Introduction

College of Education Recently Hosted the Spring Teaching and Learning Conference

College of Education Recently Hosted the Spring Teaching and Learning Conference

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Spring Teaching and Learning Conference Participants[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The Athens State University College of Education held its Spring Teaching and Learning Conference on March 16, 17, and 18.  Conference attendees were first or second semester teacher candidates enrolled in ED 302, Introduction to Teaching.  This semester the conference, which was initially implemented in the Fall 2014 semester, had more than 200 participants.

The goal of the conference is to provide foundational knowledge for teacher candidates to build upon when they participate in subsequent actual classroom-based practices during field experiences embedded in their education courses.

“The conference is ever-evolving, consistently being adapted to best prepare teacher candidates for what awaits them in actual teaching experiences,” said conference facilitator, Dr. Johnnie Lundin.
“The success of the conference is due to the efforts of the College of Education faculty, who invest their time and knowledge willingly and enthusiastically to enhance the ability and knowledge of our teacher candidates.”

The four overarching goals of the Conceptual Framework of the College of Education are the basis of the conference goals. These goals are to prepare teacher candidates to practice a) a student-centered philosophy to learning; b) disciplinary knowledge; c) professional and pedagogical knowledge; and d) socially responsible citizenship. These four goals encompass multiple areas of preparation; however, the ability to apply these goals in a classroom setting is the central focus for this conference.                             Teacher candidates participated in both whole group sessions and small group Breakout Sessions, where they were grouped by their majors and led by College of Education faculty, who are experts in their relative majors. Faculty led teacher candidates through in-depth instruction and practice in observing, exploring, practicing, and reflection in elements of classroom environments, learner diversity, instructional delivery, student assessment, self-reflection, and professional conduct.

These sessions provided learning experiences in a progressive format, where teacher candidates were gradually introduced and immersed in their learning and experiences. Each day’s programs were built upon the activities of the day before. Issues covered in the conference included general and major-specific practices in active observation in a classroom, the cycle of effective teaching, classroom management, and classroom interactions and instruction. The conference concluded with teacher candidates teaching a lesson to their peers for reflection and feedback.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]