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What have you learned from your project about the principles and practices of good teaching that you would like to share with your colleagues?

My project focuses on the educational life histories of pre-service teachers.  Through a pre-cursory analysis of the data, it is evident that pedagogy and rapport make or break students’ academic experiences.  Since my department is currently restructuring our program for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s new guidelines, I will share the data presented from the students in order to think through teacher training and pedagogy.

In what way(s) did this project help your students gain new knowledge or skills?

One student, Lauren Joree Pitts, is conducting an independent research study with me concerning this life histories project.  She is completing a literature review on qualitative research conducted on African-American teachers in the field.  With her results, Lauren and I will be presenting a poster at the Undergraduate Conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg in March.

More importantly, the influences of the participants’ reflections on education will ultimately assist in gaining new knowledge and skills within our teacher education program.

In what way(s) has your grant-funded project changed the way that you teach?

In my Educational Psychology class, I have built in two more activities concerning the important of relationships (rapport) between teacher and students. The project has helped me realize that I need to emphasize this importance more in my course.

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