The Georgia Center for Educational Renewal is
Committed to Closing the Gaps
. . . between research and practice
. . . between the University and the public schools
. . . between minority and majority achievement, K-16
The Georgia Center for Educational Renewal will address current issues and commonly-faced challenges encountered by school leaders and teachers in Georgia, throughout the U.S. and internationally. Specifically, the Center will focus its efforts on the challenges of increasingly stringent calls for higher performance by all student populations, the increasing achievement gap between white and minority students, between students from low and higher SES and the special challenges faced by schools serving rural areas.
In order to improve education, including preschool through doctoral study, the Center will facilitate research, policy analysis, publication, and professional development of all levels. The Center will be committed to engaging constituents at all levels with the work of education renewal. The Center will build upon and extend the impact of on-going initiatives at Georgia Southern University, such as the Center for the Study of International Schooling, The Center for Educational Leadership and Service, and the University’s partner school and P-16 co-reform initiatives.
Much of the current school renewal/reform research and school/university education and renewal efforts have been conducted at larger universities that are embedded within large urban centers. The Georgia Center for Educational Renewal will address the differing educational issues and needs of small town/rural resource-poor schools. Together with the International Center, the Georgia Center will be able to conduct applied research on global reform issues at smaller, local school environments and address matters such as scale and adaptability in the process of education renewal.
Description of How the Center Fits into the University’s Existing Organizational Structure
The Georgia Center for Education Renewal is located at Georgia Southern University and administered through the College of Education. The professor/director of the Center will report directly to the Dean of the College of Education and will work in conjunction with the departments of the College, P-12 educators, University arts and sciences faculty, and community leaders. Faculty will receive part-time appointments to the Center for research and grant-writing purposes, as funding permits. As the Center matures and becomes financially self-sufficient, it will be served by a full-time administrative assistant as well as two graduate assistants, doctoral fellows and/or academic interns (at least one of which will be an international student.) Other staff and professors funded through external grants and contracts may supplement the core staff.
- Focuses on education renewal and/or reform in P-12 schools and in higher education geared toward enhancing student learning.
- Promotes existing and new partnerships between the University and the P-16 community–locally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally–to facilitate improved teaching and learning in schools, especially for under-served populations.
- Addresses current issues and commonly-faced challenges encountered by schools and teachers in Georgia, throughout the U.S., and internationally:
- unfunded mandates such as public accountability,
- evolving standards,
- increasingly stringent calls for higher performance by all student populations,
- increasing achievement gap between white and minority students and between students from low and higher SES,
- growing numbers of students with diverse needs,
- shrinking teaching and leadership forces,
- integration of new technologies to promote learning, and other 21st Century educational directives.
- Based on the premise that simultaneous renewal of both educator preparation and P-12 schools is needed for any fundamental improvement in education to occur
- Study the impact of existing and experimental policy on student learning.
Functions of the Center
The Georgia Center for Education Renewal incorporates strategies, such as the following, to facilitate simultaneous renewal for institutions engaged in preparing teachers and leaders for the schools meet 21st century challenges:
- GRANTS/RESEARCH. The Center conducts research on local, state, national, and international issues, including linking educator preparation, professional development, and documented, best practices with their impact on P-12 student learning.
- DISSEMINATION. Research findings are disseminated through a Center web site, web-based databases, presentations, testimonies, interactive speaker/seminar series, and a range of publications. The Center will maintain state, national, and international educational databases to provide information relative to ongoing education renewal efforts.
- EVALUATION. Evaluation services for systemic education renewal initiatives at all levels (local, state, regional, national, and international) are provided by the Center. The Center will also maintain a clearinghouse of trained evaluators.
- COLLABORATION. The Center convenes schools, institutions of higher education, organizations, and agencies that are engaged in inclusive education renewal and work to foster new collaborations.
- LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. Opportunities to develop leadership skills that focus on student learning outcomes are offered to present and prospective educators and administrators. Leadership development is connected with current state, national, and international initiatives and with local school/system needs.
- ON-LINE LEARNING. Coordinates AMI and Lincoln Educational Services projects to improve post-secondary teaching.