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College faculty, students foster partnerships in Clarke County School District schools

Faculty and students in the Mary Frances Early College of Education partnered with the Clarke County School District across grade bands and disciplines in the 2022-23 school year, providing classroom or observational experiences to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and support for CCSD students, teachers, counselors, and administrators.

Teacher preparation and classroom observation

Students collaborated with district teachers to assist in instruction and gain experience working with students in the classroom.
  • The Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research (CABER) operated three demonstration classrooms for in the 2022-23 school year, where graduate students in the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis or Master of Special Education programs served 21 Pre-K–fifth grade students CCSD students. CABER has operated demonstration classrooms with the district since 2016.
  • In the spring 2023 semester, mathematics education students in the EMAT 4800 course worked with three Clarke Central High School teachers and their students learning geometry across nine sessions. The EMAT students met with the UGA instructional team prior to pairing up with one or two students throughout most of the class period.
  • Five doctoral students and two undergraduate students collaborated with the instructional coach in science at Cedar Shoals High School as well as teachers in ESOL, physics, biology, and environmental science to support bilingual students and assist in these classes.
  • At Barnett Shoals Elementary School, fourth and fifth grade teachers paired up with teacher candidates to work with students and observe literacy practices during the fall semester. Teacher candidates were taking the course EDMG 5010: Community Contexts in Middle Grades Education taught by Hilary Hughes and Amy Murphy, faculty in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice.

Athletics and physical education

Students gained experience through observing or assisting in adapted physical education courses, as well as mentoring and coaching student-athletes.
  • Doctoral students Daphne Schmid and Sophie Waller and Bryan McCullick, professor in the Department of Kinesiology, worked with the athletic department at Hilsman Middle School and students on the basketball and track and field teams. The doctoral students provided academic support, coaching and mentorship to students from underrepresented populations. Jason Edwards, an alumnus of the Department of Kinesiology, conducted a study on the service learning program, where some of the Hilsman students said their grades went up and that they learned study skills from the doctoral students.
  • Pre-service students in health and physical education, music therapy, and exercise and sport sciences taking the KINS 5620/7620 course taught by Nicole Kirk, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, observed one or more adapted physical education (APE) classes. The students recorded notes and wrote a reflection on how the experience compared to other clinical, physical education, or sport settings where they had previous experience.
  • At the graduate level, two sport pedagogy master’s students in Kirk’s KINS 7800 course assisted a CCSD APE teacher one day a week for 14 weeks. Through the practicum, the students observed duties, planned lessons, and taught students.

Student and educator support

Students and faculty worked with teachers and administrators to support students, mentor new teachers, and revamp existing collaborations.
  • Faculty members Hilary Hughes, Sonia Janis, Sara Kajder, Amy Murphy, and Kathy Thompson met with CCSD administrators throughout the school year to develop strategies for supporting induction teachers and their mentors at Clarke, Coile, and Hilsman Middle Schools. Faculty assisted instructional coaches by mentoring new teachers, giving presentations, and conducting focus groups with 35 CCSD induction mentors, induction teachers, and instructional coaches to revise the strategy for next year.
  • Lou Tolosa-Casadont, clinical professor and world language program coordinator in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, worked with a Clarke Central High School Spanish teacher throughout the school year through co-teaching, updating course curriculum, and fostering cultural awareness of the similarities and differences between Spanish-speaking countries. They received funding through the Mary Frances Early College of Education’s Glickman Challenge Grant to continue their collaboration.
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