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Critical Friends Working Toward Program Improvement While Building a Partnership


In September of 2018, University of North Georgia (UNG) Educational Leadership staff began partnership discussions with Gwinnett County Schools. The UNG educational leadership program went through several iterations and was working toward revising the program to align with the Principal Pipeline Research from the Wallace Foundation. This revision also met the requirements for the new Tier 1 certification program implemented by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. We were new to the work and very interested in the successful, data-driven work Gwinnett County Schools Leadership development programs.

The initial discussions were about the application process and how we screen candidates, as well as, how we measured the success of our candidates beyond the obvious licensing test by the state.  This was the beginning of deep thinking for us about our program. We quickly learned that to build a quality program, we needed to attract the best candidates and track them through their placements in schools as leaders to determine the effectiveness of our work. We were most impressed with Gwinnett’s systems for measuring the success of their leadership development programs. This was great timing for our program as our Tier I participants had just completed the first cohort.  

The quality measures divide the process program improvement into six domains. We shared our practices in our Tier I program in each of the six areas, collecting evidence to support our work with our critical friends from Gwinnett.  At the same time, Gwinnett County Schools examined its practices in its principal preparation program sharing with us as critical friends. The process was transparent and helpful.  We both walked away with fresh ideas for improving our programs.

Register for Free Preconference: Overcoming Challenges to Developing a Quality Assurance System

As you are making plans for the 2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY next month, please consider joining us for a free preconference workshop focused on Overcoming Challenges to Developing a Quality Assurance System that will take place Thursday, February 21 from 1:00-5:00pm. Given the iterative nature of continuous improvement work, it is critical to develop a quality assurance system (QAS) that is sustained beyond an external review and provides meaningful data upon which evidence-based actions can be made.

Virtual Classrooms Deliver Real Advantage for UM Education Majors

 

This article and photo originally appeared on the University of Mississippi Ole Miss News website and is reprinted with permission.

Meet Ava and Dev. They are in middle school. Ava is quick-thinking and decisive and likes to be challenged with new ideas and concepts. Dev is a rule-follower who is self-driven with high standards.

Ava and Dev are not your average students. In fact, they are not even real students at all. They are avatars in a virtual classroom at the University of Mississippi School of Education, where education majors are gaining valuable, hands-on teaching experience even before their student teaching.

Mursion, originally called TeachLive, is a cutting-edge technology that delivers customized virtual reality training to provide professional challenges that exist in the job every day.

Developed at the University of Central Florida, Mursion is being used at more than 85 campuses in the United States. Since 2012, Mursion has grown at UM. Last school year, 800 students in the School of Education practiced with the system and are required to use it at least twice as part of their coursework before graduating.

Towson University Builds Clinical Curriculum Through Virtual Simulation

In Fall 2017, AACTE member institution Towson University’s College of Education launched a pilot program, SIMTeach@TU, to strengthen its clinical and practice-based curriculum through virtual simulation. The program features eight faculty who develop problem-based case scenarios for teacher candidates to experience real-world human interactions with avatars via the virtual reality technology called Mursion. The training simulations recreate the most demanding interpersonal challenges that teacher candidates may confront in the classroom with PK-12 students. It allows preservice teachers to practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in difficult situations.

“We see simulation—or approximations of practice—work as part of the trajectory of getting our preservice teachers ready to work with real students in classrooms,” said Laila Richman, associate dean of the College of Education at Towson. “We think about this as the first phase of a university-based clinical curriculum that moves them towards being able to work with students.”

Northwest Missouri State University Receives National Award for Excellence and Innovation

Photo courtesy of AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University was presented with the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) at the opening session of its Annual Meeting last month in Washington, D.C. The award is named in honor of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher who was killed in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, and honors institutions for excellence and innovation.

Recipients of the award have shown evidence of top-level administrative support, alignment with its institutional mission and strategic agenda, contributions to significant institutional improvements or programming, research, and incorporated best practices.

Southern New Hampshire University Launches New Degree in Clinical Education

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in Manchester launched its new clinical master’s degree program during the 2018-19 academic year. The program offers dual certification in elementary and special education or early childhood and early childhood special education. It is designed to prepare teacher candidates for certification and to ensure that new educators have the required skills, competencies, knowledge, and dispositions specifically needed to support the development and learning of students in elementary grades (K-8) and general special education (K-12).

“It’s an accelerated 15-month clinical program that enables teacher candidates to work clinically with students during 11 of those months,” said Mary Ford, Interim Dean in the School of Education at SNHU. “They are [working] in supervised clinical experiences learning the craft and skill of teaching as well as monitoring the learning progress of their K-12 students.”

Rowan University Offers New Degree in Inclusive Education

Rowan University’s College of Education is the founding college on campus but that doesn’t stop it from continually innovating its practice and creating forward-thinking opportunities for teaching and learning. And so, this year, the oldest college on campus is offering an innovative new degree: the Bachelor of Arts in Inclusive Education.

The concept of inclusive education is simple, yet profound: teachers must be prepared to meet the needs of ALL the learners in their classroom, regardless of differences in race, language, culture, and physical ability.

Toward a Valid and Reliable Student Teacher Observation Tool

The North Dakota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education received a 2017-2018 AACTE State Chapter Support Grant for work on supervisor training modules to enhance the reliability and utility of the state’s new student teacher observation tool. Other AACTE chapters have also recently pursued collaborative work around assessment instruments, including those in Kansas and Ohio.

In 2016, the 12 member institutions of the North Dakota state chapter of AACTE collaborated to develop a student teacher observation tool (STOT). We were seeking a high-quality instrument to facilitate program improvement through meaningful, valid, and reliable data. We also knew that working together decreased the workload for all and leveraged resources and expertise across campuses. Finally, we were interested in adding to the common metrics used statewide to enable continued collaboration to improve teacher preparation in North Dakota.

Engage With edTPA at Quality Support Workshop

This event is cancelled until further notice.

AACTE is excited to announce a series of sessions at the 2018 AACTE Quality Support Workshop focused on inquiry-based implementation of edTPA. This strand of sessions, facilitated by an edTPA representative and an experienced user of the assessment, is among several choices of concurrent workshops on offer August 2-4 in Columbus, Ohio.

mel-horton kellie-crawford

The three edTPA sessions will be led by Mel Horton, associate dean at Sacred Heart University (CT), along with Kellie Crawford from Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson. Part 1 is for experienced edTPA users as well as those who are new to or interested in learning about edTPA. Parts 2 and 3 build on the first session and are designed for more experienced edTPA users.

The first interactive workshop will begin with an overview of edTPA constructs as sources of candidate evidence related to equitable teaching practices within a multiple measurement assessment system. You will get to:

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