September 1, 2001
The core activity of this first year's in depth study of the JASON Project impact on student learning centered on school site visits. The Center for Children and Technology (CCT) and JASON staff developed a set of criteria to select a diverse group of participating schools. One of the most important dimensions was based on the JASON Foundation for Education's (JFE) interest in learning how their program works for all kinds of students. Because the JASON Project has been under way for a number of years and already supports a large, committed community of educators, we worked with JASON schools with various degree of implementation experience with the JASON curriculum and that serve different population of students.
With the help of JFE staff, we initially identified 30 schools, which were then pared down to the final eight (8) selected to participate in the study. These eight schools reflect the diverse learning contexts in which JASON is being implemented on such characteristics as student background and ability and teachers' experience in using JASON. Furthermore, the participants in this study come from eight schools around the country: in Arkansas, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, New York, and Wisconsin.
There were a total of 20 visits to school sites. At each site, two CCT researchers conducted classroom observations, interviews with teachers and principals, and a student inquiry test. They also collected data using a school profile questionnaire, a teacher survey, and a student survey.
The stories from the schools participating in the JASON Project are organized into two main sections: (1) a summary of the common themes across all school sites; and (2) a report on each school. In the first section, we focus on JASON's impact on teachers and students. In the second section, we show how JASON is being implemented in different school settings as well as taught in four different classrooms.