In 2014-15, ALP collaborated with Union County School District and UNC-Charlotte’s College of Education to personalize the learning of teachers who require very specific assistance in raising student achievement while also earning a Master’s degree in Education. This project leveraged both technology and the most innovative models for teacher learning to provide teachers the just-in-time assistance they need to help their students learn at capacity.
The Partners in Learning Collaborative involved design of a residency model for teacher preparation designed to address and contribute beyond issues of turnover and disproportionate staffing in high-need communities. The three program Competency Domains embedded within this model redefine the process of receiving an advanced education degree and offer a rigorous and unique professional experience:
- Constructivist Learning Environment: The program entails a constructivist approach to teacher preparation whereby classroom-embedded training allows residents to actively apply and test new skills and engage in meaningful dialogue with and feedback from mentor teachers, administrators, students and the school community. Residents will also seek National Board Certification (NBC) for an experience that reinforces their deep reflection on pedagogy and formative development as professional educators.
- Collaboration in Teaching and Learning: This program is structured to enhance residents’ collaborative and communication skills. Leveraging UCPS’s early success in the integration of learning standards, residents and mentors will partner with UNCC faculty to conduct action-based research that enhances classroom integration of learning standards. This program will leverage virtual and physical spaces (i.e., Learning Labs) to enhance residents’ collaborative opportunities with their cohort, mentors, students, university partners, and the larger school community.
- Focus on Innovation: This program includes preparing residents to educate in ways that enhance their own and students’ innovative thinking, skills to collaborate creatively (in-person and virtually), and student-inspired project-based work. Innovative project work includes cohort development of a virtual professional learning community designed to provide resources and promote deeper integration of learning standards by educators across Union County.