Lees-McRae College Division of Education and Teacher Education is proud to offer its students a new and unparalleled opportunity through its teacher education programs. As part of the newly added Classroom Assessment course, students will participate in the mandatory statewide training in using formative assessment strategies, using the Department of Public Instruction’s new online professional development modules, NC FALCON.
Serving as the lead pilot university to embed this training in their education program, Lees-McRae students not only participate in the professional development series, but are trained in using specific strategies to determine student performance in their classroom, create unit curriculum plans that embed these strategies, and prepare to implement their plans during their student teaching.
“To be allowed to share this training module with our pre-service teachers as part of their overall education before they enter the workforce is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” claims Sabrina Crawford, the instructor who was instrumental in securing LMC inclusion in this process. “Not only will they receive the benefit of a thorough understanding of the processes involved in using formative assessment in the classroom, but when they apply for jobs, they will be certified as having completed this training process, saving districts and principals the cost and time required to train new teachers. This makes them extremely marketable.”
In the fall of 2010, Lees-McRae College became one of four North Carolina Colleges and Universities permitted to pilot NC FALCON with their pre-service teachers, along with NC State and UNC Greensboro, and became the lead pilot institution in the winter of 2010. In this capacity, LMC has been able to offer its students the opportunity to participate in some amazing events during the past year.
In March of 2011, representatives of DPI videotaped student presentations on Formative Assessment strategies and conducted student interviews, all of which will be turned into one of the additional video resources for NC teachers on the NC FALCON site.
In April 0f 2011, they led a conference session at the Collaborative Conference for Student Achievement in Greensboro, sharing their understanding, processes and intended impacts in the classroom in front of a room full of teachers, principals, and district leaders. Several of the audience members shared that their presentation was one of the most meaningful ones they had attended during the 3 day conference.
Finally, in May 0f 2011 they were asked to present in front of more than 150 district leaders in Raleigh.
These experiences have changed the way LMC students view their education. “It really made me see that what we are learning isn’t just about writing the next paper or creating the next lesson plan. What we are learning is actually being discussed and used right now all across the state, and we’ve been asked to be a part of that discussion,” stated one of the student presenters.
During their student teaching, two of the seniors introduced their building principal to NC FALCON, and led the conversation on how formative assessment could change classroom instruction. Lees-McRae College students aren’t just studying to become leaders in their fields; they leave our program as established leaders.