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COE Faculty Receive Nearly $122,000 in Teacher Quality Grants

Okefenokee Grant Students in summer 2011

Three COE faculty received a total of $121,739 in Teacher Quality Grants for 2012-2013 to work collaboratively with other COE and Georgia Southern faculty in deepening content knowledge for K-12 teachers. Funding to support Improving Teacher Quality Grants comes through the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The grants specifically aim at strengthening and deepening teachers’ content knowledge in their academic subjects with emphasis on how this new knowledge affects teaching practices and student learning.

Dr. Missy Bennett, Associate Professor in Teaching & Learning, will once again work with Dr. Fred Rich from Georgia Southern’s Department of Geology and Geography on “Ecology of Coastal Georgia: Barrier Islands, Rivers, and Swamps.” In addition to learning content and pedagogy related to the ecology of coastal Georgia, teachers are encouraged to take their new knowledge base to create lessons using their local natural resources. The week-long on-site course will investigate Jekyll, Sapelo and Cumberland Islands, as well as the St. Mary’s River and the Okefenokee Swamp. Excursions that are part of the week-long course will be videotaped and provided to teachers with edited lesson segments for use in the classroom. This course is available to science teachers throughout Georgia.

Dr. Sally Brown, Assistant Professor in Curriculum, Foundations & Reading, received a grant along with co-director Dr. Sabrina Ross, also an Assistant Professor in Curriculum, Foundations & Reading, to create an intensive week-long Summer Institute, “Reading for Empowerment and Conflict Resolution: A Journey for Teachers and Students.” The target audience for this grant is a group of K-5 educators from Glynn County.  The institute will help teachers in the content area of reading, and provide strategies for reducing discipline challenges in the classroom than disrupt learning.

Dr. Chuck Hodges, Assistant Professor in Leadership, Technology & Human Development, will be working with Dr. Bob Mayes, Professor, Teaching and Learning, as well as faculty from Georgia Southern’s Department of Mathematical Sciences and other professionals, on a five-day summer workshop for Glynn County teachers. Participants will also consult with faculty electronically after the workshop and participate in two post –workshop meetings. The goal is to help these teachers create meaningful contexts for learning experiences through visiting Glynn County businesses and industries which utilize mathematics. The learning experiences will be created using well-established instructional design models, current problem-based learning pedagogy, and meaningful uses of technology.

Participants in last year’s “Ecology of Coastal Georgia” Teacher Quality workshop climb a live oak for a group photograph.

For more information on any of these projects, contact the project directors Missy Bennett, mbennett@georgiasouthern.edu; Sally Brown sallybrown@georgiasouthern.edu; or Chuck Hodges chodges@georgiasouthern.edu

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