Defining Target Population of Teachers (Scholars)

The target population of participating teachers (and by extension, their students) must be decided at the very beginning of the program planning. Among the questions to be considered are whether to have multiple or single school districts, what grade levels to include, whether to have teachers apply as individuals or as teams, what additional criteria should be used, and what incentives/rewards can be offered.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Districts

There are two advantages of including teachers from a number of districts:

The major disadvantage is that it is more difficult to provide the formal and informal support for Scholars and their administrators - and therefore more difficult to support systemic change.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Single District

The advantages of working with a single district, beyond those suggested above are:

The disadvantages of a single-district program are:

Deciding Which Grade Levels to Include

The original NSF/5C5E Project focused on teachers in grades 4-9 from the schools in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts. However, because of school needs and the changing job assignments of our participants, teachers from grades K-12 from schools with almost every configuration of grade levels (including K-8, 4-5, and 9 only) participated in the program.

Teams vs. Individual Participants

Many reports on systemic change recommend that teachers attend as members of teams. We decided to include both individual science teachers and teams led by a science teacher. We make the following recommendations.

We have included a detailed description of our recruiting procedures, which you can use to develop procedures for your site.