Collaborations between Scientists, Mathematicians, Engineers and Educators to Improve Mathematics and Science Education in Kansas

KCAD Projects

KCETP is a collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation-Division of Undergraduate Education to improve mathematics and science teacher preparation involving KU, KSU, four two-year colleges and ten school districts in Northeastern Kansas. The Kansas Academy for Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation has been created and funded through KCETP. The specific aims of the KCETP project are to

1) support collaboration between KU and KSU, Two-Year Colleges, and School Districts in a Mathematics and Science Education Academy that will deliver a well-articulated teacher preparation program,

2) implement strategies for recruiting and retaining minorities and disadvantaged students,

3) establish Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) content courses that model inquiry pedagogy and integrate science content with the knowledge and abilities associated with the teaching of science,

4) use revised methods courses to help mathematics and science education majors develop, modify and implement inquiry curricula, and

5) mentor K-12 teachers during the initial years of their professional career. 

This project to develop problem-based inquiry learning laboratories, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the University of Kansas Provost's Office, plans to have science majors in introductory chemistry laboratories transfer an understanding of the attitudes and methods of scientific inquiry to knowledge and experiences in their disciplines of study.

Mission Statement for the Project in l998-2000

The Kansas Academy GK-12 Project is an effort to increase interactions between public school science teachers and university scientists by placing science graduate students into roles as content experts, technology mentors and project coordinators for teachers in middle and secondary science classrooms.

The GK-12 concept was initially proposed by Dr. Rita Colwell, current Director of the National Science Foundation. The Kansas Academy will incorporate a GK-12 program into its programs for recruitment and retention of students into the mathematics/science teacher pipeline and for the mentoring of early career teachers.

Participants in the Kansas Academy have submitted a proposal for a full GK-12 project to NSF. Based on positive reviewer's comments, the proposal is under consideration for funding at NSF.

The Kansas Collaborative Research Network is a curriculum project that attempts to fulfill the vision of national efforts to reform science and technology education.

The National Science Education Standards (NRC), the Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS) and Kansas Science Education Standards, all call for "Science for All Americans" and "doing science". Although simple in concept, these two phrases constitute a significant change in the way science is taught. More specifically, the Standards documents call for placing an emphasis on the classroom environment by choosing worthwhile scientific tasks, facilitating classroom discourse, and recognizing a need to increase knowledge and beliefs about science.

Research indicates that; using "hands-on, minds-on" activities, investigating a few questions in depth, connecting school science with the everyday world of the student, and allowing students to share and test ideas with their peers are indicators of effective science teaching. The Kansas Collaborative Research Network, KanCRN, is creating a research environment in which teachers have the necessary tools, and students can help construct this type of learning environment. Using a collaborative research community that includes researchers, community mentors, teachers, and students. KanCRN uses technology to facilitate the implementation of these standards-based teaching principles. The Internet and various technologies create a learning community that transcends geographic barriers and allows collaboration throughout the nation on meaningful research. 

        The purpose of this five-year collaborative project is to develop, implement, assess, revise, institutionalize, and disseminate a performance-based teacher preparation program based on national standards to provide future teachers with the content knowledge and teaching skills necessary to effectively teach ALL K-12 students. Five key components underlie our teacher preparation program: (a) rigorous and coherent performance-based standards collaboratively developed by content specialists, education specialists, and school practitioners; (b) a strong foundation in challenging academic content (mathematics, language arts, science, social sciences, technology, health, physical education) based on national standards; (c) effective methods of teaching academic content based on national and state standards, current research, and best practice; (d) extensive clinical field experiences teaching diverse learners in a variety of Professional Development Schools under the guidance of mentor teachers; and (e) continuous support and assistance for graduates during their initial years of teaching. 

Our ultimate vision is to create a community of learners dedicated to continuous learning and K-16 systemic reform through a professional development school model. 

Project goals to implement this vision are:

1. Expand existing parnterships to enhance collaboration, coordination and alignment in teacher education to support K-16 systemic reform. 

2.Collaboratively reform the Kansas State University Teacher Preparation Program. (a) Revise introductory content courses to be offered within the College of Arts and Sciences. Coordinate content courses with methods courses and clinical field experiences. (b) Revise and expand clinical experiences to be conducted in Professional Development Schools.

3. Provide opportunities for enhanced and ongoing professional development for KSU faculty to provide support for course revision and teacher preparation reform efforts. 

4. Provide opportunities for enhanced and ongoing professional development for new and experienced teachers and administrators to support school reform efforts in Professional Development Schools. 

5. Disseminate effective teacher education and systemic reform practices.

        This two-year project is funded by NSF as a Track 2 Adaptation and Implementation (CCLI-A&I) award. The objective is to outfit three of the introductory chemistry laboratories at the University of Kansas with workstations containing Ocean Optics CCD spectrometers. These units will be employed in a series of new fully network-integrated inquiry laboratories through which students will determine and experience 1) the nature of interactions between matter and light, 2) the relationship between concentration and absorbance, 3) the concept of equilibrium and speciation, and 4) the nature of reaction rate and its relationship to reactant concentration. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has agreed to match the spectroscopic instrumentation requested in this proposal with $107,000 of workstations, servers and networking hardware. This matching instrumentation will serve as platforms for data collection and manipulation by the Ocean Optics spectrometers.

Technology in the Chemical Laboratory (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences & Provost's Office)




For additional information, contact

Phone: 785-864-4106   Fax:  785-864-5396