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ECU education professor Melissa Engleman welcomes participants to a training session designed to help local teachers with new Common Core standards. The session is part of the Teacher Quality Partnership Institute, a collaboration between ECU and local schools aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of first-year teachers. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


COMMON CORE
ECU professors develop curriculum with local teachers

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services


Faculty from East Carolina University’s College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences will spend the next two weeks helping local teachers craft curriculum to meet new classroom standards.

Teachers will soon be tasked with covering essential subjects in a new way. North Carolina adopted Common Core standards in 2010, which focus on skills needed for college or the workplace in core subjects: language arts, math, social studies and science.

“The way we teach has to change,” said Bill Frazier, an administrator with Pitt County Schools. “It’s no longer a simple answer…it’s process. How do you get there? We teach (students) how to think.”

ECU faculty members are working this month with staff from Greene and Pitt county schools to develop content-specific lesson plans and units of study in those areas.

The training is part of the Teacher Quality Partnership Institute, which aims to produce more effective first-year teachers. Program administrator Dr. Betty Beacham said ECU graduates teaching in Greene and Pitt counties can receive continued training and assistance as they begin their careers through the partnership.

Efforts to support new teachers range from an orientation program at local schools in August to holding future methods courses at Greenville’s J.H. Rose High School, where education students get that “on-site experience,” Frazier said.

“It was taking a good program that we’ve got, looking and saying, ‘We can make it better,’ said Beacham of teacher training at ECU.

Because Common Core standards extend nationwide, Frazier said it will be easier to compare student and teacher success across states and regions.

“These kinds of data are going to inform future funding for teacher education,” said Dr. Linda Patriarca, dean of the College of Education. “We must be part of the solution. We must not be part of the problem.”

The four-week institute began in late June and continues through the end of July. Funding for the institute and other partnership efforts comes from a five-year, $9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

More information about the Teacher Quality Partnership grant is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/TQP/.



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