Teacher talking with students

Education Majors and STEM School Learn Together

by Kaileigh Willis, Student Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University education majors are making a real-world impact on a Springfield, Ohio, STEM school.

This year, Cedarville’s school of education students from the Principles of Teaching Adolescent to Young Adult Learners (AYA) class are teaching at the Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield. Prior to this year, the course merely imitated a classroom environment. AYA students received classroom data and situations that mimicked what they may encounter in their future occupation.

The new junior-level course now resembles a clinical collaboration partnership, where teacher candidates spend two class periods a week observing and working in classrooms at Global Impact STEM Academy. This four-credit class allows teacher-candidates to gain practical teaching experience.

Dr. Jeremy Ervin, dean of the school of education, chose Global Impact STEM Academy because of the school’s student-centered environment. The school’s teaching method is project-based, which allows students to learn skills and apply their knowledge through engaging projects.

“This effective student-centered community of learners provides a welcoming environment for our novice pre-service educators to make meaning of their God-given gift of teaching,” said Ervin.

Cedarville’s teacher-candidates arrive at Global Impact early in the morning to observe how their mentor teacher prepares for the day. They work in their specific classrooms during homeroom and first period, either teaching a lesson in the class or assisting teachers and students. Afterward, the teacher-candidates attend their own college course, taught by Ervin. In this class, Cedarville’s students reflect on their experiences from that day.

“When we go in there we’re getting real-life situations, and it’s incredibly practical,” said Tyler Brophy, an AYA social studies integrated education major from Brookville, Ohio. “Classroom management is really hard to teach, but when you see it being done by a teacher live, then you can learn from it.”

Not only do the teacher-candidates benefit from this partnership, but the mentor-teachers and students also benefit since the teacher-candidates act as extra resources for the classrooms at Global Impact.

“Global Impact benefits because these pre-service teachers often come with new ideas and technologies that we have yet to use,” said Anton Kilburn, middle school director of Global Impact STEM Academy and a 2009 Cedarville University graduate. ”Collaborating with outside entities teaches our students how the real-world operates.”

“It’s opened my eyes to a lot of the behind the scenes,” said Abbey Jacobs, a Spanish education major from Farmersville, Ohio. “It’s all about being flexible. I always thought you do a lesson plan, you teach it and the next day you teach another one. But I’m really learning that anything can happen. It’s helpful to see what really happens in the classroom.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.