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Miami, Central State collaborate to enhance future teachers' diversity experiences

01/10/2011

Miami University and Central State University are turning to each other to help students on both campuses get the kinds of experiences in diversity that will make them better teachers.

Miami’s School of Education, Health and Society (EHS) and Central State are launching a collaborative effort designed to improve teacher preparation programs via student/faculty exchanges, joint research and teaching opportunities.

“We’re only an hour’s drive from each other,” said Ray Terrell, the EHS associate dean who spearheaded the project, “and we have similar needs. We see this partnership as a way to strengthen both of our teacher education programs.”

Miami and Central State both want students to broaden their experiences and to interact more with others from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. Accreditation organizations have seconded the need for both schools to enhance diversity efforts.

Denise Taliaferro Baszile, associate professor of education leadership at Miami, and David Childs, associate professor of social studies and history in the College of Education at Central State, will facilitate the program.

This spring 30 to 40 teacher education majors from both universities will spend a day in classrooms and workshops on each campus. The students, who will be taking a similar required course, will be assigned problem-solving exercises that involve cooperative work.

The students and their professors will remain digitally linked throughout the semester so that they continue to interact with each other.

The spring semester will be followed up by residential summer exchanges at both campuses and a long-term plan has been worked out to gradually increase collaborative efforts.
Among other activities proposed are mentoring programs, shared research activities, faculty exchanges, team teaching and shared field and/or student teaching placements.

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