Urban Education: Poverty, Ethnicity and Policy
Students explore the determinants of education achievement and attainment in urban education through three weeks of fieldwork in schools in the Richmond area (Monday through Thursday each week) and seminar meetings in Lexington. Students observe and work to understand critical components of teaching and learning in the urban classroom. The readings and experience challenge students to consider factors including early childhood development, the role of the family, school finance, teachers, and curriculum. The students then evaluate the current policy proposals for school reform in the United States such as teacher merit pay, charter schools, and student accountability. In addition, students develop and present their own policy proposal for improving public schools. Housing is provided through alumni in Richmond.
During the first few days at the Elementary School, I spent my time observing the first grade class that I was placed in. First grade is essential to every student’s education as it focuses specifically on reading. It is also the grade that most students repeat. As I watched the students write the calendar on […]
This week has been a wonderful change of pace as we settle back in to a few days of classroom discussion in Lexington. After our three weeks in Richmond, we all have so much more context for the issues we are reading and talking about—incentives, accountability for teachers and students, and racial segregation in the […]
Yesterday was our last day at Falling Creek Elementary, and I for one, am very sad to end my time in the school. I have learned so much from the fifth graders there as well as the teacher I had the opportunity to work with and observe. Falling Creek may not be the best school […]
At this elementary school, there are challenges from all directions. Language barriers, lack of focus, attendance issues, behavior problems, lack of parent support and a lack of academic performance are examples of these obstacles, but they only scratch the surface. Right now the school as a whole is gearing up for SOL testing, so there […]
During my two weeks at Falling Creek Middle School, I have spent time helping students on their practice standardized testing, assisting them in writing short essays, instructing lessons on poems and observing and talking with other teachers about their job. Working with the kids, and even the teachers, has been incredibly rewarding and fun. During […]