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Column One: Teachers

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More than 100 teachers named since 1988 as Christa McAuliffe Educators and Fellows are preparing to reunite this week in Washington to discuss teacher innovation and draft an open letter to President Clinton.

The teachers, cited by the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education for promoting active learning and creative thinking in the classroom, plan to consider ways teachers can use technology and innovative teaching styles to meet the changing needs of students.

A report on the outcome of the meeting is expected to be released in the spring.

The Jan. 27-31 gathering was scheduled to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the Challenger explosion in which the astronaut and New Hampshire social-studies teacher Christa McAuliffe lost her life.

Public school and university personnel are expected to forge a strong partnership under a program developed by Indiana State University and four school corporations in west-central Indiana.

The Professional Development Schools program will link educators in 10 public schools with Indiana State professors of education in hopes of creating "enhanced learning experiences for university students preparing for a career in teaching,'' according to the university.

Under the plan, participating public schools would be required to apply for Indiana 2000 status, a restructuring initiative sponsored by the state legislature.

A three-year, $465,252 grant to support the Indiana partnerships was awarded by the Lilly Endowment last month.

"Hands Across the Water,'' a Russian-American teacher-exchange program sponsored by the Educational Information and Resource Center, is seeking applicants for its fall 1993 session.

Teachers, administrators, and school board members who enroll in the program spend over two weeks visiting Russian or Ukrainian schools in October. The following spring, their hosts make a reciprocal visit to the United States to live in the homes of American participants and to serve as resource teachers in their schools.

Participants can seek sponsorship and funding from school districts, local businesses, parent-teacher groups, fund-raising events, or other sources.

For an early-registration discount, applications should be submitted by March 1 to Erik Mollenhauer, Educational Information and Resource Center, 606 Delsea Dr., Sewell, N.J. 08080; (609) 582-7000.--J.R.

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