FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2009
Concord Teacher Education Professors Present Research at PDS National Conference
Athens, W.Va. –Three professors from Concord University, Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of Clinical Experiences, Richard Druggish; Associate Professor of Education Terry Mullins and Assistant Professor of Education Anita Reynolds were chosen to present at the three-day Professional Development Schools National Conference at Daytona Beach, Florida, March 12-15.
Dr. Druggish’s presentation focused on collaborative teaching approaches practiced during his year-long sabbatical with first grade teacher, Shirley Bourne, at Princeton Primary School. Together, they examined approaches to teaching reading in order to improve their craft and their understanding of how students learned. Each shared stories of their collaboration in the presentation, “He said/she said: A PDS partnership from two views.”
Also presenting was Dr. Terry Mullins, associate professor of education who researched the cultural diversity in the Southern Appalachian region with his presentation, “Cultural Diversity Comes Home: The Melungeon People.” According to Mullins’s research, any group that did not fit into easy identification was called “mulatto,” “mestizo,” or “mustee” which later came to be known as the French-derived “melungeon,” which means “to mix.”
“Sometimes we don’t see it (ethnic diversity) around us but it is still there,” Mullins said. “It’s interesting to see the diversity in society that’s been there all the time but remains hidden.”
Dr. Anita Reynolds, assistant professor of education, presented “Three-way sharing: PDS Day on campus.” PDS Day brought faculty from preschool to 12th grade to Concord so faculty and students on campus could interact in a “relaxed environment” and develop new ways to partner to improve both teaching methodologies and student learning.
“We had a positive outcome,” Reynolds said.
The purpose of Concord University’s Professional Development Schools is to improve the quality of the educational system at the local, state, regional and national levels. PDS is structured as a network that includes faculty from colleges and universities, faculty from primary and secondary school systems, parents and community partners. The network seeks to improve teacher education through the establishment of this network or partnership. Funding for Concord’s PDS program is provided by the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, and the State Legislature. Concord’s PDS Initiative is a part of the West Virginia Partnership for Teacher Quality, which includes higher education institutions throughout the State.
“We want to see improvements in students’ performance and learning,” stated Dr. Richard Druggish, director of Concord’s PDS program. “The PDS partnership allows for the sharing of ideas and methodologies that are effective.”
Participating schools include: Athens Elementary, Bluefield Intermediate, Brushfork Elementary, Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary, Melrose Elementary, Mercer County Early Learning Center, Mercer Elementary, PikeView High, Princeton High, Princeton Middle, Princeton Primary, Straley Elementary, Beckley Elementary, Beckley-Stratton Middle, Park Middle, and Stanaford Elementary.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Andrea Meador, a sophomore majoring in public relations wrote this news release. Her hometown is Ghent.