Jim Minstrell

Professional Title
Senior Research scientist
About Me (Bio)
Jim Minstrell, Ph.D., presently a co-owner of FACET Innovations, was a teacher of mathematics and science at the high school level for over thirty years. Overlapping with the teaching career have been ongoing careers as researcher, developer, and evaluator. Using his classroom and those of teacher colleagues, he investigates students’ understanding of the physical world and of the nature and processes of science. Early in this career he worked on the development of Project Physics and later developed the Physics Pedagogy Program to demonstrate the classroom implications of research on learning. For the past twenty years he has been developing tools (See www.Diagnoser.com) to assist teachers in diagnostic formative assessment of students’ facets of thinking and to suggest lessons specifically designed to address learners’ problematic thinking as well as learning goals. Minstrell and colleagues are also developing assessment of teacher’s knowledge and skills in use of formative assessment. He and colleagues have presented and contributed widely, including chapters for NSTA on Assessing for Learning and for the National Academy on How People Learn.
FACET Innovations, LLC.

This project develops an instrument to measure the content knowledge that teachers need to teach about energy in high school classroom instruction that focuses on mechanical energy. The project uses a framework that includes tasks based on instructional practices in the classroom that can identify the extent to which the teacher understands both the disciplinary knowledge and the appropriate teaching processes that support student learning.

SRI International, FACET Innovations, LLC., Sonoma State University (SSU)

This project implemented a facets-of-thinking perspective to design tools and practices to improve high school chemistry teachers' formative assessment practices. Goals are to identify and develop clusters of facets related to key chemistry concepts; develop assessment items; enhance the assessment system for administering items, reporting results, and providing teacher resource materials; develop teacher professional development and resource materials; and examine whether student learning in chemistry improves in classes that incorporate a facet-based assessment system.