Message from the Dean
Dear Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Students, and Friends,
This is the second of two issues of McKay Today focused on the BYU-Public School Partnership (BYU-PSP) and the Vision Statement and its five commitments. This document continues to represent the founding principles that have guided the Partnership for the past 28 years. However, the real legacy of the Partnership is its impact on student learning: the academic, social, civic, and ethical outcomes of putting the commitments into practice.This issue shares a few examples of how members of the Partnership have applied these commitments for the benefit of our children.
We begin with an article by a special guest author, Dr. Donald D. Deshler, titled “Artistry in Teaching.” Dr. Deshler is the director of the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas and an outstanding scholar who has contributed much to the field of education and to BYU. His experience in working with public schools parallels our work in the BYU-PSP. His comments on “artistry behaviors” characteristic of master teachers sets the tone for this issue’s focus on putting commitments into practice. I hope you both enjoy and learn from this great article.
Dr. Garrick Peterson shares the transformation of a junior high school by a strong faculty committed to “equitable access to academic knowledge and achievement” (Commitment 3). Read how over a 10-year period improvements were made that enabled virtually all students in this school-regardless of ethnic, cultural, economic, or disability risk factors-to reach high levels of academic proficiency. Their Journey is inspiring.
Dr. Sterling Hilton and his colleagues provide an example Commitment 2-engaged learning through nurturing pedagogy. The Comprehensive Mathematics Instruction (CMI) program is a developing model that has now been implemented in 18 partnership schools. Initial data from this program show significant changes in learning as a result of improvements in teachers’ mathematics understanding and pedagogy.
Throughout the magazine several other educators share ways that the Partnership’s programs and support have assisted them in impacting the lives of children and youth. I especially enjoyed President Cecil O. Samuelson’s reflections of Mrs. Enid Brown, his third-grade teacher. We all have had teachers who influenced our lives.
Personally, I believe the Partnership’s vision, and I am devoted to its five commitments. I hope I can continue to put them into practice, because I want all of our Father in Heaven’s children to learn how to act civilly as they become an integral part of their communities. I want to see all children engaging in deep, significant learning, being nurtured in the process. I want to see all children gain knowledge and achieve both academic and social success. We all need to become stewards of our schools as we foster continual renewal and development.
K. Richard Young, Dean