Bayh College of Education hosts Learning Network site visit

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
May 24, 2011

Education faculty from three universities visited Indiana State University for two days to study the Bayh College of Education's clinical practice for students.

Faculty from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, University of Western Oregon and University of Western Kentucky came to Terre Haute on May 23-24 as part of the Academy for Educational Development's Teachers for a New Era (TNE) and the Teachers for a New Era Learning Network. TNE and the network focus on preparing teachers for the classroom in innovative ways. Of the 30 universities nationwide that have committed themselves to TNE, nine of the education deans ultimately selected Indiana State along with Arizona State University and Montclair State University for site visits.

"This university was selected because they're doing exciting things around clinical practice," said Caitlin Rose Dailey, academy program office and co-director of the Learning Network.

Indiana State sends its education students into local classrooms beginning their freshman year. Through the subsequent years of study, students spend increasing time in the classroom observing teaching and assisting in the classrooms. In their senior years, students will spend the entire year in a classroom, first through the TOTAL (Teachers of Tomorrow Advancing Learning) program that immerses students in a classroom prior to them heading into the final semester with the student teaching experience.

"Through our clinical program, we're pushing our students out to the K-12 classroom much earlier," said Brad Balch, dean of the Bayh College of Education. He said the visiting group also wanted to learn about the college's strong relationship with partners across the campus and with its K-12 partners. "To me, it's all about the strong relationships among the colleges who prepare teachers as well as those with our K-12 partners."

The visiting faculty learned about ISU's special clinical experiences for students through programs such as the Center for Math Education, Sycamore Readers and SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities). Faculty members and students spoke about the importance of such experiences.

"Our students have left for the summer and our faculty are in-between sessions and they all came back to share their stories," Balch said. "That speaks to their professional commitment to education."

Visiting professors also heard from the college's Clinical Faculty Associates - Vigo County teachers that spent a year at ISU teaching future teachers and working with faculty on curriculum. They also visited Sarah Scott Middle School in Terre Haute as well as two elementary schools.

"We're excited and happy to be here and what we're going to learn here," Dailey said. "We look forward to continue to work with ISU through the year."

A national meeting to discuss their findings from the visit has been planned for November. Dailey said that meeting will be used to discuss what the national conversation should be regarding clinical practice.

Contact: Brad Balch, Indiana State University, dean of the Bayh College of Education, at 812-237-2919 or Brad.Balch@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or Jennifer.Sicking@indstate.edu