External Links & Other Resources


Evaluating the Validity of English Language Proficiency Assessments: Visit website

Understanding Language Initiative:Visit website

CCSSO Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers: Visit website


Early Science and Language Learning at Para Los Niños. (June, 2010). Documentary funded by WIDA & UCLA Center for Community Partnerships. Available here.

Learning Progression Literature

Alicia C. Alonzo (2011): Learning progressions that support formative assessment practices, measurement.

Interdisciplinary Research & Perspective, 9(2-3), 124-129.

Alonzo, A.C. (2010). Considerations in using learning progressions to inform achievement Level descriptions,

measurement. Interdisciplinary Research & Perspective, 8(4), 204-208.

Alonzo, A.C., & Gearhart, M. (2006). Considering learning progressions from a classroom assessment

perspective, Measurement, 14(1&2): 99-104.

Alonzo, A.C., & Gotwals, A.W., (2012). Learning Progressions in Science: Current Challenges and Future

Directions. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Bailey, A.L., Heritage, M., & Reynolds Kelly, K. (December, 2011). The Dynamic Language Learning

Progressions Project. Presentation to the WIDA Assessment Consortium, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison, WI.

Barrett, J., Sarama, J., Clements, D.H., Cullen, C., McCool, J., Witkowski-Rumsey, C., & Klanderman, D.

(2012). Evaluating and improving a learning trajectory for linear measurement in elementary Grades 2 and 3: A longitudinal study, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 14, 28-54.

Black, P., Wilson, M., & Yao, S. (2011). Road Maps for Learning: A Guide to the Navigation of Learning

Progressions, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 9(2-3).

Confrey, J., & Maloney, A. (2010). The construction, refinement , and early validation of the equipartitioning

learning trajectory. In Gomez, K., Lyons, L., & Radinsky, J. (Eds.) Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) – Volume 1, Full Papers. International Society of the Learning Sciences: Chicago IL. Retrieved from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1854484.

Confrey, J., Maloney, A.P., & Nguyen, K.H. (2011). Learning Over Time: Learning Trajectories in Mathematics

Education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Corcoran, T., Mosher, F.A., & Rogat, A. (2009). Learning progressions in science: An evidence-based

approach to reform. New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College: Center on Continuous Instructional Improvement, Consortium for Policy Research in Education. Retrieved from http://www.cpre.org/images/stories/cpre_pdfs/lp_science_rr63.pdf.

Daro, P., Mosher, F.A., Corcoran, T. (2011). Learning trajectories in mathematics: A foundation for standards,

curriculum, assessment, and instruction (CPRE Research Report # RR-68). Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED519792.pdf.

Duschl, R., Maeng, S., & Sezen, A. (2011) Learning progressions and teaching sequences: a review and

analysis. Studies in Science Education, 47(2), 123-182.

Kennedy, C.A., & Wilson, M. (2007). Using Progress Variables to Map Intellectual Development. In R. W.

Lissitz (Ed.), Assessing and Modeling Cognitive Development in School (pp. 271-298). Maple Grove, MN: JAM Press.

Shavelson, R.J. (2009). Reflections on learning progressions. Paper presented at the Learning Progressions in

Science (LeaPS) Conference, Iowa City, IA. Retrieved from http://education.msu.edu/projects/leaps/proceedings/Shavelson.pdf.

Songer, N., Kelcey, B., & Gotwals, A.W. (2009). How and When Does Complex Reasoning Occur? Empirically

Driven Development of a Learning Progression Focused on Complex Reasoning About Biodiversity, Journal for Research in Science Teaching, 46, 610-631.

Explanation Literature

Aguirre-Muñoz, Z., Boscardin, C. K., Jones, B., Park, J., Chinen, M. H., Shin, H., Lee, J., Amabisca, A. A &

Benner, A. (2005) Consequences and validity of performance assessment for English language learners: Integrating academic language and ELL instructional needs into opportunity to learn measures. (CSE Rep. No. 678). Los Angeles: University of California, National Center on Research and Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).

Aukrust, V. G. (2004). Explanatory discourse in young second language learners’ peer play. Discourse

Studies, 6, 393–412.

Aurkrust, V.G., & Snow, C. (1998). Narratives and explanations during mealtime conversations in Norwary and

in the U.S. Language in Society, 27(2), 221-246. (M&B)

Barbieri, M. S., & Landolfi, L. (1994). Learning how to explain: The effects of mother’s language on the child.

In V. John-Steiner, C. Panofsky, & L. Smith (Eds.), Sociocultural approaches to language and literacy: An interactionist perspective (pp. 191–222). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Barbieri, M. S., Colavita, F.,&Scheuer, N. (1990). The beginning of the explaining capacity. In G.

Conti-Ramsden & C. E. Snow (Eds.), Children’s language. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. [Requested through IIL]

Beals, D. (1993). Explanatory talk in low-income families’ mealtime conversations. Applied Psycholinguistics,

14, 489-514.

Beals, D.E. (2001). Eating and reading. In. D. Dickinson & P. Tabors (Eds.), Beginning literacy with language:

Young children learning at home and school (pp. 75-92).

Bloom, L., Lahey, M., Hood, L., Lifter, K. & Fiess, K. (1980). Complex sentences: Acquisition of syntactic

connectives and the semantic relations they encode. Journal of Child Language, 7, 235-261. (M&B)

Blum-Kulka, S., Hamo, M., & Habib, T. (2010). Explanations in naturally occurring peer talk: Conversational

emergence and function, thematic scope, and contribution to the development of discursive skills. First Language, 30(3-4), 440-460. (M&B)

Boscardin, C. K., Jones, B., Madsen, S., Nishimura, C. & Park, J. (2008) Assessment of content

understanding through science explanation task. (CSE Rep. No. 745). Los Angeles: University of California, National Center on Research and Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).

Callanan, M A., Strager, J., & Moore, J. (1995). Parent-child collaborative explanations: Methods of

identification and analysis. The Journal of the learning sciences, 4(1), 105-129. (M&B)

Corrigan, R. (1975). A scalogram analysis of the development of the use and comprehension of “because” in

children. Child Development, 46, 195-201. (M&B)

Donaldson, M. L. (1986). Children’s explanations: A psycholinguistic study. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge

University Press.

Donaldson, M. L. (1996). Contextual influences on children’s spoken and written explanations. Applied

Psycholinguistics, 17, 355–375.

Donaldson, M.L., Reid, J., & Murray, C. (2007) Causal sentence production in children with language

impairments. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, 42(2), 155-186.

Ely, R. (2004). Language and literacy in the school years. In J.B. Gleason (Ed.), The development of language

(pp. 395-443).

Emerson, H.F. (1979). Children’s comprehension of “because” in reversible and non-reversible sentences.

Journal of Child Language, 6, 279-300. (M&B)

Fender, J. (2004). Collaborative Scientific Reasoning: How Parents Support Development and Facilitate

Transfer of a Scientific-Reasoning Strategy. Unpublished dissertation. University of Pittsburg.

French, L. A. (1988). The development of children’s understanding of “because” and “so. Journal of

Experimental Child Psychology, 45, 262–279. (M&B)

French, L. A., & Nelson, K. (1985). Young children’s knowledge of relational terms: Some ifs, ors, and buts.

New York: Springer-Verlag

Hickling, A K., & Wellman, H.M. (2001). The emergence of children’s causal explanations and theories:

Evidence from everyday conversation. Developmental psychology, 37(5), 668-683.

Hood, L., & Bloom, L. (1979). What, when and how about why: A longitudinal study of early expressions of

causality. Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development, 44.(2)

Hood, L., Fiess, K., Aron, J. (1982). Growing up explained: Vygoskians look at the language of causality. In

C. Brainerd & M. Pressley (Eds.), Verbal processes in children. New York: Springer Verlag. (M&B)

Keil, F.C. (2006). Explanation and understanding. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 227-254. Retrieved from


Kroll, B.M. (1981). Effect of mode of communication on the informational adequacy of children’s explanations,

Journal of Genetic Psychology, 138(1), 27-.

McCabe, A., & Peterson, C. (1985). A naturalistic study of the production of causal connectives by children.

Journal of Child Language, 12(1), 145–159.

Morris, A.K. (2000). Development of Logical Reasoning: Children’s Ability to Verbally Explain the Nature of the

Distinction Between Logical and Nonlogical Forms of Argument. Developmental Psychology, 36(6), 741-758.

O’Dowd, E.O. (2010). The development of linguistic complexity: A functional continuum. Language Teaching,


Orsolini, M. (1993). Because in children’s discourse. Applied Linguistics, 14, 89-120.

Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (1984). Understanding “because”: How important is the task? Journal of

Psycholinguistic Research, 14(2), 199-218.

Peterson, S., & French, L. (2008). Supporting young children’s explanations through inquiry science in

preschool. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(3), 395-408.

Pillow, B.H., & Pearson, R.M. (2009). Children’s and Adults’ Evaluation of Their Own Inductive Inferences,

Deductive Inferences, and Guesses, Merril-Palmer Quarterly, 55(2), 135-156.

Schult, C. A., &Wellman, H. M. (1997). Explaining human movements and actions: Children’s understanding

of the limits of psychological explanation. Cognition, 62, 291–324. (M&B)

Sullivan, L. (1972). Development of causal connectives by children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35,

1003-1010. MB

Veneziano, E., & Sinclair, H. (1995). Functional changes in early child language: The appearance of reference

to the past and of explanations. Journal of Child Language, 22, 557–581.