quantitative reasoning, quantification, quantitative literacy, modeling, learning progression, environmental literacy


The NSF Pathways Project studied the development of environmental literacy in students from grades six through high school. Learning progressions for environmental literacy were developed to explicate the trajectory of learning. The Pathways QR research team supported this effort by studying the role of quantitative reasoning (QR) as a support or barrier to developing environmental literacy. An iterative research methodology was employed which included targeted student interviews to establish QR learning progression progress variables and elements comprising those progress variables, development of a QR learning progression framework, and closed-form QR assessments to verify the progression. In this paper the focus is on development of the current iteration of the QR learning progression, including a brief discussion of the first and second iterations that provide a look into the development of a learning progression. The focus is on the latest iteration, with a detailed discussion of the progress variables: Quantitative Act (QA), Quantitative Interpretation (QI), and Quantitative Modeling (QM). The elements that constitute these progress variables which arose from our analysis of qualitative interview data and quantitative assessment data are provided. Discussion of the evolution of the QR assessment to document students’ abilities to utilize the progress variables occurs concurrently with explanation of the learning progression development. The most recent QR assessment focused on QI. The data from this assessment will provide additional information to revise the learning progression QI progress variable. A similar effort is planned for the QA and QM progress variables.



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