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ERIC Number: ED422098
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Head Start on Science Preliminary Findings.
Ritz, William C.; Von Blum, Ruth
For many Head Start teachers and staff, the word "science" conjures up uncomfortable feelings and memories. The purpose of this project--a collaborative effort of California State University, Long Beach and the Head Start Program of Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD)--was to prepare Head Start staff to become more capable, comfortable, confident, and enthusiastic about their own and their Head Start families'"sense of wonder" about the world through hands-on science experiences. The training program components included a curriculum of over 100 science activities, summer institutes for Head Start teachers, follow-up "friendly visits" by project staff to provide ongoing support, and periodic follow-up meetings for field trips and sharing of experiences. The program was tested and refined with additional Head Start agencies in Los Angeles County and in Syracuse, New York. Evaluation activities included baseline study of reactions to science tasks, assessment of training and classroom activities, teacher feedback, and documentation of classroom visits. Findings showed a marked improvement in the quality and quantity of science experiences children received. In LBUSD, where only 63 percent of teachers reported being "comfortable" to "very comfortable" with science before the program, 95 percent were so at mid-year. The percentage of teachers who reported doing science every day increased from 35 to 63 percent after training. Classroom observations confirmed the enhanced role of science in the classrooms, and increased use of facilitated learning strategies. By encouraging a "sense of wonder" among children, teachers seemed to lose their own fears of science. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A