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2accredphoto.jpgThe University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) has been awarded the highest standard of accreditation and was recognized for exemplary performance in its partnership with local schools by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

"NCATE's accreditation renewal for the university, which extends through 2019, recognizes CEHD's high quality preparation of teacher candidates and other school professionals," said CEHD Dean Jean Quam.

"This recognition means a great deal to us and to our teacher candidates," she said. "We voluntarily pursue national accreditation, as it is not a state or national requirement, because we value the assessment of the quality of our programs against a set of very rigorous national standards and by our peers and P-12 school practitioners."

The university recommends Minnesota teaching licensure for about 300 teachers each year, most of whom remain in the state. CEHD works with several school partners in Minnesota to develop highly qualified teachers through its Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI), which is supported by the Bush Foundation's Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT). One of TERI's hallmarks is collaboration with local districts to prepare teachers focused on reducing disparities in student achievement.

"We have strong clinical programs, and our school district partners rely on us to provide prepared and innovative student teachers," said TERI director Misty Sato. "When we started TERI, we had closing the achievement gap as number one on our list of long-term goals. That includes diversifying our teaching profession and preparing teachers who are more culturally responsive. We are beginning to see results -- the diversity of the candidate pool has increased over the past 3 years and employers of CEHD-prepared teachers report on surveys that these teachers effectively teach students from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds."

Quam agrees that data collected by the college indicates a positive trend. "We are attracting a very talented pool of teacher candidates," she said. "They are academically strong, many have had international experiences, and they express a long-term commitment to teaching that is focused on equity and student achievement."

NCATE, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body, identified the U of M's field experiences and clinical practice for distinction. All U of M teacher candidates have clinical experiences that include numerous opportunities to design instruction that supports student learning in diverse classrooms, analyze student assessment data, and engage with other school professionals.

StoneK-2011.jpgBigelowM_225_2012 - Copy.jpgMartha Bigelow, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (Second Languages in Cultures), and Karla Stone (photo far right), coordinator of DirecTrack to Teaching, are featured in a Minnesota Public Radio story on the rise of students learning English as a second language in Minnesota. Bigelow and Stone say that school districts are moving toward incorporating the home languages of students into their English instruction, which has been shown to improve performance.

"There is a very strong correlation between native language literacy and the ability to add English if that foundation is already there," says Bigelow.

To read the full story and listen to the audio, please visit MPR's website.

1Great-Lesson-June-13-2012.jpgNew Common Content courses for CEHD's initial licensure students debuted this summer as part of the Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI).

The new courses were redesigned from "foundation" courses that teacher candidates typically took before clinical work and student teaching. Common Content courses now span two to three terms, so field experience is embedded in each. Teams of faculty across CEHD departments are developing the courses.

Initial licensure teacher candidates gave positive reviews as they completed the first sequence of three of the redesigned courses this summer:


  • EDHD 5000 Cultures, Schools, and Communities

  • EDHD 5013 Child and Adolescent Development

  • EDHD 5015 Teaching Special Needs Students in Inclusive Settings

EDHD 5000 Cultures, Schools, and Communities, for example, is an energetic, student-focused, active-learning experience. On the first day of the class in June, part of the lesson was delivered by Harriet Bishop, Minnesota's first public school teacher (played by historical re-enactor Kathryn McKee, in the photo, from the Minnesota Historical Society). Bishop brought the 150 teacher candidates back to her makeshift classroom of 1847, where her students' languages included English, French, and Ojibwe.

"Teachers are joining a profession with a long history," says Michael Goh, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, part of the team that developed the course. "We ask the questions: Why schools, and why teach? And how can a teacher lead in a culturally diverse classroom? The course reflects what we believe to be the foundational philosophy of teaching and human relations qualities and behaviors that will be the hallmark of teachers who graduate from CEHD."

Learn more on the TERI blog about curriculum redesign and the new Common Content courses.

SatoM-2007.jpgThis week the Minnesota Department of Education released statewide assessment results for student proficiency in grades three through eight. The data show incremental but consistent improvement in reading and math scores, particularly for students of color, though wide gaps remain.

Minnesota Public Radio spoke with several experts regarding the state's efforts to more accurately assess student performance and to close the achievement gap. Associate Professor Misty Sato (Curriculum and Instruction) spoke of the new system's goals: "This is not just raising students of color up to a level of white students or higher socioeconomic status students. This is moving all kids from moving where they are now to high levels of performance."

Sato, leader of the college's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, was appointed to the state's Teacher Evaluation Working Group in December. The group was selected by Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius to develop a new evaluation system for teachers. As these assessments are released, the teacher evaluation working group will be examining the state's systems and will be providing recommendations.

Go here for the full MPR story.

The McKnight Foundation has announced funding for a preK-3 reading initiative in collaboration with CEHD and the Brooklyn Center Independent School District #286. Part of a larger effort to improve early literacy, the McKnight funding will include an initial $150,000 grant to develop comprehensive strategies, with additional funding possible after the first year for implementation.

Earle Brown.jpg
The college's strong relationship with the district's Earle Brown Elementary School has become a model for success and shows the positive effects of support from literacy faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's elementary education program. "For six years, the district has partnered with the University of Minnesota to introduce the concept of a continuum that includes reading strategies, skills, and assessment tools within an elementary literacy framework," according to the McKnight announcement. Initial licensure candidates from the college have taken literacy education courses at Earle Brown.

More recently, CEHD's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) has strengthened the bond with Earle Brown even more, said partnership coordinator Stacy Ernst. "The deepening relationship is an example of how the redesign of the way we 'do' partnerships helps all involved--districts, centers, programs--deepen, focus, and fund the work," she said. "The college's Educator Development and Research Center (EDRC) is working across college departments and centers to advocate for our school partners and university faculty, match interests/research needs, and coordinate new connections within the TERI Partner Network."

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