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News from the Field


11/6/2013

Linda McKee


Teacher Preparation at Tulane


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Linda McKee, Director
Teacher Preparation and Certification
Program


Since receiving state approval in August 2005, the Teacher Preparation and Certification Program (TPCP) at Tulane University has focused on its main goal: to produce beginning teachers, and support experienced teachers, who are enthusiastic consumers and creators of knowledge and are able to instill in students a love of learning through their own examples as PreK-12 teachers. A strong commitment to learning is a necessary foundation for self-evaluation and continuous professional learning, two hallmarks of education leaders. Tulane candidates are expected to be catalysts for social change and innovative leadership, directly impacting the lives of PreK-12 students in a variety of ways, both in and out of the classroom.

TPCP emphasizes real world application, inquiry, and place-based creativity in PreK-12 classrooms. At Tulane, we constantly strive to sustain strong partnerships with schools and districts in the greater metropolitan NOLA area and have relationships with more than sixty schools. Our pre-service teachers are in the schools from their very first class, completing between 250-300 hours of service learning or field experience in PreK-12 classrooms as they learn the dynamics of teaching.

Those who complete the TPC Program are currently teaching in ten content fields (English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, French, Spanish, history, Dance and Early Childhood). They teach in five countries outside of the United States and twelve states. They teach in private, public (both charter and non-charter) and parochial schools. In the past seven years, TPCP has trained more than 120 teachers for classrooms across the greater metropolitan area.

As a community supporter, Tulane’s TPCP has held education panels to enlighten the community on the new state standards, Common Core, and the new teacher evaluation system, COMPASS, that integrates the value-added assessments as one of its components. This month we will offer another education panel on hiring well-trained and qualified career educators. Representatives from human resource departments, Tulane’s HIRE Tulane, alumni of the TPCP and state department of education staff will be members of the panel, offering pertinent information for interested full-time and pre-service teachers. (Tulane.edu/teacher) We collaborate with many city non-profit organizations (KID-Smart, NOMA, Audubon Institute, T.R.E.E.) to integrate the arts and sciences into the curriculum, at both PreK-12 and university levels.

In response to the existing challenges in the education environment, the program has also redesigned the Education in a Diverse Society class to include the teaching of social innovation strategies focusing on the needs of education in this rapidly changing environment. Visit Carol Whelan's blog at socialinnovationineducation.blogspot.com for information about these projects and her work in social innovation and education.

Empathy, flexibility, creativity and inquiry are the keys to being a great teacher. And in the present environment of constant and controversial change in education, we need to be experts in all of them. Tulane’s Teacher Preparation and Certification Program is being recognized as a leader in its field.

 


Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225, liberalarts@tulane.edu