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How do we demonstrate to Board members and Administrators the...

Issue Addressed:

How do we demonstrate to Board members and Administrators the effectiveness of our project (in which they are partners) when their bottom line question is, "What difference does it (project) make in the performance outcomes of our students?"


We wanted to find a way to impress upon the Board of Education members and the district administrators in one of our partner districts, the extent to which teacher participation in the Great Ideas in Science project has positively impacted the students. The district is in a high-need urban area and has been looked at previously as a possible state take-over sight. Knowing the board's main interest would be with the children, we selected a class lead by one of our Summer Institute participant teachers and working with her, trained a group of ten students to teach a science lesson to the board members using inquiry-based, hands-on, approaches. The students were a major hit. While they worked with the board, we narrated what was going on for the benefit of the audience of over 200 parents, teachers, and city residents. It was done at a regular Board of Education meeting with introduction by the Superintendant. The session was so well received, we were invited to repeat it for a district-wide principals' meeting. The students gained tremendous sense of self confidence and pride, the teachers glowed, the Board members all stated they'd learned something they didn't know in addition to learning about the project. The fact that children (4th grade) led the seeion seemed to set a very cooperative tone. They accomplished for us what we'd wanted to have done. Try it; it's great experience for everyone involved!

Unresolved Issues:

reinforcement; keeping the project in front of that group.


Jane McMillan-Brown, 1/17/1998


Professional Development



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