Innovation at CSU Fullerton: Partnering With Schools to Improve Science and Content Literacy
The Innovations Inventory of AACTE’s Innovation Exchange is an online database highlighting members’ pioneering practices in educator preparation that have shown a positive impact on issues of student learning, preparation program advancement, or educator workforce needs. This blog post is one in a series highlighting entries from the inventory. To request inclusion of your institution’s innovations, contact Jessica Milton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginning in 2009, California State University (CSU) Fullerton has enjoyed a partnership with neighboring Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District to support science instruction in the classroom. The partnership has served not only to improve the practice of teacher candidates in science instruction, but also to improve K-5 student achievement in science and content literacy. Throughout their time in the classroom, candidates jointly plan, teach, and reflect on their lessons.
Since the partnership began, student achievement scores have experienced double-digit gains, and teacher candidates report greater confidence in their science pedagogy. Proficiency levels in one school increased from 25% to 44% in just 1 year of partnership work. Candidates’ confidence to engage students in science increased from 77.5% to 97.5%, and the percentage reporting confidence in their content knowledge in science increased from 57.5% to 90.0%.
As noted by the Orange County Register, the elementary students in the classrooms are fully engaging with the lessons and quickly adapting to the new technology employed by the teacher candidates.