Monday, September 13, 2010

New leadership organization for our Teacher Education Program

Tags: bain, davis, deans updates, dershimer, hearn, teacher education

Our teacher education program has expanded in the last six months to include not only undergraduate and master’s students, but also 101 students in the new Teach for America (TFA) cohort (which includes both elementary and secondary) and 20 students who will begin next summer in the new Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship program.

This is also the year that the Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) reforms are moving inside our current programs. There are new elements being introduced and piloted across all our programs, and our new cohort of elementary interns who are beginning this fall will be experiencing a significantly different program. The level of redesign and remodeling going on in our teacher education programs is intense this year and will require careful support and extensive collaboration, data gathering and analysis, and close review and monitoring. We want to ensure the success of our ambitious efforts during this extraordinary period by setting up a strong organizational and leadership structure to manage this complex undertaking.

Our new organization will consist of faculty leads for the four major program strands and a senior administrative staff director (like our Director of Student Affairs, or Director of Communications, Development, and Alumni Relations). I am pleased to announce that Beth Grzelak will serve in the new program director position during the coming year as the new structure is launched and fine-tuned. The one-year appointment enables a smooth transition into this very complex year, and Beth has also agreed to help us learn from the inside what it takes to manage the program in this new way and how best to set up the structures for subsequent years.

To help build coherence and consistency in our policies and practices, we are establishing a new Teacher Education Program Executive Committee, comprising the faculty chairs and coordinators, and including, ex officio, key staff member who in roles central to our program’s development and operations.

Elementary teacher education will be led by the team of Betsy Davis (faculty chair), Laurie Sleep (associate chair), Teresa McMahon (ElMAC coordinator), and Sara Constant (undergraduate coordinator). Secondary teacher education will be led by the team of Bob Bain (faculty chair), Charles Dershimer (who is a new clinical faculty member) (associate chair), Charles Peters (secondary MAC coordinator), and Kathryn Young (undergraduate coordinator). Charles Dershimer will also serve as the coordinator of the Woodrow Wilson/Kellogg Fellows. Finally, the Teach for America certification program unit will be led by Kendra Hearn, also a new clinical faculty member.

After three years in the administrative role as the faculty director of teacher education and working on the redesign with others, Donald Freeman will assume his full role as a faculty member in Educational Studies. I am grateful that, in this transition, Donald will continue to lead the completion of our important accreditation process through TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council, the national accreditation organization). I would like to thank Donald for his service to the school and to our teacher education program during a period of intense redesign and development.

It is a big year for teacher education here at the School of Education. We are beginning a significant period of on-the-ground design and implementation of our new program, and beginning to develop the national teacher education institute that will enable us to harvest what we are learning for others to use, provide professional training and support for those who train and develop teachers, conduct and synthesize research, and engage in communication and connections with the policy environment surrounding teaching effectiveness and development. I look forward to our progress this year, and thank all those who are contributing in so many ways to our work, and especially those who have agreed to provide leadership for our efforts.

Bob Bain is Associate Professor, School of Education; Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Elizabeth A. Davis is Professor; Science Education

Kendra Hearn is Chair, Secondary Teacher Education; Clinical Associate Professor; Director of Michigan Alternate Route to Certification (M-ARC) Program

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