Document Type



This study explored the cumulative effect of three years of exposure to teaching strategies being promoted in a local school district's systemic reform on elementary students' attitudes towards school science, awareness of science careers, and science achievement. The reform effort, referred to as the "Science: Parents, Activities, and Literature" (Science PALs) program focused on incorporating children's literature and parent partners using an interactive-constructivist epistemology as its base. Individual teachers were rated by the school district's science coordinator on their use of specific Science PALs strategies. Student attitudes and awareness were assessed with a paper and pencil survey developed for this research. Student achievement was assessed with multiple choice and constructed response items taken from the released item pool of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Student attitude, awareness, and achievement data were analyzed in terms of the cumulative ratings of teachers across the last three years of the reform effort. Results indicate that students receiving three years of instruction from teachers with different ratings on their use of Science PALs strategies did not show significantly different attitude, awareness, or achievement. These results are discussed in terms of school district characteristics, research design factors, and challenges of systemic reform goals.

Publication Date

April 2000