ERIC Number: ED468909
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Setting the Foundation for Reform: The Work of the Rural Systemic Initiatives. An Executive Summary of Conference Proceedings.
Heenan, Barbara; St. John, Mark; Broun, Samantha; Howard, Michael; Becerra, Ana
A conference brought together the leaders of the 11 projects funded by the National Science Foundation's Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI) to reflect upon their efforts to improve mathematics and science education in poor rural communities. A variety of themes emerged. The RSI projects serve small, rural communities suffering from decades of oppression, exploitation, and chronic poverty. Rural communities are ambivalent toward education and wary of "outside" efforts to improve education. RSIs have made progress in setting foundations for reform by helping local communities understand the need for improved educational opportunities, particularly in mathematics and science; developing local leaders committed to reforming mathematics and science education; helping these local leaders work with each other and with state and regional resources; and implementing new curricula, professional development offerings, and evaluation processes that improve the quality of mathematics and science programs. Because of the nature and depth of the challenges facing chronically poor, rural communities, the work done by the RSIs may appear slow, but an essential prerequisite to further mathematics and science reform is community development work. Assessment of RSIs should therefore focus not on student achievement, but on the degree to which the capacity of the community to initiate and sustain ongoing reform is enhanced. Appendices present information about the conference, case studies of four matureRSI projects, and a history of the RSI initiatives. (TD)
Descriptors: Community Characteristics, Community Cooperation, Disadvantaged Environment, Educational Attitudes, Educational Change, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Geographic Isolation, Leadership Training, Mathematics Education, Poverty Areas, Rural Development, Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Science Education
Inverness Research Associates, P.O. Box 313, Inverness, CA 94937 ($10.00). For full text: http://www.inverness-research.org/reports/ab_rsi_compl.html.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Inverness Research Associates, CA.