Curriculum » Teacher Perspective

Teachers in River City

Overall, teachers act as 21st century experts who do not travel back in time with students. They guide students through the scientific inquiry experience and encourage students to problem-solve rather than provide answers.

Day to day, teachers orient students to the day’s activities, help students prioritize the day’s activities based on class needs, check that students have achieved goals before progressing, and assess student progress.

The River City Curriculum is a roadmap to a destination – an understanding of scientific inquiry. We view the teachers as "expert drivers" because they:

  • know the terrain better than anyone (the students, parents, researchers);
  • decide when to speed up and slow down; and
  • emphasize and highlight what they think is most important.

The table below provides an overview of Teacher's Participation in the River City Project

Before teachers begin the River City Project with his or her students:


Approximate Time to Complete

Teachers return the following materials, which are included in the appendix of this proposal, to their trainer or the River City office:

•  Signed Teacher Agreement Letter

•  Signed Teacher Consent Form

•  Signed Student Consent Forms for each student whose parents authorize participation in the research project

10-20 minutes

Complete the River City Teacher Registration, (online, in the Dashboard)

5-10 minutes

Complete the River City Professional Development training

8 hours

Complete the teacher Pre-Survey (online, in the Dashboard)

20-30 minutes

Complete student information forms (online, in the Dashboard) when you create students accounts

30-90 seconds per student

Administer student Pre-surveys (online, in the Student Dashboard)

20-50 minutes, depending on student's reading level

When using River City :


Approximate Time to Complete

Complete the entire River City curriculum with your students

14-20 instructional hours

Seek technical and pedagogical support from trainers and/or members of the research team as needed

0-15 hours

Upon completion of River City :


Approximate Time to Complete

Instruct your students to write Letters to the Mayor (online, in the Student Dashboard)

One class period

Administer student Post-surveys (online, in the Student Dashboard)

One class period

Complete the teacher Post-surveys (online, in the Dashboard)

20-30 minutes

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 9980464, 0296001, 0202543, 0310188, and 0532446. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.