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DETECTIVES IN THE CLASSROOM
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Paterson, New Jersey School District

The support of the Paterson School District was integral to the development of Detectives in the Classroom. Lynn Tarant, 7th grade science teacher at Charles J. Riley Middle School, served tirelessly on the Advisory Board. Ms. Tarant spent her summers creating and revising investigations, pilot-tested more than 25 investigations in her two classes, led several Detectives in the Classroom Professional Development Workshops, co-presented at professional meetings, and co-author an article describing the evolution of the Detectives' concept mapping investigations. Linda Crescione, principal of Charles J. Riley Middle School, supported Ms. Tarant's pilot-testing and field-testing of the curriculum in spite of pressure to prepare students for standardized testing.

Science Education Director, Dr. Vicki Madden and her successor, Dr. Nestor Collazo, supported the field-testing of Detectives in the Classroom among the Paterson School District's more than 2,000 7th grade science students, in 24 middle schools, with 30 science teachers. In addition, in spite of creating logistical challenges, they supported the assignment of students, teachers, and schools to a control group in order to improve the rigor of the curriculum's evaluation.

Science Education Coordinators, Frank Botti, Kathy Cosenza, Madeline Roman, and Esperanza Anastasio, rearranged hours of previously scheduled district-wide Professional Development Workshops, for teachers who would field-test Detectives in the Classroom, while continuing to provide Professional Development Workshops for the control group teachers.

Debra Falek, Paul Healy, Larry Hurtado, Donna Kerwien, Mohamed Khairullah, Rosa Kopic, Lucy Mankovich, Mary Mc Clam, Carmine Pindilli, John Super, Lynn Tarant, and Veva Tronci stepped forward and volunteered to take on the added responsibility of learning the Detectives in the Classroom curriculum and then field-testing with their students. In addition, Mr. Hurtado, Mr. Khairullah, Mr. Kelly, and Mr. Pindilli graciously accepted their random assignment to the control croup.

Lauri Levitt and her 8th grade students diligently completed each Detectives in the Classroom evaluation instrument twice in order to determine their pre-test / post-test reliability.

And Lynn Kimbrough, Paterson School District's Director of MIS, graciously made time to merge each student's Detectives in the Classroom evaluation data with each student's existing demographic data and remove all personal identifiers, making it possible to analyze all outcome data in terms of these demographic variables.


Ms. Lynn Tarant's Students at School #9, Charles J. Riley School, Paterson, NJ



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Note: Click on photos to enlarge.