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The Frontiers in Physiology program began in 1990 as the APS Summer Research Program for Teachers. The program maintains statistics on the number of teachers completing Frontiers Fellowships including participant demographics (e.g., gender, racial/ethnic group), and school types (middle, high, etc.). See “Statistics” in Resources below for additional information.

Frontiers programs use formative and summative evaluation findings to constantly improve and evolve to meet the needs of science teachers and their students. Data for the evaluation is provided by program participants and analyzed by both program staff and external evaluators. Altogether, the data reflect the impact on improving science instruction by the Frontiers in Physiology program. For additional information on the program evaluation and evaluation reports, click on “Evaluation Results” at left.

The APS seeks to constantly improve the Frontiers in Physiology program and to assess its impact on teachers and their teaching. Between 1995 and 2004, the Horizon Research, Inc. evaluation team (see Resources below) collected a variety of formative and summative data, including teacher surveys, interviews, and observations to assess the quality and impact of the program. In that time period, three independent external evaluations explored the impacts of the Frontiers in Physiology Research Teacher

Professional Development Fellowship (see Resources below). These formal studies demonstrated that the Frontiers program has important positive impacts on teachers, including:

  • Their enthusiasm and confidence about teaching science;
  • Their understanding of the scientific process and how research is done;
  • Their content knowledge in physiology;
  • Their understanding of what inquiry-based teaching is, how to use it successfully in the classroom, and how to convert cookbook labs to inquiry-based labs;
  • Their awareness of gender and racial/ethnic issues and how to promote achievement among diverse learners;
  • Their understanding of educational technology and how to successfully incorporate it into their lessons to improve their effectiveness;
  • Their understanding and use of the National Science Education Standards and their own state standards; and
  • Their working relationships with the scientific research community.

Teachers in the program have demonstrated:

  • Increased use of inquiry-based lessons in their classrooms;
  • Increased use of Internet technology in their lessons; and
  • Proficiency in making lessons more “student-centered.”

Executive Summary (PDF)

A summary of evaluation findings over a ten year period.

Horizon Research

Horizon Research, Inc. is a research firm located in Chapel Hill, NC specializing in work related to science and mathematics education.