Award Honors Single Subject Credential Program for collaboration
By Eric Breier
Annette Daoud thought a project she is part of at Cal State San Marcos fulfilled all the qualifications requested for an award application from the California Council on Teacher Education.
She was right.
CSUSM’s Single Subject Credential Program will be honored with the CCTE Award in Conducting Research/Practice in Support of the Common Core State Standards at the group’s Fall 2016 Conference on Oct. 20-22.
The theme of the conference – “Together We Work Better: Partnerships in Teacher Education” – perfectly encapsulates why CSUSM won.
CSUSM faculty collaborate with partners from the Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) to design instruction, activities and resources that aid both teacher candidates at the University and EUHSD teachers in using Common Core State Standards and California English Language Development Standards.
“The innovation of what we’re doing comes in the collaboration,” said Daoud, an associate professor in the School of Education. “Part of what they thought was innovative was that we sit down with our colleagues at the district and talk through this stuff. We spend a lot of time brainstorming. Everybody’s got a piece of expertise.”
CSUSM’s project is part of a five-year grant received in 2012 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition.
As part of the grant, Daoud said they created a Professional Learning Community centered around teaching English learners in high school classes. The Professional Learning Community includes six members of CSUSM’s Single Subject Credential Program – Daoud, Anne Rene Elsbree, Joe Keating, Julie Rich, Tina Shinsato and Pat Stall – as well as five members of EUHSD.
“The 11 of us come together in this Professional Learning Community and we talk about ideas, how we can do things and what people see in the classroom,” Daoud said. “We have this partnership where together we create professional development workshops for the teachers and we develop curriculum for our students here. So we have two audiences – current teachers and future teachers.”
Daoud credits the Professional Learning Community for playing a large role in CSUSM receiving the CCTE award.
“It helps us design professional development for the teachers that makes sense and is useful for them and then design curriculum for our classes, which help our students understand,” Daoud said.
Daoud said one of the challenges that the project aims to address is how to effectively teach English language development in addition to a person’s content area, such as science or math. She said the grant is working simultaneously with CSUSM students in the Single Subject Credential Program and EUHSD teachers to help them understand how to do that.
Although this is the last year of the grant, Daoud said the group is already talking about continuing the Professional Learning Community because it has proven so beneficial.
“We’re really seeing such improvement,” she said. “A lot of our students do their student teaching in Escondido, which is our partnership district for this. They’re working with teachers who maybe two or three years ago went through the workshops with the grant. Everybody’s talking the same language, so it’s really nice.”
Daoud’s group will be recognized at the CCTE conference where they will also present at a poster session and Daoud will be part of a panel featuring people involved in collaborative projects.
Daoud is hoping the successful partnership between CSUSM and EUHSD can serve as inspiration for others.
“Anybody can partner with a district and do this,” she said. “It’s really easy and it fosters those relationships. We get the benefit of knowing how Escondido is teaching this particular curriculum and that helps us teach our students.
“It’s good to get their expertise and it helps us prepare the future teachers be the best they can be with the most current pedagogy that’s out there.”