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					Teacher’s Attitudes and Choices Concerning
Interpretive School Programs at San Antonio
      Missions National Historical Park

                                  Catherine C. McCarthy,
                                          Candidate
                                Master of Science in Resource
                                        Interpretation
                                  Stephen F. Austin State
                                          University

                                           Dr. Michael H.Legg
                                            Dr. Ray Darville


               Stephen F. Austin State University
Description of the Study Area
                            4 Spanish Colonial Missions
                             established on the banks of
                             the San Antonio River in the
                             1700s
                            Managed by the National
                             Park Service
                            Goal to preserve and protect
                             for future generations



          Stephen F. Austin State University
   First Spanish colonial
    mission, “The Alamo,” in
    the heart of downtown
    San Antonio
   Others south of the city,
    2-3 miles distance
    between each
   Ministered to natives for
    70+ years
   Remain active Catholic
    parishes
   Education programs link
    students to their
    historical past
Objectives
                     To evaluate existing
                      interpretive education
                      programs
                     To determine teachers’
                      preferences for field trip
                      learning experiences
                     To discover if existing park
                      programs meet teacher needs
                      and state mandated
                      requirements
                     To determine the barriers to
                      field trip participation
 Stephen F. Austin State University
Students: A Unique Audience
   Children demand a
    different approach to
    interpretation
   Interpretive
    Development Program
    of NPS offers guidelines
    for program
    development
   Student groups require
    curriculum-based
    interpretive programs

                     Stephen F. Austin State University
Field Trip Benefits
                            Studies indicate positive
                             field trip experiences
                             are linked to adult
                             environmental behavior
                            Field trips have
                             influenced career
                             choices
                            Field trip experiences
                             reinforce classroom
                             material and increase
                             retention of the material
     Stephen F. Austin State University
   Mission Education Programs
 Decline in student visitation beginning in 2003-
    2004
Education Statistics for FY04: SAMNHP

                 2001-2002                      2002-2003                     2003-2004

              Programs   Students          Programs          Students      Programs   Students

Education          250         6,190                275            7,128        226        5,525
Program
Unscheduled        662       38,035                 672           42,476        685       32,300
Groups
Total              912       44,225                 947           49,604        911       37,825




                             Stephen F. Austin State University
Methods
                Survey mailed to 343 middle
                 school teachers, 11/8/04
                Follow-up email the next day
                Email version of survey sent 2
                 weeks after initial mailing
                Second regular mailing sent
                 11/7/04
                163 useable returns
                48% of original sample



Stephen F. Austin State University
             Survey Instrument
   Teacher
    demographics
   Past field trip
    experience
   Barriers to
    participation
   Activity choices
   Program preferences
                       Stephen F. Austin State University
       Teachers Who Visited
            Missions
Profile & Interests
 White

 17 years experience

 District allows 2 trips

 Remain all day

 Attend teacher
  workshop
 Ranger-led program

 No bilingual program


                    Stephen F. Austin State University
            Teacher Demographics
80%
                                                           51% Male, 49% Female
70%
60%                                                        73% White, 20% Hispanic,
50%                                                         7% other
40%
                                    SA                     34%, 15 or more years
30%
                                    Sample
                                                            experience
20%
10%                                                        29%, 5 years or less
 0%                                                         experience
                 White
      Hispanic




                         Other




                                                           98% of sample middle
                                                            school teachers
N=163
                                 Stephen F. Austin State University
Schools in the Sample


Private                                               OT
 21%                                                Schools
                                                     28%


                                                                SA
          Public                                              Schools
          79%                                                  72%




                          N=163

                   Stephen F. Austin State University
     Best One-Day Field Trip
     30%    29.4%
                       27.7%
     25%

     20%

     15%
                                       11.8%
     10%
                                                   7.6%                                                               7.6%
                                                                    5.9%             5.0%            5.0%
      5%

      0%
                        SA M issions




                                                                     Natural A rea



                                                                                     Judicial Site
                                                   Historic Site




                                                                                                     City/ Industry
             M useum




                                          A lamo




                                                                                                                       Other
                                                                                       Govt or


                                                                                                        Tour a
                                                      Other




   N=119                                                         Visited SAMNHP=71
                                       Stephen F. Austin State University
        Best Part of Field Trip
        20%   19.9%

        18%                17.2%
        16%                            15.2%
                                                          14.6%             14.6%
        14%
                                                                                         12.6%          12.6%
        12%
        10%
         8%
                                                                                                                   6.6%
         6%
         4%
         2%
         0%
                            Guide




                                                                            Experience

                                                                                          Interactive
                                        History to Life
              Reinforced




                                                           Exhibits/ Demo




                                                                                                         Variety


                                                                                                                   Other
              Classroom




                                                                               New


N=151


                                    Stephen F. Austin State University
     Public School Teachers’
Barriers to Field Trip Participation

   No funding for
    transportation
   Mandated lessons
    don’t allow time
    away from
    classroom
   Field trips need to
    be interdisciplinary
                       Stephen F. Austin State University
    Private School Teachers’
Barriers to Field Trip Participation

    Didn’t know about
     the programs
    Insufficient time for a
     ranger program
    Students have been
     to the missions
     before

                     Stephen F. Austin State University
District Spending Per Student
         State Average Per Student $7,708

   <$7,708—34% have
                                          70%              66.3%
    visited SAMNHP
                                          60%                      58.8%
   >$7,708—59% have                      50%
    visited SAMNHP                                                   41.2%
                                          40%
                                                     33.7%                   Yes
   Median field trips                    30%                                No
    allowed, have visited                 20%
    SAMNHP—2
                                          10%
   Median field trips                      0%
                                                     < $7708       > $7708
    allowed, have not
                                                          N=95     N=34
    visited SAMNHP-1
                     Stephen F. Austin State University
District Spending Per Student
                                      3 of 20 SA school
                                       districts spend >$7,708
                                      10 of 14 OT school
                                       districts spend >$7708
                                      Mean spending SA-
                                       $7,482
                                      Mean spending OT-
                                       $8209


          Stephen F. Austin State University
Knowledge of Programs/Fees
       and Visitation
100%   93.00%

80%

60%

40%

20%
                                             7.00%
 0%
N=71   Yes                                   No

        Stephen F. Austin State University
Knowledge of Programs and Ethnicity
          80%
                  70.70%

          60%                                             52.30%
                       47.70%
          40%
                                                 29.30%
          20%

           0%
                    Yes                                   No

        N=163        White           N on-White


   71% White teachers—yes             48% Non-White teachers—yes
                     Stephen F. Austin State University
Experience and Visitation
                                                          •57% > 5 years
                                                          experience have
                                                          visited SAMNHP
                8%
                                                          •14% < 5 years
                     17%
                                                          experience have
   55%
                                                          visited SAMNHP
                     20%
                                                          •Mode—20 years

                                                          •Mean—17 years

< =5   < = 10    < = 15        > 15                       •N=71

                     Stephen F. Austin State University
      Best Part of Program
60%
         55.2%

50%


40%


30%                     27.6%


20%


10%                                      8.6%
                                                              5.2%
                                                                        3.4%
0%
      Experiencing   Guided tour       Teacher               M ovie   Gristmill
        Grounds                        activities
                                                                      N=58

                        Stephen F. Austin State University
           Program Preference
   79% prefer ranger-
    led program                         100%


   30% of teachers who                    80%               78.6%
                                                        68.4%
    visited SAMNHP                         60%
                                                                           Ranger-led
    participated in a                      40%                             Teacher-led
                                                    31.6%
    ranger-led program                                             21.4%
                                           20%
   Median number of
                                             0%
    trips—2                                           V isited    Sample
                                           N=263                 N=159

                        Stephen F. Austin State University
Most Desirable Learning Activity
                                       Site visit with
                                        ranger-led program
                                       Ranger visit in the
                                        classroom
                                       Traveling trunk for
                                        the classroom
                                       Interactive CD for
                                        the classroom

           Stephen F. Austin State University
Preferred Education Programs
   A kid’s life during
    mission times
   Living off the land
    and other survival
    skills
   Cowboy ranching
    life
   Spanish and Indian
    cultural symbols
                       Stephen F. Austin State University
Preferred On-Site Activities

                                             Blacksmith
                                              Demonstration
                                             History scavenger
                                              hunt
                                             brick making
                                             corn grinding and
                                              tortilla making



         Stephen F. Austin State University
                      Summary
   Current programs
    are successful
   Site visit is preferred
    method of teaching
    mission history
   Funding is major
    barrier to site visit
   Teachers don’t know
    about the programs

                       Stephen F. Austin State University
Recommendations
                  Facilitate bringing
                   students to the
                   Missions
                  Maintain a current
                   teacher database
                  Become more pro-
                   active in information
                   dissemination
                           Explore alternative
                            modes of presentation
    Stephen F. Austin State University
           Recommendations
   Evaluate less popular
    programs/replace with
    new programs
   Provide a full-time
    blacksmith
   Provide hands-on,
    interactive programs
   Mirror museum
    exhibits and
    demonstrations

                   Stephen F. Austin State University

				
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