Sharing Faculty Expertise and Resources to Benefit Our Students: Our College of Education is On It! (cont.)
A multi-disciplinary committee using a blind-review process selected the following seven projects:
- Write for Your Life – Faculty from Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Technology and English collaborated to teach future teachers to apply a wide range of strategies to encourage students to write, including both traditional and electronic literacies.
- Post-Secondary Disabilities – Faculty from Educational Psychology, Educational Counseling, and Special Education collaborated with multiple individuals from the CSUN Center on Disabilities, Los Angeles Unified School District, and various community colleges. Their focus was addressing the successful transition to college for those students with learning, emotional, and developmental disabilities.
- CHIME Math Lab – Faculty from Elementary and Special Education collaborated with the administrators and teachers at CHIME Charter Institute in order to create an after-school math lab, designed to provide a problem-based learning environment for those students who need remediation or enrichment.
- Learning about IEPs – Faculty from Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Educational Psychology, and Special Education worked together with representatives from the Family Focus Empowerment Resource Center to design professional development related to improving communication regarding Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with special needs.
- Bridging Cultures™ – Faculty from Educational Psychology and Counseling, Elementary Education, and Special Education collaborated with Los Angeles Unified School District teachers to identify strategies for embracing multicultural education in the classroom.
- ACT Strategies – Faculty from Elementary Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education collaborated to instruct cohorts of teacher candidates in the Accelerated Collaborative Teaching (ACT) program.
- Adapted Physical Education – Faculty from Kinesiology and Special Education worked closely to co-teach several sessions on health, exercise and nutrition, and positive behavior intervention, as well as typical and atypical development.
Overall, each of these seven groups has developed greater collaboration among the faculty participants, which in turn has resulted in increased benefits for both K-12 pupils and college students throughout our region.
Specifically, project results include:
- Developing in-class activities for Eisner College pre-service teachers, such as revised coursework that integrates educational content across multiple departments.
- Engaging with K-12 teachers in schools through professional development, where professors visited schools, collaborated with teachers, and then brought current information back to enrich their Eisner College courses.
- Creating staff development and curricular modules to be shared nationally.
- Conducting a community conference on transitioning students from high schools and community colleges to a four-year university.
As the Eisner College of Education faculty learn from one another, they are able to share expertise and embrace a more collaborative and transdisciplinary approach to education—exactly what we are hoping our teachers, counselors, psychologists, and administrators are able to do in the K-12 schools!
On September 16, 2011, the participants of the TTDP projects presented their findings and outcomes at the 1st Annual Eisner College of Education Interdisciplinary Collaborative Symposium. In addition to the seven TTDP groups, other collaborative groups from the College of Education were invited to present. The Center for Teaching and Learning had three groups present: 1) Neurodevelopment, 2) Co-Teaching in Higher Education, and 3) T-CARE, a publication devoted to helping new K-12 teachers avoid burnout. The College of Education’s Teaching, Learning and Counseling (TLC) Consortium had two presentations: 1) services provided to community families by the five TLC programs (LA Times Literacy Lab, Special Education Literacy Clinic, Berke Assessment Library and Clinic, Family Focus Resource and Empowerment Center, and the Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic) and 2) the role of the TLC as a clinical preparation site for teachers, counselors, school psychologists, and educational therapists.
Current research indicates that school personnel need to collaborate in order to better support students and their families. To do so, those who prepare educators need to model best practices in collaboration as well. We in the College of Education at California State University, Northridge believe that, We are on it! We are doing what we want our teachers, counselors, educational therapists, sign language interpreters, administrators, psychologists, and paraprofessionals to do. Our faculty are working together, our students are benefiting from our shared knowledge, and ultimately the schools and families with whom our students work benefit as well. To quote Robert Fulghum’s famous poem All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, “It is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” We are sticking together in the CSUN College of Education and our extended community is benefiting because of it.