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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Radical Solutions to Common Problems in the Preparation of Professional Educators

Dr Barbara Cozza, Dr Tim Hobbs, Dr Deborah Lo, Dr Tata Mbugua.

This session reports on four projects making use of on-line interaction and/or tutoring and problem solving in a professional teacher education program. All of the projects were designed make teacher education more relevant and thereby increase the quality of beginning teachers. The four projects are tied together by the fact that they all occurred in the same mid-size liberal arts university, had components including interaction between pre-service teachers, university faculty, in-service teachers and in all but one case, K-12 students and allowed for pre-service teachers to get much needed experience planning for and instructing diverse populations. In addition, all were designed to increase confidence in beginning teachers and decrease the job burnout associated with teaching. The session will consist of brief reports and interactive question and answer sessions on the four initiatives:

1. The first presenter will discuss experiences in implementing web-based digital portfolios. Attendees will have the opportunity to understand how an institution implemented the web-based digital portfolio system, training systems instituted, components required, and rubrics used to evaluate the portfolios.

2. The second report features a program for on-line problem solving for the successful inclusion of disabled students in the general education classroom. Pre- and in-service teachers worked together with a special education faculty member to solve problems related to the full inclusion of disabled students.

3. The third report is on a successful on-line tutoring component to a language arts methodology class in which pre-service teachers discussed literature and participated in writer’s workshops on-line with Brazilian middle school students attempting to improve their English language skills.

4. The fourth and final presentation will report on the utilization of technology for the delivery of instruction using Blackboard, an on-line platform, for preparation of assignments, virtual trips to countries and cultures represented in a local k-8 school, as well as the use of cyber journals.

The relevance of the four initiatives in training more competent professionals will be discussed with session participants. In addition, hard copies of reports on each initiative will be provided.


Dr Barbara Cozza  (United States)

Education Department
The University of Scranton

Dr Tim Hobbs  (United States)

Education Department
The University of Scranton

Dr Deborah Lo  (United States)
Associate Professor
Education Department
The University of Scranton

Dr Tata Mbugua  (United States)

Education Department
The University of Scranton

  • Teacher education
  • Web based instructional initiatives

(60 min Workshop, English)