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Annual Report Overviews


Missouri-Iowa Science Co-op Annual Report Overview

published: 11/16/2000
posted to site: 11/16/2000


James A Shymansky ; U of Missouri Saint Louis
Science Co-operatives

Activities and findings:

Research and Education Activities:

1. help school districts transform their K-6 science program into an

inquiry program that is consistent with NSES, state standards, and research on how children think and learn;

2. help school district teams learn how to select, adapt, and

implement instructional units from existing innovative science programs;

3. improve the science content knowledge and instructional practices

of all K-6 teachers in the participating school districts on the science

units selected;

4. collect evidence of the impact of the district's reform effort to

share with school boards, parents, and community groups; to create a network of teachers, students, and parents within and across Co-op school districts to capitalize on a larger, shared expertise.

5. create an infrastructure of teaching staff and resource material

support to ensure long-term, cost-effective systemic reform.


We have begun to help participating school districts formalize their

science curriculum frameworks and to begin selecting science units

(FOSS, Insights and STS kits) that are consistent with their

frameworks. We have also created leadership teams at each school

district that consist of one teacher from each K-6 building to serve

as a 'science advocate' for their building and one or more grade 7-12

science teachers in each district to serve as 'science partners' for

the district. Finally, we have established and begun to utilize the

interactive television network that links all school districts

together for the school year inservice and support.

Training and Development:

The first summer leadership workshop provided 'science advocate' and

'science partner' teams from each of the 37 participating districts

experience in the 'unit adaptation' process which will serve as the

organizing theme of subsequent summer workshops for teachers at the

local (co-op) sites. The adaptation process is built on a modified

learning cycle as the preferred mode of inquiry teaching. The process

also focuses on strategies for integrating reading and writing to

learn strategies in hands-on science instruction.

Outreach Activities:

Approximately 10 of the participating school districts ran newspaper

stories describing the district's focus on reforming their science

programs. Strategies for wider dissemination of information about

project activities are on the agenda for monthly co-op meetings yet

this first project year.