The Integrated Studies Program


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Presentation given at the Delaware Policy and Practice Institute on June 23, 2011.

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  • -How would we build a school from scratch today?-what are the biggest limitations?
  • Limitations over which we had control:-space-rigid curriculum-time
  • Space:-virtual and physical-how is it utilized – flexible, communal, no head of the room-describe the room, explain compromisesBiases of space:single room with a front forces focus on a single person, enforces inequality between teacher and student, enforces the idea of teacher as sole expertISPNo single focusAll members of the community are learners and teachersEncourages collaboration
  • Moodle:Knowledge and understandingModules tied to standardsNot there yet but working towards a benchmarking system for each standardAllows for asynchronous deliveryPF:Higher order thinking assessmentsCollaborative with portals for students, teachers, and coachesTracks standards and proficiency levels
  • Rigid curriculum:Designed to meet the needs of a majority of studentsBuilt around the concept of transference of knowledge – Teacher does A, student learns AMy school was struggling under this paradigmISP is Project-Based:Natural fit for a technical schoolTied academics to career choices- all projects have a writing, creation, and presentation componentsStudents naturally differentiate for themselves Projects determined by a negotiation process with the teacher, gives the teacher much better insight into student’s understanding of a topic
  • Organized into advisoriesDiscuss the open scheduleEncourages collaboration, self discipline, and time management
  • No difference between economic status within ISP populationStudents of lower socioeconomic status outperform those of average SES in Gen Ed.
  • The Integrated Studies Program

    1. 1. The Integrated Studies Program At Camden County Technical School<br />
    2. 2. School Profile<br />Vo-Tech High School in Southern New Jersey<br />Title I district<br />High poverty - over 80% <br />Very diverse population <br />Nearly 50% classified as special education<br />Significant challenges with regards to NCLB<br />School Report Card -<br />
    3. 3. Re-Imagine<br />Image by dullhunk via Flickr<br />Image by Christopher Webb via Flickr<br />Image by David Wright via<br />
    4. 4. Re-Imagine<br />Image by zoutedropvia Flickr<br />Image by La Ignorancia Mata via Flickr<br />Image by Thomas Favre-Bullevia Flickr<br />
    5. 5. Re-Design - Space<br />Physical and Virtual<br />Used in a non-traditional way<br />
    6. 6. Re-Design - Space<br />
    7. 7. Re-Design - Curriculum<br />Image provided by  v.max1978 via Flickr<br />
    8. 8. Re-Design - Schedule<br />Image by Zen via Flickr<br />
    9. 9. Realize – Student Feedback<br />“The freedom to go ahead in education without being held back from other students. “<br />“You have freedom like an adult. You are respected by teachers if you respect teachers. You can choose what you want to do and how you want to do it as long as its not far off topic.”<br />“It is different because you don't have to go around to different classrooms and because it is mostly project based.”<br />From Handout: Integrated Studies Student Survey<br />
    10. 10. Realize – High School Proficiency Assessment<br />
    11. 11. Realize – Statistical Measures<br />Overall <br />moderate effect – ISP outperformed General Education students across the board<br />Economic Status <br />Within ISP – No measurable difference<br />Disadvantaged ISP vs Advantaged Non-ISP<br />Moderate effect in favor of ISP – 0.62<br />
    12. 12. Realize – Statistical Measures<br />Special Education<br />moderate effect in favor of ISP but very small sample size<br />
    13. 13. Thank You!<br />Michael Ritzius<br />Teacher of Science<br />Camden County Technical School <br />Wilmington University Alumnus<br />Contact Information:<br /><br />Twitter: mritzius<br /><br />