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


Science--Study and teaching (Middle school)--Standards--Iowa; Education--Standards--Iowa; Ninth grade (Education)--Standards;


Dubuque Senior High School, a high school in Iowa, is currently in the process of reshaping their science curriculum around the Next Generation Science Standards. One major goal of the Next Generation Science Standards involves the use of phenomena in the classroom. The purpose of this curriculum study was to utilize phenomena as a formative assessment to measure student growth in the classroom. Students in four ninth grade physical science classrooms wrote and reflected on specific phenomena at the beginning of the unit to test for prior knowledge and again at the end of the unit. Reflections were scored using a rubric. Rubric scores were compared on pre and post reflections to measure student growth for each class. The study took place throughout the course of four different units. Units included concepts involving Newton’s Second Law of Motion, Momentum, Energy, and Energy Applications. The use of phenomena as a formative assessment to measure student growth in content understanding provided positive feedback for the instructor. Students demonstrated growth in many areas throughout all four units. Their reflections provided the teacher with important data to improve instruction and concentrate on areas students needed extra assistance. This provided an opportunity to offer differentiated support.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Science Education Program

First Advisor

Lyn Countryman, Advisor

Date Original

Spring 2019

Object Description

1 PDF file (44 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download