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Roles of Scientists in CAPSI/Pasadena

Scientists have played a number of important roles in the CAPSI/Pasadena program.

First, two Caltech scientists, Drs. Jim Bower and Jerry Pine, worked in close collaboration with Pasadena school teacher and pilot-school coordinator, Jennifer Yure, and associate superintendent, Mike Klentschy (and later with successive superintendent Vera Vignes), and Bower and Pine have helped create all parts of the CAPSI/Pasadena program.

Also, in the program

  • Scientists model scientists' habits of thinking in teacher-training sessions.
  • Scientists bring to the development of various aspects of the program the viewpoint of a professional inquirer, a person for whom constructivist learning can be an everyday experience.
  • Scientists helped develop the CAPSI Content Modules for Elementary Science. {See Detail: Other CAPSI Initiatives--Content Modules for Elementary Science.}
  • Some teachers have felt comfortable using scientist-partners as content resources.
  • Scientists have been advocates within their professional community to get more scientists involved in the professional development of the Pasadena teachers.
  • Scientists have been advocates within the broader Pasadena community for this approach to science education, serving to validate the vision that science is a process rather than simply a body of facts. This has been important to parents who may feel that, without a textbook and facts to memorize, their child is not getting a science education. And it has been important to local government and the media who, in the end , are always important factors in determining the level of support a program receives.

In general, the CAPSI/Pasadena model envisions scientists in all these roles but always stresses the truly cooperative relationship that must exist between the scientists who come from cultures that are quite different from the cultures of teachers, teaching, schools, and school administration.

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