The Faculty of the University of Wisconsin - Parkside met at 3:35 on Thursday, October 24, 2002, in D137 MOLN. Members present were F. Akindes, Baldwin, Buenker, Duetsch, Evans, Graffin, Greenfield, Hansen, James, Kavenik, Lenard, Moore, Ruffolo, Sasso, Schleiter, Shailor, Statham, Thompson, Wallen, and Wood.
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Professor James, Chair of the University Committee .
A motion was automatically on the floor to go into a committee of the whole to hear a briefing and discuss the work of the Committee on the Transformation of the Education of Educators. MOTION PASSED without objection.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE DISCUSSION REGARDING THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE EDUCATION OF EDUCATORS
Professor James assumed the chair, as called for by UWPF 1.04(3). She said the purpose of the meeting was to review the work that has been going on.
Professor Wood reported for the Committee. He said the charge has been to examine topics related to the enhancement of excellence in teacher preparation, to identify best practices, to recommend actions that will contribute to excellence, and also to address the new Wisconsin standards for teacher development and licensure.
Professort Wood said the
work of the Committee has been based on certain presuppositions: teacher preparation
should be a high priority at UW-P; teacher preparation must entail liberal education
in the content areas and in professional training; and teacher preparation should
be a campus-wide responsibility. The Committee has formed working groups to
examine campus-wide responsibility, multiculturalism, pre-service co-curricular
experiences, technology integration, and in-service learning opportunities.
Each group has been examining national best practices to determine what might
be applicable here. Some groups have visited other
institutions; others have attended conferences. A variety of experts have been brought in to meet with stakeholders in our community; more will be brought in during the next month.
Professor Wood said working
groups are not yet ready to report, but two themes have emerged - seamless integration
and partnerships. Seamless integration is needed in regard to education in the
content area, in regard to pedagogy, and in dealing with classroom issues. Partnerships
are essential between the academic departments and the school districts, in-service
teachers, and other stakeholders. Professor Wood concluded his report by saying
the Committee hopes to make specific recommendations by
the end of this academic year.
Professor James moderated the discussion that followed. Professor Akindes said the current program has frequently been cited for its strength in multiculturalism and asked if this is being considered; she also asked why Professor Olsen has not been replaced. Professors Wood and Greenfield both said the multicultural strength has been noted by that working group. They also said priorities need to be agreed upon before positions can be allocated. Professor James said the Committee has not presumed that something is broken or inadequate; the Committee is simply trying to be constructive.
Professor Shailor recalled
that the teacher education department had protested the formation of the Committee
but got no response at that time; he asked what the subsequent response of the
Committee has been and what buy-in there has been from teacher education. Professor
James again said the Committee has behaved constructively. Professor Greenfield
made three observations - that other schools appear to be doing things that
we can adapt to better serve our purposes; that departments other than teacher
education need to do things to enhance the preparation of teachers; and that this initiative will enhance support of (not threaten) teacher education. Professor Shailor asked how Professor Greenfield would characterize the beginning of this process and was told (with some indignation) that an unwarranted lack of trust had existed. To overcome this, the Committee has been inviting faculty leaders to attend key events at Wingspread and on campus. Professor Moore said many people seem be believe there is a better way to do things and noted that our teacher preparation program has provided excellent training with very limited resources.
Professor Statham said she
felt some sort of apology should be offered for the way this initiative was
begun. She said that the recent state mandates in regard to sociology have been
dated from the outset. Professors Greenfield and Moore agreed that some of the
(new) standards are dated and said efforts must be made to overcome perceived
deficiencies. Professor James said this problem has greatly reduced the proportion
of graduates who were able to meet content standards in other states. Professor
Wood said the multicultural standards are in relatively good shape in this regard,
and called for greater involvement of the content disciplines. Professor Greenfield
said master teachers should be more involved in teaching on campus (if possible)
so that there is more
exchange of views between the campus and the community.
Professor Kavenik asked how many student teachers have been trained each year - about 70, she was told - and also asked about the status of the accelerated certification program - now moribund, she was told, although many potential students have expressed interest. Professor Lenard said students feel it takes too long to be certified and asked if this is being addressed. Professor Wood said this is probably unavoidable for a program such as ours (with no major is teacher education). Professor Greenfield said he remains hopeful that a more seamless approach can shorten the process nevertheless. Professor Moore said we need to recognize that our program offers superior professional training. Professor Wood said multidisciplinary training may be more appropriate for elementary certification; Professor Ruffolo agreed, saying we may be unduly restrictive about content.
Professor Lenard asked whether the Committee is systematically examining why students have left and where they went. Professor James said we need better information about this so that we can consider taking steps that might shorten the time/credits required for certification.
The committee of the whole rose without report and the meeting was adjourned at 4:45.