Saturday, November 8, 2014: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Cimarron (Convention Center)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: B. Danielle Williams, University of Southern California
Panel Chairs: Jacob Leos-Urbel, Stanford University
Discussants: Alison Jacknowitz, American University and Constance Lindsay, American University
In the post-Great Recession era, partnerships between schools, museums, and other informal educational institutions may provide creative solutions to the continued resource limitations many school districts face. These collaborations offer important opportunities to supplement schools’ curricula using existing infrastructure. However, the current emphasis on standardized test scores has also increased school administrators’ reluctance to forfeit classroom learning time to outside programs. The fact that very few of these programs have been evaluated rigorously has compounded these concerns.
The proposed panel will explore the possibilities of formal-informal educational partnerships through its discussion of the impacts of three diverse and rigorously evaluated programs. The three programs vary among one another in terms of their subject matter emphasis, student populations, geography, duration, and a number of other program elements. Continuous Improvement? The Impact of a Formal-Informal Partnership on Science Achievement in NYC
uses a difference-in-differences framework to estimate the impact of attending a science program that results from a collaboration of the New York City Department of Education and eight informal science education institutions across the city in eighth grade on eighth-grade science test scores. Measuring Critical Thinking: Results from an Art Museum Field Trip Experiment
uses a randomized control experiment with original data collected from over 8,000 students in Arkansas to evaluate the casual connection between an educational arts experience and critical thinking skills. Finally, Evaluating the Academic and Behavioral Impact of “School in the Park”
evaluates the impact of participation in a museum-based educational program designed for low-income students in San Diego. The study examines both short-term and long-term academic and behavioral outcomes using longitudinal, student-level data since 1996 to employ a difference in difference analysis. This programmatic diversity coupled with the rigorous experimental and econometric methodologies employed and the assortment of outcomes studied by the evaluations will hopefully allow the panelists to engage with the audience in a meaningful dialogue exploring the potential of these partnerships to assist with the new challenges that schools confront.