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Engagement, Capacity, and Continuity: A Trilogy for Student Success

Engagement, Capacity, and Continuity:
A Trilogy for Student Success

ECC report cover

A new report, co-authored by the president of the Science Museum of Minnesota, suggests ways to increase the number and diversity of those pursuing education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The report, titled Engagement, Capacity and Continuity: A Trilogy For Student Success, analyzes why successful individual reform efforts have not led to broader increases in students achieving at high levels nor entering science and math oriented careers and identifies three components necessary to increase success in quantitative sciences:

  • Engagement - an awareness, interest, or motivation (the spark)
  • Capacity - the knowledge and skills to advance in increasingly rigorous subject matter (the skills)
  • Continuity - opportunities, resources, and guidance to support advancement (the pathways)

Authors Dr. Eric J. Jolly (Science Museum of Minnesota), Dr. Patricia B. Campbell (Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc.) and Lesley K. Perlman (Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc.) maintain that when any one component is missing, student achievement falls off. They point out that, while many programs have supported individual components of engagement, capacity, and continuity, there has never been an effort to integrate all three.

The report, funded by the GE Foundation, gives recommendations based on the ECC Trilogy for what educational policy makers, sponsors, curriculum/program directors, evaluators, district/school administrators, teachers, museums and other informal science institutions can do to bring about student success in the sciences and quantitative disciplines in their realm of influence.

Download the Report

Report Summary | Full Report

About the Authors

Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D. Eric Jolly

Dr. Eric Jolly is president of the Science Museum of Minnesota, which is among the nation's largest and most-esteemed science museums. Prior to joining the Science Museum in March 2004, Dr. Jolly was senior scientist and vice president for Education Development Center in Newton, Mass. He is known for his contributions to mathematics and science education, frequently working with such groups as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Science Teachers Association. He is a life member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

Dr. Jolly has lectured throughout the world and has published many books, scholarly articles, and curricula for students and teachers across the educational spectrum, including "Bridging Homes and Schools," a comprehensive resource for teachers of Limited English Proficiency students, and "Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack." His curricula are currently used in more than 16 countries and an estimated 400,000 classrooms worldwide.

Jolly serves on numerous national advisory boards, including the Mathematical Sciences Education Board of the National Academies of Science and the Committee on Opportunities in Science for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Patricia B. Campbell, Ph.D.

For the past 25 years, Dr. Patricia Campbell of Campbell-Kibler Associates has been doing research and evaluation to increase gender and race equity in math, science and technology education.

Prior to her work at Campbell-Kibler Associates, her positions included Director of Grants, Research and Academic Development at William Paterson College, Wayne, NJ; Director of the Project on Sex Stereotyping in Education, Women Educators, Red Bank, NJ and Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA; Tenured Associate Professor of Research, Measurement and Statistics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. Dr. Campbell has had a role in numerous National Science Foundation projects, including serving as a consultant on NSF's Program on Women and Girls, its Summer Science Camps, and its Systemic Initiatives. She is a reviewer for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and an editor for Educational Researcher. Throughout her career, she has authored over one hundred books, book chapters, and articles.

Campbell is a recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Willystine Goodsell Award, which is presented to an individual who has pursued scholarship, activism, and community building on behalf of women and education. She was also awarded the Betty Vetter Research Award from the Women In Engineering Program Advocates Network, which recognizes notable achievement in research related to women in engineering.

Lesley Perlman

Lesley Perlman is responsible for all aspects of research and evaluation for Campbell-Kibler Associates, Inc., an educational consulting firm specializing in gender and race equity in math, science, and technology programs. At Campbell-Kibler, Perlman has worked on numerous projects, including the Effective Schools Study, where she researched and analyzed data for a three-year study examining characteristics of successful low-income urban schools; Delta SEE, where she trained staff on data collection and entry for a project training women how to lead hands-on science activities; and Afghan Women's Project, where she designed an evaluation process for a project seeking to advance secondary science and math education in Afghanistan.

Perlman also has extensive experience working with victims of domestic violence. She has worked as a counselor at Casa Myrna Vazquez, Inc., an urban domestic violence shelter in Boston, and has organized benefits and demonstrations for victims of domestic violence.

Perlman, Campbell, and Jolly worked together on 2002's Upping the Numbers: Using Research-Based Decision-Making to Increase Diversity in the Quantitative Disciplines, a report commissioned by the GE Foundation. Perlman is also co-author of several other publications.