Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones.


Education majors at Maryland community colleges have often faced difficulties in transferring to four-year colleges, frequently having to repeat courses, resulting in greater financial burdens and delayed graduation. In the fall of 1999, the Chief Academic Officers Intersegmental Group appointed the Teacher Education Articulation Committee whose task was to establish a seamless transfer between two- and four-year public and private colleges in Maryland. This committee determined outcomes for elementary teacher candidates that defined the requirements of a new degree, the Associates of Arts in Teaching. Although the original intention of this degree was to establish a seamless transfer between two- and four-year colleges in the area of teacher education, its work has evolved into a major paradigm shift from instructivist teaching to inquiry-based learning. This study was designed to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the science faculty's attitudes toward the science content and pedagogy requirements of the new AAT degree? (2) What changes (including the type and degree of the change) have faculty made in the course content and pedagogy in order to satisfy AAT degree requirements? (3) What changes have faculty made in student assessment techniques in order to satisfy AAT degree requirements? (4) What factors affect the science faculty's implementation of the changes necessary to comply with the AAT degree requirements? (5) From the perspective of the students, what course activities promote critical thinking?;Data was collected from four Maryland community colleges during the spring of 2004. The sources of data include interviews with faculty, document analysis, classroom and campus observations, and student questionnaires. A case study was developed for each college, followed by a cross-case analysis. This study concluded with well-grounded recommendations for practice and future research.