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Topic: "Higher Education Engagement with K-12: Partnerships, Possibilities and Pitfalls"

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MSPnet Academy Discussion
October 17 - October 31, 2011

Nancy Shapiro, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University System of Maryland, discusses strategies and challenges for Higher Education engagement with K-12. She draws on her MSP partnership projects and her MSP research grant which studied curriculum transformation, faculty engagement, and sustainable change among higher education institutions.

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This topic has 10 posts, showing all.

Welcome to the discussion on Higher Ed enagagement

posted by: Joni Falk on 10/17/2011 2:01 pm

All are welcome to participate in this discussion, whether you were able to attend the webinar offered by Nancy Shaprio or not. If you did miss it, the webinar will be available in archive form tomorrow.

There were many questions raised about higher education engagement, the challenges, and professional learning communities. I hope many people can share their own experiences on this forum, especially, since there were audio difficulties for participants during the webinar.

post moderated on 10/17/2011

higher ed professional learning

posted by: Miriam Jordan on 10/17/2011 2:05 pm

We developed a professional learning group for the instructors and the format was very similar to that described by Nancy. We overcame a number of the issues that were listed on the powerpoint slide. We felt that we had made progress in developing common understandings. The one issue that we have continually struggled with the most is finding a workable meeting time- we have a centrally located university and other participants from over a six county area. This logistical issue seems almost insurmountable - what experience have any of you had with online professional learning groups?

Professional Learning Groups

posted by: Nancy Shapiro on 10/19/2011 4:37 pm

Technology is a blessing and a curse, right? In the good-old-days we didn't have the option to skype or video-conference, so we had intimate, face to face meetings. In Maryland, we have a small group of about 10 people who meet periodically to work on coure redesign--it's a group of faculty fellows from 5 different institutions, and we usually meet in a video conference because we are all several hours away from each other. We find the meetings to be very productive, but only if we have a real problem to solve or deadline to meet, or some other specific purpose.
I'd be interested in hearing about other experiences also.

supporting partnerships at all levels

posted by: Betsy Stefany on 10/20/2011 11:46 am

I grew frustrated over the problems of physical meetings and built in the use of an online "platform" design to augment the ideas and offer extended thoughts to build over time. These do NOT replace the fellowship element, but can greatly enhance the project while fulfilling needs from administrators for documentation and signs of applications of learning. Listening and reading the MSPnet discussions has changed my approach towards the participant and higher ed relationships. Instead of referring to our project as a PLC, we assume interest in the subject of science education, and consider our participants members of a community of practice. The "practice" is science and towards STEM by building their entry through collaboration and cohort projects. I was glad to hear the validation of the "pitfalls" in how evaluation takes hold of the project as we are currently working on that "handle".

Betsy Stefany

Professional learning communities

posted by: Nancy Shapiro on 10/23/2011 7:56 am

I like this approach--in fact, I find some of the most interesting online discussions have taken place through the MSPnet community of practice. Having a place to go to ask questions, collect thoughts of a wide range of people across many states and in many different situations has been a wonderful resource.
Sometimes we don't have to reinvent the wheel--but rather use the access we already have. I've added many people to our MSPnet site because they asked me questions that I thought would be good topics for the broader community.

professional learning communities

posted by: Mary Stapleton on 10/24/2011 3:28 pm

I'm interested in hearing about other groups that have formed professional learning communities that have brought together teachers from k-12 and higher education faculty. I have a group of high school science teachers who are involved in a school-year PLC that follows an intensive summer research experience in the labs of high ed faculty. I feel the PLC has been very successful in allowing teachers the time to reflect with their colleagues on their teaching practices. Currently, the higher education faculty are not involved in the school year learning community. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts they'd like to share on PLC's that involved a mix of both higher ed faculty and k-12 teachers. And if they have had that type of PLC, what was the focus of the group? Were the faculty there as content experts for the K-12 teachers, or were the faculty there to focus on their own teaching?

Welcome to the discussion

posted by: Nancy Shapiro on 10/17/2011 3:39 pm

I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation about the challenges and opportunities inherent in higher education engagemetn in K-12. As I said at the end of the webinar, I think we are well positioned to take an active role in the most important educational reform initiatives that we have seen in decades with the development of the Common Core State Standards and Assessments and the Science Framework. All our P/K-16/20 work is a great foundation for this next big step. I'm anxious to hear your comments.

Partnership Resources

posted by: Debra Bernstein on 10/17/2011 7:36 pm

Thanks, Nancy, for your thoughtful presentation this afternoon.

During the webinar we talked about sharing articles and resources on partnerships. I wanted to let everyone know about the bibliography of MSP-authored papers on partnerships, available in the MSPnet library:

Involving master teachers in college courses

posted by: Nancy Shapiro on 10/23/2011 7:51 am

One of my aspirational goals for our partnerships, which rarely materialized, was to get master teachers into undergraduate science classes as members of the instructional team at the university or college. Even though the University of Maryland had had such a program in the past, it was defunct, because teachers had to give up their home school placement to teach for a semester at college. But it always seemed to me that the benefits of such a program would be significant--that faculty would gain understandings of creative pedagogy, and teachers would be part of the intellectual community of scientists, and better understand what students needed to know to be successful in college classes. Does anyone have any successful examples of such programs?

Thank You to Nancy and to participants

posted by: Joni Falk on 11/1/2011 3:06 pm

This discussion, is now closed. The archive of the webinar and of this discussion will be available on MSPnet.

A special thanks to Nancy Shapiro. This webinar was very well attended and extremely informative.

The next webinar "Learning to Teach to the Common Core" will be given by Deborah Lowenberg Ball,on November 28th at 1:00 PM EST