English as a Second LanguageAbout: Promotes Best Practices for enhancing the language acquisition and academic achievement of English language learners.
Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership Needs AssessmentBackground: It is fairly well documented that the best school predictor of student outcomes is exposure to high-quality, effective teaching (Goldhaber, 2002; Goldhaber & Brewer, 2000; Hanushek, Kain, O’Brien, & Rivkin, 2005; Rockoff, 2004; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997). As Alabama implements the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS), it is crucial to develop and research coherent, comprehensive, and sustained professional development (PD) approaches that empower teachers to move toward a focus on student sense-making and to gather empirical evidence that this approach results in gains in student achievement. The Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership (GBMP) professional development model is designed to transform mathematics instruction to support the CCSS with emphasis on the Mathematical Practices and develop sustainable instructional leadership and professional mathematics culture at the school level. One of the major obstacles to widespread and sustained shifts in classroom practice has been the absence of a formal initial needs assessment. Collecting and analyzing needs assessment data well before the implementation of PD would benefit the partnership and participants in that it would:
- help to build an evidence-based case for the alignment of the model with participant needs to secure future large-scale funding for full implementation at the selected school,
- allow for GBMP to tailor professional development to the specific needs and deficits in the selected school without compromising the fidelity of the model or placing unrealistic expectations on teachers or administrators,
- diminish the necessity for dramatic mid-course shifts in the implementation plan that would upend the smooth functioning of the model,
- allow for the setting of challenging but attainable goals, outcomes, and benchmarks that would increase the probability of long-term success and sustainability.
Midsouth Reading & Writing ConferenceAbout: Each summer, the Midsouth Reading/Writing Institute provides the southeastern United States with top-notch professional development. Keynote speakers are brought in from around the world who are experts in the field of literacy. Local presenters provide practical workshops to help teachers bridge theory and practice.
The Peace Corps and its Master's International ProjectAbout: The School of Education has partnered with the Peace Corps to offer a Master’s International Program (MIP) for teaching English as a Second Language. MIP students complete 24 credit hours at UAB and then begin their service as Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). They finish their master’s degree while serving overseas for two years as English teachers or as English teacher trainers.