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Council on Postsecondary Education
CPE awards grants to improve P-12 educator quality

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 12, 2013  
Contact Information:  Sue Patrick
502-573-1555
Cell: 502-330-6596
Sue.Patrick@ky.gov
 


The Council on Postsecondary Education awarded federal grant funds to improve P-12 educator quality through professional development programs at its meeting last week in Madisonville.

The Improving Educator Quality (IEQ) grants, totaling $839,000, were awarded to four lead institutions, including the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and Murray State University. This is the 12th consecutive year for the grants.

“The more we improve teaching, the more we can improve student learning,” said Council President Bob King. “Each of these grants will support our campuses’ efforts to help public school teachers continue to increase college and career readiness of Kentucky’s students.”

The focus of the program this year is on fully integrating the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards and related assessments in a way that assists teachers in providing intervention in content areas for students in need of accelerated learning.

To be eligible, a partnership must include a postsecondary institution’s school of arts and sciences, its teacher preparation program, as well as a high-need local school district.

The projects, lead institutions and grant awards are listed below.

  • Success in Algebra: Improving Special Education Teaching Practice, University of Kentucky: $120,000—Year 2
  • Collaborative for Inquiry-Based Instruction, Northern Kentucky University: $120,000—Year 2
  • Algebraic Dynamic Duo: Integrating Hands-On Learning and Problem Solving to Increase Student Achievement, Morehead State University: $120,000—Year 2
  • FLIP: Using Video Podcasts for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention, Northern Kentucky University: $120,000—Year 2
  • Integrating Engineering in the Sciences (IES), University of Kentucky: $130,000
  • Project-Based Investigations on Improving Water Quality in the Kentucky River Watershed, University of Kentucky: $130,000
  • Enriching Science Learning through Simulations and Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving, Murray State University: $99,000

More detailed descriptions follow.

University of Kentucky: $120,000—Year 2

Success in Algebra: Improving Special Education Teaching Practice

Kimberly Zeidler-Watters, principal investigator

The University of Kentucky will provide content and strategies for special education teachers to facilitate and develop effective classroom experiences for their students. The content focus will be on developing a deeper understanding for the teacher participants on number concepts as they relate to success in algebra. The interventions are necessary for special needs students who have gaps in learning so they are prepared for and can be successful in Algebra I courses. The proposal will target 20 special education middle and high school mathematics teachers.

Northern Kentucky University: $120,000—Year 2

Collaborative for Inquiry-Based Instruction

Jennifer Stansbury Koening and Susan Cook, principal investigators

Northern Kentucky University, in collaboration with Thomas More College, will expand support for the professional learning community of Instructional Coaches established by the Northern Kentucky Partnership Academy. Collaborative for Inquiry-Based Instruction (CIBI) will promote best practices of inquiry-based and project-based instructional strategies during workshops convened by postsecondary experts of teacher education, mathematics, sciences and literacy. Participants will engage in experiential instruction that builds their capacity to effectively coach teachers to implement inquiry-based and project-based instructional strategies to accelerate student learning.

Morehead State University: $120,000—Year 2

Algebraic Dynamic Duo: Integrating Hands-On Learning and Problem Solving to Increase Student Achievement

Krista Barton, principal investigator

Morehead State University will engage 40 middle and high school math and math-collaboration special education teachers. The project’s objectives include: 1) identify students in need of accelerated learning through rigorous and scientifically researched assessment practices to make appropriate content-based interventions for assistance in algebra instruction, especially students beyond 8th grade still struggling with algebra concepts; 2) implement instructional practices, informed by scientifically based research, for teaching algebra with a focus on depth of knowledge in algebraic concepts as defined by Common Core Standards; 3) fully integrate professional development that assists teachers in analyzing ACT College Readiness Assessment (Explore, Plan and ACT) scores to inform instruction and strategies to assist students’ achievement on these tests; and 4) empower teachers through self-reflection and analysis in the creation of individual action plans.

Northern Kentucky University: $120,000—Year 2

FLIP: Using Video Podcasts for Mathematics Instruction and Intervention

Theodore Hodgson and Renee Campoy, principal investigators

Northern Kentucky University, in collaboration with Murray State University and the Kentucky Center for Mathematics, will provide mathematics teachers the opportunity to pilot a flipped instructional model. With the guidance of university specialists in mathematics education, teacher education, and technology, 30 teachers in grades 7-12 will “flip” the traditional instructional sequence using content-based video podcasts. In the flipped classroom, students view teacher-created video podcasts of the lesson as homework. Time in the classroom is then devoted to clarifying discussions, computational and conceptual practices, and enrichment activities. Research on this emerging model indicates that students are more actively engaged in the classroom, achieve and succeed at higher levels, and assume greater responsibility for their learning.

University of Kentucky: $130,000

Integrating Engineering in the Sciences (IES)

Kimberly Zeidler-Watters, principal investigator

Through a broad partnership facilitated by the Partnership Institute for Math and Science Education Reform (PIMSER), comprised of high school science teacher teams, science educators, and scientists, the project will work to develop, pilot and revise high school instructional units of study. With the addition of Global Climate and several human health-related core ideas in the NGSS, high school science programs have a high need for assistance with developing units that address these concepts and integrate engineering. Participating in IES is designed to move science teachers from test preparation to designing classroom experiences that genuinely prepare students to be college and career ready.

University of Kentucky: $130,000

Project-Based Investigations on Improving Water Quality in the Kentucky River Watershed

Rebecca McNall Krall, principal investigator

This professional development project aims to improve 27 middle school teachers’ abilities to develop and implement engaging project-based learning (PBL) units relating to the Kentucky River Watershed. The central goal of the project is to improve middle school teachers’ competence and confidence in teaching and applying Kentucky Core Academic Standards and Next Generation Science Standards in authentic STEM contexts that engage students in doing science and applying knowledge in authentic contexts.

Murray State University: $99,000

Enriching Science Learning through Simulations and Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving

Yuejin Xu, principal investigator

Murray State University, in collaboration with Madisonville Community College, the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Academy of Technology Education, and six school districts, proposes to offer professional development helping science and mathematics teachers meet the requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards and Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Mathematics and learn to effectively use simulations and interdisciplinary problem-solving for students in need of accelerated learning. Through intensive summer training and online mentoring throughout the school year, participating teachers will gain insight into the new standards for science and mathematics, and explore effective strategies for engaging students with science simulations and interdisciplinary problem-solving activities.

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