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Sept. 6, 2017
Northwest Missouri State University’s School of Education is actively preparing engaged learners – now and in the future – and it is carrying that theme through a kickoff event to celebrate its newly redesigned educator preparation programs.
The event from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom on the Northwest campus invites education partners and community members to join University faculty and students for a discussion about change and improvement in education.
The discussion will be driven by a screening of “Most Likely to Succeed,” a feature-length documentary that examines the history of education in the United States and challenges schools to reimagine their purpose and create learning experiences that prepare children for life in the 21st century.
During the past year, more than 1,500 communities have booked a screening of the film, which has only been made available through community screenings, to create space for meaningful and necessary discussion between educators, administrators, parents and students about providing education that is relevant, meaningful and hands-on.
“Attendees will recognize how proactive Northwest has been in designing programs that will educate teacher candidates in the strategies and programs that will most effectively meet the needs of today’s learners and learners of the future,” said Dr. Sue Wood, an assistant professor of professional education who spearheaded a collaboration to redesign education programs at Northwest, which is culminating with their implementation this fall. “’Most Likely To Succeed’ illustrates the vision of the School of Education for learners to thrive in a collaborative environment which promotes critical thinking and problem solving.”
The School of Education revised its Bachelor of Science in Education degree programs in elementary, special education: cross categorical, middle school, secondary and elementary-secondary, in addition to adding a degree in early childhood. The revisions are a response to proposed federal regulations on teacher education preparation as well as restructured educator preparation requirements issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“With technology and all of the resources at the fingertips of our teachers, you can gather content but we really need to put emphasis on the ability to teach, the ability to establish relationships with students, the ability to know what to do in a classroom,” Wood said. “While the content is extremely important, we know the emphasis on teaching methods is vital as well.”
The redesigned programs also include a sequence of three competency-based modules that integrate quality indicators in the teaching field.
All Northwest education majors will complete phase I, which includes six instructional modules and related professional education activities delivered during three trimesters. Phase I is completed prior to admission to teacher education programs and leads to candidates successfully completing the Missouri General Education Assessment exam required for admission to teacher education.
Subsequent phases offer instructional modules for elementary and middle or secondary majors prior to student teaching, lead to candidates successfully completing the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA), and support the student teaching experience.
Assessments designed to demonstrate mastery of integrated competencies contained in each module will be evaluated to determine a candidate’s progress through the required curriculum. As a competency-based program, candidates will receive credit for a module upon demonstration of mastery once they successfully complete the associated assessments.
In addition to their coursework, students participate in embedded field experiences with Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School, its Phyllis and Richard Leet Center and partnering community settings.
“Our new program has student teaching elements and practicum experiences from day one,” Dr. Tim Wall, the dean of Northwest’s School of Education, said. “You get to engage from day one at age 18, and by the time a student is 21 or 22 and ready to graduate, they’ve had hundreds of hours and opportunities to receive feedback, coaching, to make mistakes and learn from that. We feel like that’s the best way to prepare an educator.”
The Sept. 18 event begins at 5 p.m. in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a presentation of new programs in the School of Education at 5:30 p.m. The screening will begin at 6 p.m., with conversation and networking afterward.
Local legislators and educators as well as leaders representing Northwest and the Department of Education also are expected to attend.
For more information or to register, email EDLEAD@nwmissouri.edu by Monday, Sept. 11.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468