Syracuse University

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School of Education professors receive grant awards from NYS Department of Education for professional development

February 24, 2010

Jennifer Russo
(315) 443-4751

Two members on the faculty of teaching and leadership programs in Syracuse University’s School of Education have secured funding for projects from the New York State Department of Education. Both projects will be supported through New York State’s Teacher/Leader Quality Partnerships (TLQP) program, which aims to improve the academic success of New York’s students by improving the quality of their teachers.

Patricia Tinto, associate professor in teaching and leadership, has received $73,750 in support of her project, Teachers and Students Thinking Mathematically (TSTM). TSTM is a partnership between the School of Education, the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Syracuse City School District and Chittenango Central Schools. The initiative responds to the need in both districts for teacher/leaders to develop deep understanding of mathematical content.

Douglas Biklen, dean of the School of Education says, “I have followed Professor Tinto’s research and collaborative work with school districts for years and have been continually impressed with how she enables teachers and their students to become successful with mathematics. Through this grant she will be able to extend the reach of this exciting work.”

Twenty-five participants will commit to four academic-year workshops and ongoing embedded classroom support to assess and improve their own understanding of mathematics and to develop and implement strategies to assess and improve their students’ understanding of mathematics throughout the year. In the summer, participants will engage in a week-long intensive course focusing on both the specialized mathematics content knowledge needed to teach and on the supporting mathematical pedagogy that enables a productive mathematical learning environment for students. Tinto has facilitated TQLP projects similar to this since 1992.

Joseph Shedd, associate professor in teaching and leadership and director of the educational leadership program, has received an award for $298,823 in support of the Educational Leadership Program Enhancement Project. The three-year project will address five goals: to expand support for teachers who play leadership roles in their school systems, even before they decide to pursue administrative certification; to develop innovative ways of enhancing candidates’ skills in interpersonal communication, conflict management, group decision making and analysis of student learning data; to expand the number and quality of internships available to candidates; to provide support for graduates’ continuing professional development; and to develop new ways of documenting graduates’ impact on teaching and learning in the schools they lead. Partners in all these initiatives include the Syracuse City Schools and the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES.

Biklen says, “Teacher quality shines through best when supported by excellent school leaders. It is principals and superintendents who are best positioned to create vibrant cultures for learning. Dr. Shedd and his colleagues have a chance through this grant to support the emergence of greater leadership in schools.”

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