Teacher’s Attitudes and Choices Concerning Interpretive School Programs at San Antonio Missions Na...
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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.

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Catherine C. McCarthy, Candidate Master of Science in Resource Interpretation

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Catherine c mccarthy candidate master of science in resource interpretation

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


Description of the study area

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


Catherine c mccarthy candidate master of science in resource interpretation

  • 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


Objectives

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


Students a unique audience

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


Field trip benefits

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


Mission education programs

Mission Education Programs

Decline in student visitation beginning in 2003-2004


Methods

Methods

  • Survey mailed to 343 middle school teachers, 11/8/04

  • Follow-up email the next day

  • Email version of survey sent 2 weeks after initial mailing

  • Second regular mailing sent 11/7/04

  • 163 useable returns

  • 48% of original sample


Survey instrument

Survey Instrument

  • Teacher demographics

  • Past field trip experience

  • Barriers to participation

  • Activity choices

  • Program preferences


Teachers who visited missions

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


Teacher demographics

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


Schools in the sample

Schools in the Sample

  • N=163


Best one day field trip

Best One-Day Field Trip

  • N=119

  • Visited SAMNHP=71


Best part of field trip

Best Part of Field Trip

N=151


Public school teachers barriers to field trip participation

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


Private school teachers barriers to field trip participation

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


District spending per student state average per student 7 708

District Spending Per StudentState 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


District spending per student

District Spending Per Student

  • 3 of 20 SA school districts spend >$7,708

  • 10 of 14 OT school districts spend >$7708

  • Mean spending SA-$7,482

  • Mean spending OT-$8209


Knowledge of programs fees and visitation

Knowledge of Programs/Feesand Visitation

N=71


Knowledge of programs and ethnicity

Knowledge of Programs and Ethnicity

  • 71% White teachers—yes

N=163

  • 48% Non-White teachers—yes


Experience and visitation

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


Best part of program

Best Part of Program

N=58


Program preference

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


Most desirable learning activity

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


Preferred education programs

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


Preferred on site activities

Preferred On-Site Activities

  • Blacksmith Demonstration

  • History scavenger hunt

  • brick making

  • corn grinding and tortilla making


Summary

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


Recommendations

Recommendations

  • Facilitate bringing students to the Missions

  • Maintain a current teacher database

  • Become more pro-active in information dissemination

  • Explore alternative modes of presentation


Recommendations1

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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