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Engaging Higher Education Faculty in K-16 Learning Communities to Improve Teaching and Learning in Science and Mathematics in the K-12 Schools


"The Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) is a comprehensive MSP project with state and regional partners. The state partners include the University System of Georgia, the public higher education state agency, and the Georgia Department of Education, the K-12 state agency. Four regional P-16 partnerships include at least one institution of higher education (IHE) and one K-12 system. The IHEs include major research universities, regional universities, state universities and two-year college partners. The K-12 systems range from large urban to small rural districts.

A major goal of PRISM is to increase the quality of science and mathematics teaching in Georgia. One strategy is to implement school, district and cross-district level Learning Communities (LCs). These PRISM LCs may focus on mathematics, science or both, but the goal is to have at least one IHE science or mathematics faculty member working with each PRISM LC.

This paper reports findings from the quantitative evaluation of PRISM. The PRISM evaluation questions and data sources are provided as an Appendix. This paper addresses the following

  • Does participation in a LC increase K-12 teachers’ use of inquiry- and standards-based
    teaching practices in science and/or mathematics (SM) classes?

  • Does having IHE faculty members engaged in LCs increase K-12 teachers' use of
    inquiry- and standards-based teaching practices in SM classes?"