April 19-25, 2002
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
New board members tapped
U.Va. to develop state-of-the-art teacher ed program
Is the Middle East conflict past the point of no return?
Athletics to host faculty, staff

Restored West Pavilion Gardens turn 50

Historic Bolivar artifacts donated in honor of Jefferson-era connection
Hot Links -- Garden Week

U.Va. to develop state-of-the-art teacher ed program
Grant could bring $5 million to collaborative initiative between College and Curry School

Staff Report

U.Va. is one of four universities that the Carnegie Corporation of New York has invited to participate in a landmark initiative designed to strengthen K-12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art programs at schools of education.

The other universities asked to submit proposals in this early phase of the multi-year initiative, called “Teachers for a New Era,” are Bank Street College of Education in New York City, California State University-Northridge and Michigan State University.

“Teaching reform is central to school reform, and these institutions are pioneers in the movement,” says Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation. “If we really want to improve student achievement, we have no choice but to improve teaching. As the 19th century French philosopher, Victor Cousin, succinctly put it, ‘As is the teacher, so is the school.’”

David W. Breneman

 

We are proud and delighted to have been selected to create models of excellence for teacher education. The philosophy behind the program matches precisely our views at U.Va. The financial support will allow us to make dynamic additions to an already excellent program, including closer linkages with Arts & Sciences faculty and greater follow-up of our graduates as they enter the profession.

David W. Breneman
Curry School dean

For the past few months, faculty members at U.Va.’s Curry School of Education and College of Arts and Sciences have worked collaboratively on a proposal that should help the University become a leader in teacher education, said Gene D. Block, vice president and provost. “The Carnegie project will allow the Curry School and the College to interact in creative ways by supporting new opportunities for achieving an integrated educational program.”

Under Gregorian’s leadership, Carnegie has made higher education issues, particularly reform of teachers’ education, one of its highest priorities. This reform initiative has established three guiding principles as critical in the redesign of schools that prepare teachers:

• Leadership on the part of the presidents of the chosen colleges or universities that elevates the role and importance of schools of education within the university community and a design that builds on research evidence.

• Top-level collaboration between arts and sciences and education school faculty to ensure that prospective teachers are well-grounded in specific disciplines and provided a liberal arts education.

• Establishing teaching as a clinical profession, with students mentored by master teachers in a formal two-year residency as they make a transition from college to classroom.

Research findings about teacher education programs and students’ post-graduation performance will be critical elements in assessing these principles. The four institutions asked to participate in “Teachers for a New Era” already have embraced these ideas as critical for what it takes to produce excellent teachers for tomorrow’s children.

“Research in recent years has pointed to the pivotal role a teacher plays in the education of young people,” says Neil Grabois, vice president and director for strategic planning and program coordination. “Clearly, it is imperative that this country improve the way we prepare teachers. There is evidence that the ideas in ‘Teachers for a New Era’ can make a difference.”

Ed Ayers
Ed Ayers

Edward L. Ayers, dean of Arts & Sciences, who continues to teach at least one class a semester, said he recognizes that becoming a teacher is hard work. “It demands a firm grounding in a discipline as well as self-awareness about the act of teaching,” he added. “This grant will allow us to move collaboration between Curry and the College to the next level, strengthening a partnership that helps both schools, that helps the teachers-to-be, and that helps their future students.”

The success of the institutions chosen to be part of the initiative, their graduates and the research produced during the next five years are expected to challenge and inspire other institutions to follow these ideas. “At the conclusion of this investment,” predicts Daniel Fallon, chair of the Corporation’s education division, “the participating universities will be seen as having established the standards for best practice in educating professional teachers.”

The initiative, which will ultimately include at least eight higher education institutions by 2004, involves a foundation investment of up to $5 million that each university will match over a five-year period. Additional foundation grants will cover evaluations and up to $750,000 in grants that each university will share with its local partners, including school districts and other teacher education programs. Joining the corporation’s initiative are the Ford Foundation and The Annenberg Foundation, which each committed $5 million. The Rockefeller Foundation will be covering the costs of a major ongoing external evaluation of the initiative.

“We are proud and delighted to have been selected to create models of excellence for teacher education. The philosophy behind the program matches precisely our views at U.Va.,” said David W. Breneman, dean of the Curry School. “The financial support will allow us to make dynamic additions to an already excellent program, including closer linkages with Arts & Sciences faculty and greater follow-up of our graduates as they enter the profession.”


CURRENT ISSUE

© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page