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ERIC Number: EJ1045750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1084-6522
Case Study of a Successful Educational Partnership: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
DeVol, Dave
NCSSSMST Journal, v19 n1 p26-29 Spr 2014
When the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) was founded in 1985, the state of Illinois charged IMSA with two mandates: (1) "The primary role of the Academy shall be to offer a uniquely challenging education for students talented in the areas of mathematics and science." (2) "The Academy shall also carry a responsibility to stimulate further excellence for all Illinois schools in mathematics and science." The first mandate is fulfilled through IMSA's residential academy for talented high school students, and the second is fulfilled through outreach programs that serve students and educators throughout the state. In keeping with the second legislative mandate, a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and IMSA was formed. At that time, author, Dave DeVol, along with the other Advanced Chemistry (Ad Chem) teachers, were contemplating significant curriculum changes in Ad Chem. Those changes were proposed to make the Ad Chem curriculum more laboratory- and inquiry-based, and less like an AP Chemistry preparation course. A laboratory and inquiry based curriculum fits well within IMSA's philosophy and aligns with IMSA's Standards of Significant Learning (SSLs), ( learning/standards/ssls.php). The IMSA SSLs are a set of standards that value constructivism and students "learning how to learn." They are not content-based but process based. While valuing the SSLs is important at IMSA, there is no denying that students and parents value AP scores. Thus, when DeVol spoke with IMSA's principal in the summer of 2008 about modifying the Ad Chem curriculum, he gave his support with the caveat that they fully explain the changes and the rationale to both parents and students (which was subsequently done at IMSA's "Parent Day"). Over the past three years, the Ad Chem teachers have collected and analyzed data on student views of the revised version of the Ad Chem course. Students were asked eight questions about the course and responded on a 5 point Likert scale (see Figure 1). Results overall have been very positive for learning attributes that are valued and that align with IMSA's Standards of Significant Learning, namely thinking and analyzing, making connections, constructivism, and classroom environment.
National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois