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Discussion: Exploring a Case Study

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posted by: Brian Drayton on May 17, 2000 at 7:41PM
subject: Introduction and first response
I am Brian Drayton, coPI on LSCNet, but also coPI with Joni Falk on a
project researching some aspects of middle-school science teaching practice
in systemic context-- and part of the systemic context is standards-based
reform, in MA as elsewhere. The Case we're looking at is therefore close
to my heart. I make bold therefore to send in a post as the discussion gets
I have to say that I am critical of the implementation design here, and
that Jack Mann and Alison have seriously overlooked a design issue. That
is, that the program is based on introducing a new set of curriculum
materials before there is any work with the teachers on the content.
Perhaps the proposal had to be written that way, but it seems to me that the
only way the system can win now is to stick with the innovation, while
getting a better trainer than Igor, for long enough that the teachers have
the chance to understand how the new materials add value, and can be a
vehicle for learning the math skills. Sally is between a rock and a hard
place, although she could use some help in learning how to test curriculum
before bringing it into the classroom. I guess I had my "teacher PD hat" on
in reading it at first...
I am really looking forward to hearing what aspects of this case seem
especially important to you other participants.
-- Brian

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