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Laboratory Work: Learning and Assessment


Argumentation; Inquiry; Investigations; Large-scale assessment; Performance tasks

Laboratory investigations have been a critical component of science education for well over a century. Laboratories were designed to complement more traditional classroom work in order to provide opportunities for students to participate in the cognitive, physical, and social processes of scientific investigation and inquiry. Laboratory experiences were intended to enhance students’ understanding of content and provide a learning environment in which students could learn how to use laboratory tools and materials, carry out investigative reasoning, and participate as part of collaborative teams. Thus, laboratories have been designed to be opportunities to learn about both the content and processes of science.

As the nature of scientific investigations has evolved and expanded, so too have laboratory experiences, leading to a recent definition: “Laboratory experiences provide opportunities for...


  • Science Content
  • Student Reflection
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Investigation Skill
  • Science Inquiry Skill

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Correspondence to Drew Gitomer .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Gitomer, D., Zisk, R. (2014). Laboratory Work: Learning and Assessment. In: Gunstone, R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer, Dordrecht.

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