What it Takes: Design principles to broaden participation in SET

wing programs were given the highest BEST assessment rating of probable: Direct Instruction in Mathematics, an instructional approach developed in the late 1960s at the University of Illinois, and Project SEED (Special Elementary Education for the Disadvantaged) a supplementary mathematics program also launched in the 1960s in Berkeley, California. (For a complete list of rated programs, see page five.)

The BEST Panel also identified a framework of design principles BEST that overlapped among effective programs: Defined outcomes drive the intervention and are successfully accomplished for the entire target population. Students and educational staff agree on goals and desired outcomes. Success is measured against intended results. Outcome data provide both quantitative and qualitative information. Disaggregated outcomes provide a basis for research and continuous improvement.

Sustained commitment enables effective interventions to take hold, produce results and adapt to changing circumstances. Its components are proactive leadership, sufficient resources and steadfastness in the face of setbacks. The minimum conditions for assuring sustained commitment are continuity of funding and of support at the individual school and school district levels.

Personalization acknowledges that the goal of intervention is the development of students as individuals. Student-centered teaching and learning methods are core approaches. Mentoring, tutoring and peer interaction are integral parts of the learning environment. Individual differences, uniqueness and diversity are recognized and honored.

Challenging content provides the foundation of knowledge and skills that students master. Curriculum is clearly defined and understood. Content is related to real-world applications, goes beyond minimum competencies, and reflects local, state and national standards. Students understand the link between the rigor of

Contact: Brenda Sullivan
Building Engineering and Science Talent

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