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Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher’s Attitudes and Choices Concerning Interpretive School Programs at San Antonio Missions National Historical.

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Presentation on theme: "Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher’s Attitudes and Choices Concerning Interpretive School Programs at San Antonio Missions National Historical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher’s Attitudes and Choices Concerning Interpretive School Programs at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Catherine C. McCarthy, Candidate Master of Science in Resource Interpretation Stephen F. Austin State University Dr. Michael H.Legg Dr. Ray Darville

2 Stephen F. Austin State University Description of the Study Area 4 Spanish Colonial Missions established on the banks of the San Antonio River in the 1700s Managed by the National Park Service Goal to preserve and protect for future generations

3 First Spanish colonial mission, “The Alamo,” in the heart of downtown San Antonio Others south of the city, 2-3 miles distance between each Ministered to natives for 70+ years Remain active Catholic parishes Education programs link students to their historical past

4 Stephen F. Austin State University Objectives To evaluate existing interpretive education programs To determine teachers’ preferences for field trip learning experiences To discover if existing park programs meet teacher needs and state mandated requirements To determine the barriers to field trip participation

5 Stephen F. Austin State University Students: A Unique Audience Children demand a different approach to interpretation Interpretive Development Program of NPS offers guidelines for program development Student groups require curriculum-based interpretive programs

6 Stephen F. Austin State University Field Trip Benefits Studies indicate positive field trip experiences are linked to adult environmental behavior Field trips have influenced career choices Field trip experiences reinforce classroom material and increase retention of the material

7 Stephen F. Austin State University Mission Education Programs Decline in student visitation beginning in

8 Stephen F. Austin State University Methods Survey mailed to 343 middle school teachers, 11/8/04 Follow-up the next day version of survey sent 2 weeks after initial mailing Second regular mailing sent 11/7/ useable returns 48% of original sample

9 Stephen F. Austin State University Survey Instrument Teacher demographics Past field trip experience Barriers to participation Activity choices Program preferences

10 Stephen F. Austin State University Teachers Who Visited Missions Profile & Interests White 17 years experience District allows 2 trips Remain all day Attend teacher workshop Ranger-led program No bilingual program

11 Stephen F. Austin State University Teacher Demographics 51% Male, 49% Female 73% White, 20% Hispanic, 7% other 34%, 15 or more years experience 29%, 5 years or less experience 98% of sample middle school teachers N=163

12 Stephen F. Austin State University Schools in the Sample N=163

13 Stephen F. Austin State University Best One-Day Field Trip N=119 Visited SAMNHP=71

14 Stephen F. Austin State University Best Part of Field Trip N=151

15 Stephen F. Austin State University Public School Teachers’ Barriers to Field Trip Participation No funding for transportation Mandated lessons don’t allow time away from classroom Field trips need to be interdisciplinary

16 Stephen F. Austin State University Private School Teachers’ Barriers to Field Trip Participation Didn’t know about the programs Insufficient time for a ranger program Students have been to the missions before

17 Stephen F. Austin State University District Spending Per Student State Average Per Student $7,708 <$7,708—34% have visited SAMNHP >$7,708—59% have visited SAMNHP Median field trips allowed, have visited SAMNHP—2 Median field trips allowed, have not visited SAMNHP-1 N=95 N=34

18 Stephen F. Austin State University District Spending Per Student 3 of 20 SA school districts spend >$7, of 14 OT school districts spend >$7708 Mean spending SA- $7,482 Mean spending OT- $8209

19 Stephen F. Austin State University Knowledge of Programs/Fees and Visitation N=71

20 Stephen F. Austin State University Knowledge of Programs and Ethnicity 71% White teachers—yes 48% Non-White teachers—yes N=163

21 Stephen F. Austin State University Experience and Visitation 57% > 5 years experience have visited SAMNHP 14% < 5 years experience have visited SAMNHP Mode—20 years Mean—17 years N=71

22 Stephen F. Austin State University Best Part of Program N=58

23 Stephen F. Austin State University Program Preference 79% prefer ranger- led program 30% of teachers who visited SAMNHP participated in a ranger-led program Median number of trips—2 N=263 N=159

24 Stephen F. Austin State University Most Desirable Learning Activity Site visit with ranger-led program Ranger visit in the classroom Traveling trunk for the classroom Interactive CD for the classroom

25 Stephen F. Austin State University Preferred Education Programs A kid’s life during mission times Living off the land and other survival skills Cowboy ranching life Spanish and Indian cultural symbols

26 Stephen F. Austin State University Preferred On-Site Activities Blacksmith Demonstration History scavenger hunt brick making corn grinding and tortilla making

27 Stephen F. Austin State University Summary Current programs are successful Site visit is preferred method of teaching mission history Funding is major barrier to site visit Teachers don’t know about the programs

28 Stephen F. Austin State University Recommendations Facilitate bringing students to the Missions Maintain a current teacher database Become more pro- active in information dissemination Explore alternative modes of presentation

29 Stephen F. Austin State University Recommendations Evaluate less popular programs/replace with new programs Provide a full-time blacksmith Provide hands-on, interactive programs Mirror museum exhibits and demonstrations


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