Abstract: This is a proposal to develop a new assignment for use in Education in American Society (Edthp 115) that invites students to actively engage in their learning and the community. This large course is required for future teachers. The assignment invites students to learn firsthand the realities and rewards of teaching in an economically challenged school. School funding in many states is intimately connected to local property tax. Students will form a working group with section members, develop relationships with dedicated teachers, and identify instructional challenges and resource problems. The centerpiece of the assignment invites students to creatively attempt to solve one challenge/problem in their adopted classroom. Through the use of technology, students will engage with their course community and the larger community outside Penn State. The project will culminate in each section delivering their project to the school and each section presenting their project to the larger class.
Each section in this large required course will adopt a classroom in an economically disadvantaged school and form a relationship with the teacher. Students will learn the many challenges and rewards of teaching in this situation, identify one instructional challenge or resource problem that the section can help solve, and develop and implement a strategy for solving this challenge/problem.
The student learning objectives of this assignment are:
The student will be able to:
A pilot of this assignment conducted with older undergraduate students in the fall of 2010 revealed creative problem solving and substantial learning on the part of students. Upon hearing the stories of teachers, students developed such projects as writing grants for special funding, recording music for educationally challenged students, and advising high school seniors on the college application process.
Abstract: I propose to create library research materials to be used in all first-year composition courses. These materials will ensure that first-year writing students receive thorough instruction that is parallel and consistent across sections. Additionally, these materials will support our instructors by serving as both training and teaching guides. During summer 2011 I will work with Abington’s reference librarian, Paula Smith, to research and create these materials. We will pilot these materials fall semester 2011, and evaluate them spring semester 2012. If results show that research and critical thinking skills are higher among students using the piloted materials, we will propose that they are adopted into all sections of first-year composition. The creation and adoption of library research materials would have a campus-wide impact: because first-year composition is a required course, our materials would ultimately impact all Penn State Abington students. Additionally, these materials would support our composition instructors by communicating a consistent library research curriculum.
My project will result in the creation of pedagogically informed student worksheets and faculty teaching guides. These documents will support a research process that is recursive, that involves critical thinking, and that produces knowledge.
My desired student learning objectives are:
My desired faculty objective is: