2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM


HALL-WALLACE, Michelle and REGENS, Nancy, Geosciences, Univ of Arizona, 1040 E 4th Street, Tucson, AZ 85721-0077, hall@geo.arizona.edu

The Collaborative to Advance Teaching Technology and Science (CATTS) is a partnership between the University of Arizona and local school districts with a goal of improving science, mathematics and technology education in grades K-16. To accomplish this goal, CATTS provides opportunities for talented undergraduate and graduate students (the Fellows) to gain experience with inquiry-based teaching and in communicating scientific concepts to K-12 students. The Fellows work in partnerships with K-12 educators who share their knowledge of teaching with the Fellows; in return, the educators gain a deeper understanding of scientific inquiry and content. CATTS is funded through NSF’s GK-12 program.

We implemented a suite of evaluation activities to measure progress towards our program goals. The key question we focused on was whether the design, implementation, and management of the program promoted partnerships that resulted in positive changes in K-12 teaching and prepared a future generation of college professors to make similar changes at the college level. We used a mix of evaluation methods including journal analysis, surveys of knowledge and attitudes among the Fellows, and exit interviews and surveys of the Fellows and their teacher partners. We use the results of surveys and journal writings to make continuous improvements to our preparation workshop and communication with school partners. These same instruments provide documentation that the program is having the desired impact on the attitudes and teaching practices of university and K-12 teachers. Our knowledge surveys combined with classroom observations and teacher exit surveys show that the preparation workshop is effective in providing the Fellows with key skills and knowledge they need to initiate a successful partnership. Exit interviews with the Fellows and teachers indicate that the partnerships we have created will have a lasting impact on K-12 teaching. These same sources suggest that our Fellows have a much deeper appreciation for their role in K-12 partnerships and are prepared to seek new partnerships during their career. Finally, classroom observations, journal writings and teacher surveys shows that our Fellows are skilled at using inquiry in the classroom and are well on their way to being successful educators.