Communication Center  Conference  Projects Share  Reports from the Field Resources  Library  LSC Project Websites  NSF Program Notes
 How to Use this site    Contact us  LSC-Net: Local Systemic Change Network
Newsclippings and Press Releases

LSC Reference Materials

LSC Case Study Reports

Annual Report Overviews

Summer Workshop Plans

Newsclippings and Press Releases


VIPS program gets high marks from group of visiting educators.

published: September 15, 2000
posted to site: 03/23/2001

VIPS program gets high marks from group of visiting educators.

by Kelly Rausch

From the Imperial Valley Press, September 15, 2000

"Larry where are your pants?" a kindergarten teacher at Hedrick Elementary School in El Centro asked one of her students.

"We can't have any naked boys in this classroom," she told him.

Though Larry wore blue shorts, the picture he drew of himself depicts a pants-less figure.

That lesson, in which students compare drawings they made of themselves, taught the students how they are similar to and different from others. That is the foundation for the hands-on method of science education that students in the Imperial Valley use throughout elementary school.

"It's amazing," said Luis Manuel an education administrator and former teacher from Veracruz, Mexico, as he watched the students.

""they're learning so much all at the same time: the difference between humans and animals, the face and the body. This may be very helpful to us," Manuel said.

Manuel was part of a group of educators from Mexico and Tennessee who gathered in Ed Centro earlier this week. They came as guests of the local group Valle Imperial Project in Science to observe and share ideas about hands-on science education.

Participants attended lectures and discussions, and shared data and observed classrooms at Hedrick and Calexico's Rockwood Elementary.

The importance of the seminar was the open dialogue between representatives from the Mexico, Tennessee and Imperial Valley programs to learn from each other.

Just as the Kindergartners compared pictures of themselves, educators compared methods of implementing hands-on education.

Representatives from Tennessee came, in part, to examine test results from Imperial County students, hoping to find evidence supporting hands-on education.

"One test can't be used as judgment," said Barbara Nye, and education researcher from Nashville.

"We're looking at long-term results in science, math and literature," Nye said.

Nye and representatives from Imperial County and Mexico shared their experiences in avariety of educational areas, everything from bilingual education to class-size reduction were discussed.

"our primary purpose is to educate our children in the most effective way," said Michael Klentschy, VIPS "principal investigator" and the El Centro Elementary School District superintendent.

Manuel agreed.

"The effort to give better quality teaching to kids, that's a challenge," he said.

"We must learn from every country, every project. I want to observe and see what can be implemented back in Veracruz," Manuel said.