SCWI sets aside five days during the summer to focus on the primary objective of creating a unit of study.
Broadening the participant pool by allowing colleagues as well as MAT graduates past the induction years to attend SCWI strategically expanded the community of practice while maintaining the essence of the cohort structure.
Teacher Efficacy: Participants described the impact SCWI had on their ability and feelings of effectiveness as a teacher, using Milner & Woolfolk Hoys' (2003) definition of teacher efficacy--a teacher's belief or thinking about his or her own competence.
While SCWI participants use the same process for writing curriculum (UbD), the content and grade level vary by participant, providing opportunities for deepening subject-matter knowledge.
While participants considered curriculum writing a valuable pursuit, comparisons of participants' UbD units written during the MAT program (teacher preparation) and later during SCWI (induction) found significant differences in curriculum quality.
SCWI allows participants to build upon their initial knowledge of curriculum development, increasing experience and expertise.
SCWI data from 2005-2009 show that of the 76 participants, only four were no longer teaching in the classroom by spring 2010, resulting in a 94% retention rate.
That said, MAT attrition rates during years one and two have a statistical bearing on the pool of potential SCWI participants by artificially inflating retention rates, since most choosing not to return to the classroom would also not view themselves as candidates for SCWI.
Of respondents, 45% had participated in SCWI one or more times, while 55% had not participated.
Next, as SCWI is an option rather than a requirement, participation may reveal as much about the types of teachers interested in curriculum writing as the workshop itself.
Results from curricular analyses, of what for most participants was the writing of their first and second UbD units, support this assumption, indicating that SCWI participation improved curriculum quality--a primary task of the induction years (Feiman-Nemser, 2001).