ERIC Number: ED518421
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Lessons from a Decade of Mathematics and Science Reform: A Capstone Report for the Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement Initiative
Banilower, Eric R.; Boyd, Sally E.; Pasley, Joan D.; Weiss, Iris R.
Horizon Research, Inc. (NJ1)
In 1995, the National Science Foundation (NSF) initiated the Local Systemic Change through Teacher Enhancement program. The initiative's primary goal is to improve instruction in science, mathematics, and technology through teacher professional development within whole schools or school districts. NSF funded the first cohort of Local Systemic Change (LSC) projects in 1995, and an additional cohort of projects each year, for a total of 88 projects funded by 2002. NSF's Local Systemic Change program is in its final stages, with 18 of the 88 funded projects still active. Over the last decade, the initiative has left its mark on teachers, classrooms, schools, and districts. The purpose of this Capstone report is to look at the impact of the LSC from both a cross-site and longitudinal perspective. In particular, key findings from the analysis of core evaluation data provide some insights into topics relevant for other large-scale reform efforts--for example, the selection and preparation of professional development providers; designing effective interventions; reaching targeted audiences; and strategies for building stakeholder, policy, and "system" support for reforms. The authors believe that these findings will be of use to those who are designing and/or leading similar kinds of reforms that seek to influence classrooms and systems alike. First, this paper takes a look at the design and format of LSC professional development activities; the use of professional development providers; attention to content, pedagogy, and materials; and support for teachers. It then describes some of the LSC strategies used to garner stakeholder and policy support for institutionalizing the reforms initiated with NSF funds. Part 3 looks at the extent to which LSCs reached eligible teachers, and some of the factors that influenced both the quality and reach of LSC professional development. Part 4 takes a look at how LSC professional development has influenced the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. Part 5 looks at the extent of support LSCs built for reform, and the likelihood that interventions initiated by the LSCs will be sustained over time. Part 6 looks at some of the LSC's key successes and challenges, and the implications of the LSC experience for others engaged in the reform of mathematics and science education. (Contains 15 figures, 26 tables and 15 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Faculty Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Science Instruction, Educational Change, Audiences, School Districts, Systems Approach, Program Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Teaching Methods, Methods, Reliability, Educational Strategies, Teacher Attitudes, Resistance to Change, Attitude Change, Teacher Expectations of Students, Context Effect, Teacher Effectiveness
Horizon Research, Inc. 326 Cloister Court, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Tel: 919-489-1725; Fax: 919-493-7589; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.horizon-research.com
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Horizon Research, Inc.