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30 Colleges Will Redesign Teacher Training

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Thirty institutions have been chosen to participate in a three-year effort to redesign the way colleges and universities prepare teachers.

Known as Project 30, the initiative will bring together faculty members from the arts and sciences with those from teacher education to redesign their curricula based on answers to five broad questions:

What general knowledge and values should teachers possess?

What kind of subject-matter preparation do they need?

What do teachers need to know and be able to do in order to teach a subject well?

How could the curriculum be made more accurate regarding different cultural, international, and gender perspectives?

What can be done to alleviate the shortage of minority teachers?

The effort is being supported by an $850,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Daniel Fallon, co-director of the project and dean of liberal arts at Texas A&M University, said the 30 sites will serve as "intellectual laboratories" and "demonstration units" for new ideas about teacher preparation.

Although the teacher-education programs are not expected to be completely redesigned on each campus, he said, elements of a new vision for teacher education will be "refined and shown to be successful" at participating sites.

The colleges and universities were chosen to represent every type of teacher-preparatory institution in the United States, ranging from major research universities to private, historically black colleges.

To carry out the project, each in4stitution has selected a team of five "high status" faculty members from the arts and sciences and education.

An initial conference of team members from all of the universities was held late last month in Houston. Next fall, the teams will meet again to present their plans. Mr. Fallon and his co-director, Frank B. Murray, dean of education at the University of Delaware, will then write a book that reflects the experiences of Project 30 institutions.

According to Mr. Fallon, the book will not be simply a report on the project, but a "persuasive, advocacy piece as to why we need to design a new teacher-education curriculum in the United States."

In addition to Texas A&M and the University of Delaware, participating schools include the following:

Baruch College of the City University of New York; Bridgewater State College; Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; California State University at Los Angeles; the University of Dayton; Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; the University of Georgia; Howard University; Indiana State University; the University of Maryland; Memphis State University; Millersville University of Pennsylvania; the University of New Mexico; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of Northern Colorado.

The University of the Pacific; Pembroke State University; the University of Pennsylvania; Saint Mary's University at San Antonio; San Diego State University; Santa Clara University; Southern University at New Orleans; State University of New York at Buffalo; Texas A&I University; the University of Texas at El Paso; Vanderbilt University; Vassar College; Weber State College; Winthrop College; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.--lo

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