Connecting Excellence in secondary and higher education: Junior College Utrecht

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Presentation by Ton van der Valk (JCU) at International Conference "Evoking Excellence in Higher Education and Beyond", Groningen 3-4 October 2012

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Connecting Excellence in secondary and higher education: Junior College Utrecht

  1. 1. Connecting excellencein Secondary and HigherEducation: JuniorCollege UtrechtPresentation to the International Conference‘Evoking Excellence in Higher Educationand Beyond’October 4 & 5 in Groningen (theNetherlands)Ton van der Valk, Freudenthal Institute forScience and Mathematics Education/ JCUa.e.vandervalk@uu.nl ; www.uu.nl/jcu
  2. 2. My programme• Introduction• Theoretical framework• Start of JCU (2004)• JCU 1.0 (2004 – 2007)• JCU 2.0 (2007 – 2012)• JCU 3.0 (2012 - ??)• Success factors/recommendations
  3. 3. IntroductionCritical reflection on a ‘good practice’• Gap between secondary school and university• Junior College Utrecht connects upper secondary to university education• Partnership UU and 28 secondary schools1. Science and Mathematics to 100 excellent grade 11 and 12 students, 2 years, 2 days a week2. A working place for improvement of quality of education• Has been successful since its start in 2004 What are success factors of JCU approach?
  4. 4. Framework 1: stakeholders ofexcellence in secondary schools• Talented students• Their parents• Their teachers• Their schools; school principals• Universities• National policyTeachers are main stakeholders in promoting excellenceThey need to be empowered by other stakeholders
  5. 5. Framework 2: empowerment andsupport for excellence• Excellence asks for ‘Empowerment’ People feel challenged, part of a team, having valuable contributions empowerment dimensions – Competence – Meaningfulness – Impact – Choice (Thomas & Veltman 1990; Frymier & Shulman 1996) JCU wants to empower all stakeholders
  6. 6. Start of JCU• Initiative from staff of Utrecht University College• Support from Executive Board of UU, staff and science education dept.• Visits to principals and science depts. of secondary schools• Financial support from Platform Science and Technology Initial empowerment, but also some resistance from schooland university teachers JCU 1.0: student programme• In 2004: started with 22 students from 12 schools• In 2005: 50 students from 26 schools
  7. 7. Activities JCU 1.02004- 2007• Development of JCU programme (Maths, Phys, Chem, Bio)• Syllabuses taught by selected upper secondary teachers (enriched, accelerated)• ‘Modules’ and projects related to research taught by UU- teachers• Community building• Start teacher programme• Frequent contacts with all stakeholders Students: good results; felt empowerment Growing enthusiasm stakeholders; resistance faded away
  8. 8. Developments 2007/08• UU involved in Sirius project• JCU embedded in Faculty of Science• Introduction of new secondary science curricula, a.o. NLT – Opportunities for making students acquainted with recent developments in science• New insights of JCU staff: – group of students is less homogeneous than expected (empowerment study: van der Valk et al. 2011) – Growing readiness in school for sharing JCU experiences JCU 2.0
  9. 9. Activities JCU 2.02007 - 2012• JCU embedded in Faculty of Science• JCU teacher programme: testing and adapting NLT-modules• Resulted in nation wide dissemination of 12 NLT modules (www.betavak-nlt.nl e.g. The Molecules of Life)• Differentiation and choices in JCU curriculum• Resulted in differentiation assignments (e.g. balancing bowls) Partner school teachers empowered School principals see opportunities for further development Faculties: experience impact JCU on schools and staff
  10. 10. Developments 2011/12• Policy makers: promote excellence and science in secondary schools• Schools: – development excellence trajectories in all secondary grades – Participate in JCU teacher professionalisation• Matching for 1st year university honours• Faculty of Science wants to contact more secondary students• Hogeschool Utrecht wants to join
  11. 11. JCU 3.0: U-Talent2012 - ?• Aim: development of excellence trajectories for science and maths in secondary schools grades 7 to 12• Involvement of nearly all JCU partner schools• Project with 5 parts – Developing school programmes excellence/differentiation – campus programme: 2 days at UU or HU for 600 selected students grades 9 – 11 – Teacher programme: teacher development teams; professionalisation course – School principal development teams – Research projects
  12. 12. JCU 3.0: how will it look like?• Differentiated school programmes in JCU partner schools grade 7-12• Campus programmes grade 7 – 10 (e.g. 2 days a year)• New campus programme for grade 11/12 (e.g. 14 days a year)
  13. 13. Success factors/recommendations• Empower all stakeholders of ‘developing excellence’ process – Yes, we can! – Yes, it’s meaningful – Yes, we have impact – Yes, we make our own choices• The teachers are the key stakeholders• The students are the best ambassadors• Build learning communities for stakeholders• Anticipate and attach to developments in national, regional and local policy in university and secondary education• Make progression visible (posters); share, ask for feedback
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention• a.e.vandervalk@uu.nlSites:• www.uu.nl/jcu English• www.betadifferentiatie.nl• www.vobouwstenen.nl• www.betavak-nlt.nl English

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