9254431 Soileau The East Baton Rouge School Parish has planned a five-year district-wide teacher enhancement effort for physical science in grades K-3. This project builds on a state-funded pilot project in five elementary schools. Two teachers in each of the district's 63 elementary schools will receive training in the use of hands on kits, background science content, inquiry teaching methods, performance assessment of students, and integration of science with other subjects. Design of the workshops and instruction of the teachers will be the responsibility of Gayle Kirwan (American Institute of Pysics). Teachers will attend several three-week graduate workshops at LSU, during which they will learn content and instructional methods tied to hands-on kits. These teachers will provide inservice training to the other teachers in their schools. Principals will receive two days of training when their school enters the program. Student enrollment in the Parish is nearly 60% African-American, Hispanic, or other underrepresented groups. The Parish has been undergoing the transition to site-based decision making, and standardized testing is being replaced by portfolio or other performance-based assessment tools in many schools. The Parish has sent a team to the NSTA/Monsanto Institute and to the NSRC Leadership Institute. Partnerships have been formed with Panasonic, Monsanto, and Dow Chemical. This reform effort has the potential to create exemplary science instruction for tens of thousands of minority school children, and to provide a model for systemic reform in rural districts. Cost sharing on this project represents 79% of the NSF contribution.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
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Joyce B. Evans
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East Baton Rouge Parish School Board
Baton Rouge
United States
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