Integrating Curriculum and Community
The faculty and staff of the School of Education have been deeply engaged in extending our efforts to be a school that is an engaged community partner. Our efforts have been aligned around transforming our teacher education curriculum, starting a new college access program for K-12 students, and continuing to support our faculty scholarship. This faculty scholarship is present throughout the community in schools, universities, and community agencies.
The transformation of our teacher education curriculum has seen the 12 full-time faculty of our Teaching and Learning Department work collaboratively with local teachers and leaders to conduct a major curriculum update in our teacher preparation programs. By using the theme of equity and aligning to new state teacher standards, faculty have updated every course in the teacher credential programs. The curriculum that has emerged places continued emphasis on our tradition of being a leader in preparing new teachers. We now have common courses in our general teacher preparation and special education programs, which ensures that all teachers have a shared understanding of what it means to teach and appreciate the unique needs of every student.
Our commitment to educational justice, and our emphasis in ensuring that we support educational access, has been substantially extended through our partnership with the Redlands Unified School District. Our partnership includes the implementation of the Rochford Leadership Scholars Program. The program assists sixth through twelfth-grade students from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain access to college. The Rochford Leadership Scholars Program, which formally began on December ninth with 20 selected sixth graders, will bring new educational opportunities to youth surrounding the University of Redlands. While we are beginning with 20 students, in the coming years this program will grow to support 120 youth who are aspiring to reach their educational goal of attending college.
As a school of education, we prepare educators, partner in educational programs, and have the unique purpose of advancing knowledge of educational practice in the community.
Our faculty are deeply engaged in applied scholarship that aims to advance the practice of education. As an example, Dr. Gary Scott has spent the last two years developing and then evaluating a spatial curriculum for elementary school students. With support from the National Science Foundation and in partnership with two local schools, the project has sought to use spatial instruction to increase student math and science capabilities. Results of the project are promising, and point to the value of spatial instruction as a part of elementary math and science curriculum implementation.
The faculty and staff of the School continue to be deeply engaged in partnering to advance education for the students we serve, and the communities with whom we increasingly work so closely.