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Research, Reflections and Rewards of a Collaborative Alliance
Unformatted Document Text:  Research, Reflections, and Rewards of a Collaborative Alliance Strand II: Picturing Expanded Alliances Section 1: Content A. Statement of the issue: Since No Child Left Behind, a number of issues pertaining to the quality of teacher preparation have come to the forefront. Teacher educators everywhere are challenged to prepare teachers who can effectively teach in today’s schools, particularly in schools located in the most difficult of social, political and economic settings (i.e, rural and urban). Many of these schools are “at risk” when students cannot meet state and national standards. Colleges and universities that prepare teachers must find ways to help these schools. Through Expanded Alliances teachers can be better prepared to teach in these schools and therefore help improve the academic performance of students in these schools. Expanded Alliances can also assist veteran teachers in continued professional development. B. Literature Review: A good school culture must be created. Dr. James Comer suggests that school leaders must create a framework that supports the development and academic learning of all students (Comer, 2004). Comer proposes that we never forget that many children from culturally deprived families do not come to school valuing academic learning. Therefore it is the task of the school to create positive relationships and a sense of belonging so that children develop a comfort level where confidence and competence and motivation to learn happen (Branford, Brown & Cockings 2002). Schools need help in creating this positive environment for learning. Gordon (2004) suggests that learning communities be created to assist with the professional development of all teachers. These learning communities include all members of the school community as well as parents and social service agency personnel. By connecting professional development activities in more meaningful ways, Gordon suggests that stronger links between PK-12 professional development activities and school improvement plans will help improve student learning. Universities that prepare teachers must be part of these alliances. C. Contribution: It is the role of the university to be involved in all stages of development regarding the formation of broad alliances such as a PK-16 council. This involvement must include partners from all disciplines across the arts and sciences, business, education, social work, counseling, criminal justice, and educational leadership. In addition, the medical and social service agencies that work with schools need to be involved. The teacher education unit must be open to building interdisciplinary collaborations that will strengthen the preparation of future teachers for urban and rural schools. The faculty and administration must seek grants, and financial resources to assist with continued professional development for those who work with children. The university must provide support for faculty involved in PK-16 council work. 1

Authors: Hockersmith, Peggy. and Bartos, Robert.
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Research, Reflections, and Rewards of a Collaborative Alliance
Strand II: Picturing Expanded Alliances
Section 1: Content
A. Statement of the issue: Since No Child Left Behind, a number of issues
pertaining to the quality of teacher preparation have come to the forefront.
Teacher educators everywhere are challenged to prepare teachers who can
effectively teach in today’s schools, particularly in schools located in the most
difficult of social, political and economic settings (i.e, rural and urban). Many of
these schools are “at risk” when students cannot meet state and national standards.
Colleges and universities that prepare teachers must find ways to help these
schools. Through Expanded Alliances teachers can be better prepared to teach in
these schools and therefore help improve the academic performance of students in
these schools. Expanded Alliances can also assist veteran teachers in continued
professional development.
B. Literature Review: A good school culture must be created. Dr. James Comer
suggests that school leaders must create a framework that supports the
development and academic learning of all students (Comer, 2004). Comer
proposes that we never forget that many children from culturally deprived
families do not come to school valuing academic learning. Therefore it is the task
of the school to create positive relationships and a sense of belonging so that
children develop a comfort level where confidence and competence and
motivation to learn happen (Branford, Brown & Cockings 2002). Schools need
help in creating this positive environment for learning.
Gordon (2004) suggests that learning communities be created to assist with the
professional development of all teachers. These learning communities include all
members of the school community as well as parents and social service agency
personnel. By connecting professional development activities in more meaningful
ways, Gordon suggests that stronger links between PK-12 professional
development activities and school improvement plans will help improve student
learning. Universities that prepare teachers must be part of these alliances.
C. Contribution: It is the role of the university to be involved in all stages of
development regarding the formation of broad alliances such as a PK-16 council.
This involvement must include partners from all disciplines across the arts and
sciences, business, education, social work, counseling, criminal justice, and
educational leadership. In addition, the medical and social service agencies that
work with schools need to be involved. The teacher education unit must be open
to building interdisciplinary collaborations that will strengthen the preparation of
future teachers for urban and rural schools. The faculty and administration must
seek grants, and financial resources to assist with continued professional
development for those who work with children. The university must provide
support for faculty involved in PK-16 council work.
1


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