Tag Archives: Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

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ASU is 11th in Teach For America corps members

Arizona State University ranked 11th in the nation among large universities for its number of graduating seniors joining Teach for America this year. Teach For America recently released it’s ranking of colleges and universities that contributed the greatest number of graduates to its 2014 teaching corps.

ASU moved up three spots from number 14 in 2013. It had 50 students commit to joining Teach for America. ASU is included in the “large schools” category among universities having 10,000 or more undergraduates.

“At ASU, students develop a commitment to change making,” said Nikki Gusz, strategic initiatives director in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “It is hard to think of a role where someone can impact lives more than that of a teacher. We are inspired to see so many current students and alums continually drawn to making a difference in the lives of all students.”

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

This fall, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the U.S. while 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.

Teach for America has partnered with ASU since 2006, when President Michael Crow helped launch a shared commitment to developing and supporting future education leaders. ASU’s Teach for America partnership received the ASU President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness in 2008. The partnership is institution-wide with its coordination headquartered in Teachers College, Gusz said. The organizations work on new innovation together, such as the Changemaking in Education class, focused on education innovation and offered in partnership with the Teachers College and Barrett, the Honors College.

Teach For America said this year’s teaching corps – which numbers 5,300 – is the most diverse in its history.

The organization said effective teachers come from all backgrounds and academic interests, and bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. Teach For America also has found that maximizing diversity supports its effort to attract the top talent our country has to offer.

Among the new corps members 50 percent identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of all teachers nationwide), 47 percent received Pell Grants (an indicator of low-income background), and one-third are the first in their families to attend college.

Teach For America is known for attracting individuals with impressive professional, academic and leadership experience, and has long recognized the potential of teachers who share students’ backgrounds to serve as critical classroom leaders and role models.

For more information on Teach For America and other opportunities to Make Your Impact, visit https://eoss.asu.edu/makeyourimpact.

Earthfest Provides Free Resources to Teachers

ASU partners with India to transform teacher preparation

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College faculty are sharing a path of teacher development they hope will lead to a better education for India’s burgeoning population of school-aged children.

Called the India Support for Teacher Education Program (In-STEP), the year-long project funded by a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development is bringing 110 India teacher educators to ASU for an intense, semester-long immersion in a world-class teacher education program. Teachers College also is collaborating closely with India’s Ministry for Human Resources Development to implement the program.

The coveted project was awarded to Teachers College over other U.S. education institutions due to its large-scale program of teacher preparation, close partnerships with more than 180 diverse, preK-12 schools and proven ability to manage complex international programs, according to Ara Barsam, senior director of grants and associate research professor.

“Engaging globally is a key ASU aspiration,” he said. “The In-STEP project provides a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our impact beyond metropolitan Phoenix and the United States to where our Teachers College model is being recognized worldwide.”

Barsam wants the program to equip and inspire the 53 Indian teacher educators who converged on ASU this fall, and the 57 coming next September, to new levels of professional performance. In preparation, he traveled to India in July to assess the needs and strengths of the Indian participants through focus groups and interviews before they arrived in the U.S.

videogames

Video Games Go to College for groundbreaking ASU Program

Much is being made over the explosion of video games in the classroom to teach a future generation of K-12 students. But what about the future teachers who will be teaching them?

At Arizona State University, education students are reaching into their virtual future with the click of a mouse to test their teaching skills in typical school scenarios. Playing the video game is part of a first-semester course requirement for undergraduate students in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Focused on professional success, the video game is being played by 277 teaching students in 396 field experience courses at the university this semester.

“This cutting-edge preparation for future teachers is the first of its kind in the nation,” said Mari Koerner, dean of Teachers College. “Our students may have grown up with technology, but using it to role play as real-life teachers is something new.

“The game is used to enhance their experiences in real classrooms. Our students practice in the virtual world, so they can be more successful in the real world.”

“Teacher Leader: Pursuit of Professionalism” is the first in a series of interactive, three-dimensional video games being designed by the Sanford Inspire Program and ASU’s Center for Games and Impact. Field experience educators and clinical staff recognized the importance of preparing novice teachers with the professional skills they need to be successful in the workplace. Content for the game is rooted in Teach For America’s professional values. A video trailer of the game is available at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD1b9Ktf9hY&feature=player_embedded.

As this initial version of the game is implemented in ASU classes, educators and staff are evaluating its success. The public is invited to the official launch of the video game at 8 a.m. March 26 at ASU SkySong in Scottsdale. Those interested can register at
http://sanfordinspire.eventbrite.com/#. This fall, a second video game featuring a different topic but also directed toward teacher candidates is expected to be rolled out.

An ASU student playing “Teacher Leader” first creates a student teacher avatar, selecting the color and style of hair, clothing and shoes. Next, the avatar encounters a couple of scenarios at school and the student has to respond. One scenario involves an uncomfortable situation with the student teacher’s mentor, while the other addresses being diplomatic in the teachers’ lounge. That evening, the avatar must choose how to spend time preparing for the next day’s lesson.

The student is scored as he or she plays, with choices having consequences later in the game as the avatar implements the lesson plan. A video of students playing the game is available at https://asunews.asu.edu/node/26765.

“It’s a different application compared to how we normally are taught,” said Marcy Steiner, an ASU student from Peoria, Ariz. “With the video game, you can see how your decisions shape your image as a teaching professional. There are options that are good and options that are better. It really makes you think.”

During the lesson, teaching students receive immediate feedback on their performance in various situations based on four areas or competencies. The professional competencies were adapted from the Teach For America teacher preparation curriculum:

*    Suspending judgment: Identifying moments when they might be unfairly judging someone
*    Asset-based thinking: Consciously seeking out the positive aspects of a person or situation
*    Locus of control: Focusing on what is within their own ability to control
*    Interpersonal awareness: Recognizing the limits of their own perspective and trying to understand the viewpoints of others

At the same time, the course is designed so that instructors of the field experience courses can build on lessons learned through the video game as part of their classroom instruction. Teachers also can access data on student progress and decision-making.

At the end of the game, the students receive their scores and get a chance to re-play the game so they can improve their responses, Koerner explained.

“The game-based technology allows these students to take their teaching for a test drive, even make mistakes, without causing negative consequences they might experience in a real-life situation,” she said.

The partnership that created the video game underpins a broader effort to refine best practices in teacher education. The end goal is to improve America’s public schools. Known as the Sanford Inspire Program, funding comes from entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford who invested $18.85 million in 2010 to launch the Teachers College-Teach for America partnership. The program has garnered national attention for its innovative approaches to preparing teacher candidates. More information is available at http://sanfordinspireprogram.org/.

Despite its effectiveness in readying future teachers for the classroom, the new technology will not take the place of traditional methods anytime soon, Koerner said.

“It’s not replacing, it’s not instead of,” she said. “It’s enhancing how we teach our students to become professionals.”