Document Type



This study reports on the effects of a major reform initiative which was implemented in the Iowa City Community Schools District. The Science: Parents, Activities, and Literature (Science PALs) Project was launched in 1994 to reform the district's elementary science program. It was designed to increase teacher effectiveness by providing a comprehensive professional development program for improving science content knowledge and science content-pedagogical knowledge, to enrich the cross-curricular connections of the science units, and to promote meaningful parental involvement in science learning. Another goal of Science PALs was to move teachers towards an interactive-constructive model of teaching and learning that reflected a "middle-of-the-road" interpretation of constructivism. Data indicated that teachers involved in Science PALs used many constructivist and cross-curricular strategies that were detected by the science supervisor and perceived by the students. Parents also positively responded to their new roles as partners in learning. The program did not seem to consistently develop positive attitudes in students about science learning or improve student achievement in science.

Publication Date

March 1999