Research Results

Impact of the IMYM Project on Grade 6 Pilot Teachers: A Follow-up Report

September 2000

Prepared by Distance Learning and Information Technologies Unit, Program Development Branch, Manitoba Education and Training

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7.0 Conclusion

In their second year implementing the IMYM model, two-thirds of the IMYM pilot teachers have either repeated the entire Inventions, Innovations and Discoveries Unit, or have completed selected components of the interdisciplinary unit. In addition, more than half of the teachers have developed their own interdisciplinary units. Only one teacher reported the removal of the hardware and software from their grade 6 IMYM classroom.

One third of the pilot teachers cited examples of information and communication technology (ICT)-related and unit-related expansion in their schools. Some reported expansion of the IMYM model at the divisional level.

Pilot teachers reported that the IMYM project had increased their awareness of, comfort with, and use of the interdisciplinary approach to teaching, learning and assessing. They also increased their use of collaborative learning and commented on how they had become more of a facilitator in the classroom. Pilot teachers also reported a reduction in their reliance on direct instruction in favour of interactive and independent learning. Overall, IMYM teachers reported increases in both curriculum integration and in the level of ICT integration in their teaching practice.

Teachers noted that last year's IMYM students demonstrated continued growth in their use of ICT. Students often returned to the IMYM classroom to use the information technology. Some students were frustrated because they could not continue using ICT at the same level in the subsequent grade.

Half of the IMYM pilot teachers shared their experiences with the IMYM model through providing professional learning and mentoring opportunities for fellow teachers. They also gave presentations, created classroom "websites", and hosted classroom visitations. Parental feedback was positive and many parents demonstrated their support of the IMYM model by becoming actively involved in its implementation.

Based on the results of the follow-up survey conducted in the 1998-99 school year, it is apparent that many grade 6 pilot teachers are continuing to implement the IMYM model, the interdiscplinary unit, and to retain the ICT in their classrooms. Expansion related to the IMYM model is also occurring. Teachers are reporting a change in their teaching practices related to teacher role, and to the increased use of information and communication technology and interdisciplinary instruction. Benefits to students and a positive reaction from parents are also being realized. Finally, some teachers are continuing to facilitate the implementation of the IMYM model within their schools and school divisions/districts.