Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Facts, Concepts, Principles, and Theories in Science, Assessment of: An Overview

  • Audrey B. ChampagneEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_26-3

Facts, concepts, principles, laws, and theories are components of science information. Inferences are made regarding individuals’ knowledge about and understanding of these components based on those individuals’ responses to assessment items or teachers’ questions.

Measurement of knowledge about and understanding science information is challenging for several reasons. One challenge relates to the difference between knowing about and understanding. A second challenge relates to the fact that knowledge about and understanding always involves the measurement of abilities. A third challenge relates to differences in how these components are labeled and defined in the science education literature.

Knowledge about components of science knowledge typically is measured using multiple choice or constructed response items. For instance, knowledge of the boiling point of water could be measured by requiring an individual select 1,000 °C from five temperatures in response to the question: what is...


Boiling Point Science Information Natural Phenomenon Item Type Single Entity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. National Assessment Governing Board (2007) Science Framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. National Assessment Governing Board, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. National Center for Education Statistics (2007) Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC, http://nces.ed.gov/timss/. June 2011Google Scholar
  3. National Center for Education Statistics (2009) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC. http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/. June 2011Google Scholar
  4. National Research Council (2011) A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at Albany, State University of New YorkAlbanyUSA