WCS Education’s Professional Development (PD) team offers educational programs for teachers, school administrators, and parent coordinators. Since 2017, the PD team has collected survey data from its participants for benchmarking and informal evaluation and in 2020, the Educational Research and Evaluation team conducted a comprehensive evaluation of PD programs to understand the programs’ reach and impact.

During the 2019-2020 school year, nearly 700 teachers participated in WCS PD programs, accruing over 14,000 contact hours. These teachers represented 246 New York City schools and collectively reach an estimated 60,000 New York City public schoolchildren. 90% of teachers rated our PD programs as Superior or Excellent, with almost all noting that they learned about new ideas or activities – including WCS-created resources – to integrate in their curricula.

Additionally, we track use of several teacher resources that we offer for free on our website. Field Sight, our curricula focused on WCS field researchers and conservation work, generated over 12,000 page views in 2020, with most of those occurring from March to June while schools were closed for in-person learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FY20 Teacher Professional Development Report

We also conducted research on the impact of zoo and aquarium-based PD on teachers’ skills and attitudes toward science.

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