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Everyone Needs a Co-Pilot: Navigating Teacher Preparation and Student Learning through Co-Teaching

In the era of accountability, teacher quality is being examined and scrutinized now more than ever. Current research in teacher education, high stakes testing in K-12 schools, the adoption of the Common Core standards, and legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) are pushing teacher preparation programs to examine how they train and support new teachers entering the profession.

In addition to coursework, teacher candidates in the multiple subject credential program at Cal State Fullerton are required to participate in 90 hours of classroom field experiences and 13 weeks of full-time student teaching before being recommended for a preliminary teaching credential in the state of California. These experiences are an integral part of the program because they provide prospective teachers with an opportunity to connect theory and practice in a real classroom setting, while being supervised and mentored by a veteran classroom teacher. Continue reading

Everyone is a Scientist…Some Just Don’t Know it Yet!

Many people cringe at the thought of science because they either do not feel prepared or they haven’t had a positive experience. A partnership with Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District was established in 2009 with the goal of supporting students, teachers and teacher candidates to see themselves as scientists because science is all around us.

Our partnership aims to be mutually beneficial to practicing teachers and teacher candidates and most importantly having a positive impact on student achievement in science and content literacy.

Currently there are two elementary schools where cohorts of CSUF students meet for their science methods course on the elementary campus. As part of their methods course they go into classrooms and teach science. They co-plan, co-teach and co-reflect on their lessons weekly.

Our candidates integrate technology throughout this experience. They blog weekly about their development as a science teacher, they use iPads in the elementary classrooms to support connecting literacy and science and they are required to use technology as a tool to support student learning within each lesson. Continue reading

Art is Alive in the Classroom

Beginning fall 2012, a new partnership was forged between Segerstrom Center for the Arts and California State University, Fullerton, whose focus is helping integrate the arts into student-teaching classrooms. Nearly 100 teacher candidates participated in “Arts: Avenues for Learning” in the fall, and 50 more will join in the spring attending interactive workshops presented by artists-educators and hosted at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.  One of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is the inclusion of master teachers in the workshop days.

Teacher candidates and master teachers participated in arts areas such as origami, puppetry, theater skills, dances, creative movement and drumming.  Teachers then returned to the classroom to implement the new strategies and artistic skills learned. Continue reading

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