Teacher Corps Assessment

At the end of a week long mathematics and science workshop the 21 participants were asked to respond to the following questions. A report on the workshop exists as two blog articles, Teacher Corps and Teacher Corps II. Responses were obtained from 17 participants.

1. What was the most useful activity for you as a teacher?
2. What was the least useful activity for you as a teacher?
3. What was the most interesting activity?
4. What was the least interesting activity?
5. What was the most surprising experience during this past week?
6. What was the most fun?
7. What would you change if such a workshop was run in the future for teacher corps?

The table below is an excerpt for a larger table of responses. Responses were tallied and common responses were combined. The table includes only those responses which appeared three or more times. Note that respondents were permitted to cite more than one activity per question if they chose to do so.

Response Most useful Least useful Most interesting Least interesting Surprising Fun Sum
Plant names 4 3 2 7 3 19
Field trip 2 3 2 7 14
Floral litmus 1 5 1 2 9
None 7 2 9
All 6 6
Constructions 1 1 2 1 5
El Niño 1 1 2 1 5
Local materials 3 1 4
Speed of sound 1 3 4
Fibonacci ratio 1 1 1 3
Marble math 1 1 1 3

The “plant names” response refers to a number of walks on which plants were identified by the instructor in the local language of the participant. The participants did not all know their own plant names and many found this interesting and surprising.

A field trip to the Pwunso botanic garden to view spice plants, timber trees, and learn about the benefits of local foods from the Island Food Community garnered the most votes for being fun.

A laboratory that used boiled flowers to generate floral litmus solutions the most interesting activity for the participants, followed by a laboratory that determined the speed of sound using sticks from the forest, orally counted seconds, and echoes.

Six of the seventeen respondents felt that all of the activities engaged in were useful to them as teachers and as future teachers. Seven felt that none of the activities could be classified as least useful to them.

Constructing circles, triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons with a string and straight edge generated the strongest even split of all activities.

Although not shown in the excerpt above because the number of responses was only two, a side unit on a sound wave done in the computer laboratory, a unit on logic (categorical propositions, the square of opposition, and categorical syllogisms), and a batteries and bulbs activity were the only activities to receive more than one negative response.

The participants were also asked what they would change if the workshop were to ever be run again. The following responses are in descending order of popularity.

Move the start time back one hour from 8:00 to 9:00 (4 respondents)
Ensure lunch is arranged (4 respondents)
Run the workshop at dates that do not fall so close to a major holiday (3)
Cover how to prepare a science worksheet for lower grades (1)
Have more field trips (1)
Shorten the workshop day to four hours (1)
Extend the workshop to three weeks (1)
Spend more time outside (1)

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