Teacher preparation necessitates extensive collaboration to develop effective, caring, and knowledgeable professionals. Positive collaboration between Professional Development School (PDS) liaisons, mentor teachers, administrators, and teacher candidates, have resulted in effective preparation of University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Master of Education in Teaching (MEdT) teacher candidates. In 2019, the COE and MEdT program offered an innovative iteration of its standard MEdT program to in-service teachers, from one specific PDS complex area of schools wishing to earn their Master’s degrees. It was the PDS partnership’s vision to “give back,” and provide a Master’s program specifically tailored to the unique needs of this community, its teachers and students. The in-service teacher cohort of 13 veteran, mid-career, and beginning K-12 teachers, and one district resource teacher, began the four semester MEdT graduate program in June 2019. Learning focused on their schools and communities, analysis of their teacher identities, engagement in meaningful community and school-based work, and exploration of ways to improve their pedagogy. Among other concepts, Design Thinking, teacher identity, social justice, service learning, educational leadership, and place-based education were emphasized. It is the hope that the teachers come away with a renewed connection to, and understanding of, the students and community in which they work, and use their skills and knowledge to take an active role as educational leaders in their schools and community. The successes and challenges of this unique, inaugural PDS Master’s degree program will be shared. Areas discussed will include recruitment, communication, development of coursework, and teacher retention.
Stephanie Furuta, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
Stacy George, University of Hawaii, United States
Vail Matsumoto, University of Hawaii, United States