Document Type


Publication Date


First page number:


Last page number:



The UNLV Center for Evaluation and Assessment developed an assessment instrument to evaluate curriculum for the proposed Red Rock Desert Learning Center science school’s fifth grade program. A 25-item Likert-type scale was created and administered before and after 68 pre-service and in-service teachers participated in each of five curriculum pilot sessions. The survey consisted of questions related to knowledge, pedagogy, and attitudes. Two open-ended questions were included on the post-survey.

Findings revealed significant gains in knowledge, pedagogy, and attitudes in each of five events from pre- to post-test. Gains over time were greatest for knowledge. Some events were rated more highly than others, although all events were rated high in an absolute sense.

We conclude that the piloted curriculum is effective. In addition, the instrument used to evaluate the curriculum is reliable and valid. Three recommendations for the full implementation of the desert learning center curriculum are provided.


Desert ecology – Study and teaching – Evaluation; Environmental sciences – Study and teaching – Evaluation; Nevada


Curriculum and Instruction | Desert Ecology | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Science and Mathematics Education