The students enrolled in EDUC 541: Teaching in a Culturally Diverse World, Math and Science Methods finished a successful teaching and learning project at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Santa Ana. CES students, working toward a Preliminary teaching credential, had the opportunity to apply pedagogical concepts and skills throughout a three-week after-school enrichment program geared to support 5th graders who volunteer to participate. Our Chapman soon-to-be teachers were responsible for creating and delivering lessons, while also learning key concepts related to classroom management, English learners, differentiated instruction, and more. Over 50 King students were enrolled in the program, which emphasized the importance of integrated education. Norma Valenzuela, current doctoral student, served as the on-site coordinator of the project, which was enthusiastically supported by Principal Eleanor Rodriguez and Assistant Principal Carmen Westberg.
CES students started the after-school program with a kick-off to introduce ecosystem studies that related to the theme of universal connectedness, a habit-of-heart that serves to promote a comprehensive understanding of how our learning can have a positive impact on our world. Following this kick-off event, Chapman teachers planned math and science lessons, facilitated student research, guided project goals and completion. In addition, students also learned the “Questions” song, which conveys the importance of being a critical thinker and problem solver Questions Song.
Students use language, mathematics, visual and performing arts, and research skills to create a project illustrating dilemmas that exist in our world. These projects are shared at the culminating event on the last day of the program. Many parents and siblings attended the presentation. In this way, student projects become a way to share learning with the larger community. This clearly articulates how education can have a positive impact on our world, a philosophy promoted by Chapman, “Changing Education. Changing the World.
Dean Cardinal, who recently visited King Elementary as Principal for a Day, stated, “I really enjoyed the day, it served as a reminder that schools need our continual support and I will renew my efforts to be a good friend to those who invest their lives to make more bright the future of our youth.”