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Are MSP Participants Really Collaborating? An Exploratory Study

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the current status of relationships among participants in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) program and how those relationships change. The data were collected from a convenience sample of MSP participants who attended the MSP Learning Network Conference held on January 25, 2010.

Examination of current interaction rates for veteran participants indicates substantial interactions across groups, including STEM to Education, and each of these IHE groups to K--12. The highest interaction rates were reported for innovation and research and preparation of articles and presentations between STEM and education faculty. Whereas discussions regarding pedagogy and professional development were the most frequent when relationships between IHE faculty and K-12 teachers were reported. The data show substantial interactions among participants which is aligned with the MSP mission and values. The fact that interactions are frequently reported to occur both among faculty within the IHE environment and across IHE/K-12 boundaries is very important. Even if the data are influenced by the particular sample that attended the Learning Network Conference, the findings should be celebrated.

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