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This curriculum policy replaces The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: Science and Technology, 2007. Beginning in September 2022, all science and technology programs for Grades 1 to 8 will be based on the expectations outlined in this curriculum policy.

elementary

Science and Technology (2022)

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Assessment and Evaluation of Student Achievement

Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools, First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12, 2010 sets out the Ministry of Education’s assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy. The policy aims to maintain high standards, improve student learning, and benefit all students, parents, and teachers in elementary and secondary schools across the province. Successful implementation of this policy depends on the professional judgement of teachers at all levels as well as their high expectations of all students, and on their ability to work together and to build trust and confidence among parents and students.

Major aspects of assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy are summarized in the main “Assessment and Evaluation” section. The key tool for assessment and evaluation in science and technology – the achievement chart – is provided below.

The Achievement Chart for Science and Technology

The achievement chart identifies four categories of knowledge and skills and four levels of achievement in science and technology. (For important background, see “Content Standards and Performance Standards” in the main Assessment and Evaluation section.)

Knowledge and Understanding – Subject-specific content acquired in each grade (knowledge), and the comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding)
Categories Level 1  Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
  The student:
Knowledge of content (e.g., facts, terminology, definitions) demonstrates limited knowledge of content demonstrates some knowledge of content demonstrates considerable knowledge of content demonstrates thorough knowledge of content
Understanding of content (e.g., concepts, ideas, theories, principles, procedures, processes) demonstrates
limited understanding of content
demonstrates some understanding of content demonstrates considerable understanding of content demonstrates thorough understanding of content
Thinking and Investigation – The use of critical and creative thinking skills and inquiry and problem-solving skills and/or processes
Categories Level 1  Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
  The student:
Use of initiating and planning skills and strategies (e.g., formulating questions, identifying the problem, developing hypotheses, scheduling, selecting strategies and resources, developing plans) uses initiating
and planning skills and
strategies with limited
effectiveness
uses initiating
and planning skills and strategies with some effectiveness
uses initiating and planning skills and
strategies with considerable
effectiveness
uses initiating
and planning skills and
strategies with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of processing skills and strategies (e.g., performing and recording; gathering evidence and data; examining different points of view; selecting tools, equipment, materials, and technology; observing; manipulating materials; proving) uses processing skills and
strategies with limited
effectiveness
uses processing skills and
strategies with some
effectiveness
uses processing skills and
strategies with considerable
effectiveness
uses processing skills and
strategies with a high degree of effectiveness
Use of critical/creative thinking processes, skills, and strategies (e.g., analysing, interpreting, problem solving, evaluating, forming and justifying conclusions on the basis of evidence, developing solutions, considering diverse perspectives) uses critical/
creative thinking processes, skills, and strategies with limited effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes, skills, and strategies with some effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes, skills, and strategies with considerable effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes, skills, and strategies with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication – The conveying of meaning through various forms 
Categories Level 1  Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
  The student:
Expression and organization of ideas and information in oral, visual, and/or written forms (e.g., diagrams, models, articles, project journals, reports)  expresses and
organizes ideas and information with limited effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas and information
with some effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas and information
with considerable
effectiveness
expresses and organizes ideas and information
with a high degree of effectiveness
Communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, community members) and purposes (e.g., to inform, to persuade) in oral, visual, and/or written forms communicates for different audiences and purposes with limited effectiveness communicates for different audiences and purposes with some effectiveness communicates for different audiences and purposes with
considerable effectiveness
communicates for different audiences and purposes with a high degree of
effectiveness
Use of conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline in oral, visual, and/or written forms (e.g., symbols, formulae, International System of Units)  uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of the discipline with limited effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline with some effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of the discipline with considerable
effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of the discipline with a high degree of
effectiveness
Application – The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts
Categories Level 1  Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
  The student:
Application of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts and processes; procedures related to the safe use of tools, equipment, materials, and technology; investigation skills) in familiar contexts  applies knowledge and skills in familiar
contexts with limited effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with some
effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with considerable
effectiveness
applies knowledge and skills in familiar contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts and processes, safe use of equipment and technology, investigation skills) to new contexts transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with limited effectiveness transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with
some effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills to new contexts with considerable
effectiveness
transfers
knowledge and skills to new contexts with a high degree of
effectiveness
Making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., connections between sciences; connections to everyday and real-life situations; connections among concepts within science and technology; connections involving use of prior knowledge and experience; connections among science and technology and other disciplines, including other STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] subjects) makes connections within and between various contexts with limited effectiveness makes connections within and between various contexts with some effectiveness makes connections within and between various contexts with considerable
effectiveness
makes connections
within and between various contexts with a high degree of effectiveness
Proposing courses of practical action to deal with problems relating to our changing world proposes courses of practical action of limited effectiveness proposes courses of practical action of some effectiveness proposes courses of practical action of considerable
effectiveness
proposes highly effective courses of practical action

Criteria and Descriptors for Science and Technology

To guide teachers in their assessment and evaluation of student learning, the achievement chart provides “criteria” and “descriptors” within each of the four categories of knowledge and skills.

A set of criteria is identified for each category in the achievement chart. The criteria are subsets of the knowledge and skills that define the category. The criteria identify the aspects of student performance that are assessed and/or evaluated, and they serve as a guide to what teachers look for. In the science and technology curriculum, the criteria for each category are as follows:


Knowledge and Understanding

  • knowledge of content (e.g., facts, terminology, definitions)
  • understanding of content (e.g., concepts, ideas, theories, principles, procedures, processes)


Thinking and Investigation

  • use of initiating and planning skills and strategies (e.g., formulating questions, identifying problems, developing hypotheses, scheduling, selecting strategies and resources, developing plans)
  • use of processing skills and strategies (e.g., performing and recording; gathering evidence and data; examining different points of view; selecting tools, equipment, materials, and technology; observing; manipulating materials; proving)
  • use of critical/creative thinking processes, skills, and strategies (e.g., analysing, interpreting, problem solving, evaluating, forming and justifying conclusions on the basis of evidence, developing solutions, considering diverse perspectives)


Communication

  • expression and organization of ideas and information in oral, visual, and/or written forms (e.g., diagrams, models, articles, project journals, reports)
  • communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, community members) and purposes (e.g., to inform, to persuade) in oral, visual, and/or written forms
  • use of conventions, vocabulary, and terminology of the discipline in oral, visual, and written forms (e.g., symbols, formulae, International System of Units)


Application

  • application of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts and processes; procedures related to the safe use of tools, equipment, materials, and technology; investigation skills) in familiar contexts
  • transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts and processes, safe use of equipment and technology, investigation skills) to new contexts
  • making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., connections between sciences; connections to everyday and real-life situations; connections among concepts within science and technology; connections involving use of prior knowledge and experience; connections among science and technology and other disciplines, including other STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] subjects)
  • proposing courses of practical action to deal with problems relating to our changing world


“Descriptors” indicate the characteristics of the student’s performance, with respect to a particular criterion, on which assessment or evaluation is focused. Effectiveness is the descriptor used for each criterion in the Thinking and Investigation, Communication, and Application categories. What constitutes effectiveness in any given performance task will vary with the particular criterion being considered. Assessment of effectiveness may therefore focus on a quality such as appropriateness, clarity, accuracy, precision, logic, relevance, significance, fluency, flexibility, depth, or breadth, as appropriate for the particular criterion.