National Professional Grant 2013 BYU/Public School Partnership:
Simultaneous RENEWAL for the Education of English Learners through Professional Development
This project, which we call Renewal, explores changes in the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and practices of four populations of teachers (university faculty, district mentor teachers, preservice teachers, and inservice teachers). Collectively, the various initiatives of the project attend to each level of education which might bring about change in the teaching of individual teachers: university faculty involved in pre-service education; mentor teachers who support teacher candidates within field experiences particularly student teaching; the internship year, or potentially even in the early years of teaching; and further education for regular classroom teachers. Each initiative provides professional development that will support those involved to improve the education of English Language Learners (ELs) within the public schools. The changes in knowledge, skills, dispositions, and practices of the teachers involved or influenced by these initiatives should improve the quality of instruction for these students.
At the university, teacher education faculty will receive two kinds of professional development opportunities. Collectively, faculty will be given information about the knowledge, skills, and dispositions emphasized in preservice coursework that is focused specifically on educating teacher candidates to work with preservice teachers. Individually, faculty will consult with the project director. In these meetings, the project director will support them in identifying the activities, tasks, and content within their course that could most profitably support teacher candidates in integrating what they learn in specific coursework targeting instruction for ELs with the more general course content of the faculty member. Course syllabi and assignment changes will provide evidence of the effectiveness of this effort.
In Provo, Alpine, Nebo, Wasatch, and Jordan Districts, workshops for district mentors teachers who work directly with preservice teachers will be provided. In the mentor teacher workshops inservice teachers will learn to provide evaluation and feedback to preservice teachers concerning their work as beginning teacher particularly with EL students. Renewal will study the efficacy of this professional development through the use of surveys and interviews.
All elementary preservice teachers and those secondary preservice teachers who choose to do so will take coursework and be involved in practicum experiences that prepare them to work with ELs in their classrooms. We will gather data through assignments and surveys to examine their growth in knowledge, skills, dispositions and practices.
In Provo, Alpine, Nebo and Wasatch District, Renewal will provide training and professional development for inservice teachers. This professional development will support teachers in meeting the learning needs of ELs in their regular classrooms. Across the five years of the grant, two cohorts of twenty-five teachers within each district will be provided. We will evaluate this program by collecting surveys, interviews, videotapes and classroom assignments.