The College of Education Secondary Teacher Education Reform began at ECU in the summer of 2012 when Secondary Education and College of Arts and Sciences faculty at ECU joined with teachers from J. H. Rose High School at 2 Summer Reform Institutes. In June, the full team participated in Common Core State Standards (CCSS) training provided by Pearson.The team was supported by another group of ECU faculty who provided consultation and training in how to better serve English Language Learners (ELL), support Literacy, apply Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and facilitate Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).
In July, ECU and high school faculty formed disciplinary teams to create a model unit aligned with the CCSS and the North Carolina Essential Standards.In fall 2012, partner teachers from J. H. Rose High School used the model unit with their students, and ECU Secondary Teacher Education Faculty used the model units in their methods courses to teach instructional planning. Arts and Sciences faculty who participated in the training have made changes in their courses as well. For the first time, an in-depth curriculum planning sequence, with exemplars created by ECU and high school faculty, was integrated into ENED senior I coursework. The ENED unit planning module includes the seven stages: 1) Assess school context; 2) Brainstorm topic; 3) Determine unit vision; 4) Create culminating performance task; 5) Make concept/CCSS ELA unit timeline; 6) Create 3 interim performance assessment tasks; and 7) Develop unit outline that includes an introductory lesson, and 5-successive days using a special lesson plan format.
In the summer of 2013, secondary and support faculty at ECU, along with J. H. Rose high school teachers, met for a third 5-day Summer iBook Institute where they learned to create multi-touch e-books using iBook-Author software. Subsequently, the high school teachers created model curriculum units as e-books and pdf documents. ECU Secondary faculty, building on the foundation of ISLES Modules (Instructional Strategy Lessons for Educators Series) created for Elementary, Middle Grades, and Special Education, adapted the Modules to better serve secondary content and methods courses. These ISLES-S (or ISLES-Secondary) Modules, also developed as e-books and pdf documents, were implemented in History Education and English Education courses during fall 2013.Secondary Business Education and Math Education faculty are now developing the ISLES-S Modules for implementation in fall 2014.
During fall 2013, ECU Secondary faculty and J. H. Rose High School teachers were joined by teachers from Farmville Central, Ayden-Grifton, and D. H. Conley High Schools for two Saturday iBook Institutes—began developing new high school Model Curriculum Units and refining the ISLES-S Modules.The high school teachers conducted an early pilot, field-testing elements of the new Model Curriculum Units during the 2013-2014 year in their classes, and ECU Secondary faculty used these units as exemplars in their university courses.One of two 2014 Spring iBook Institutes was held in January, and the other is scheduled for March 2014.During the Spring iBook Institutes and a culminating Summer 2014 iBook Institute, the collaborative team will finalize the high school Model Units, make final edits to the ISLES-S Modules, and publish all on the Web at iTunes University.
The ISLES-S Modules and Model Curriculum Units developed collaboratively by ECU and LEA faculty in the Secondary Reform Initiative respond to the call in recent NC House Bill 44 to eliminate textbooks by 2017 by creating digital learning materials that are both interactive and dynamic. Results of this reform include:
- Teachers prepared to implement the new Common Core and North Carolina Essential Standards.
- Teachers trained to use technology effectively as an instructional tool.
- Teachers who know and are able to use a core set of instructional strategies across all content areas.
- Teachers who understand how to incorporate ELL supports, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and interactive multi-touch features into their curriculum and instruction.