A Trio of Experiences: SMART Scholars at Georgia Southern University

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Work on our project has taken our scholars in several directions. In this presentation, we will describe three experiences that have proven to be beneficial to our program: classroom management, classroom observations, and performance assessments. (1) First, in our ongoing effort to educate and retain our scholars, we have developed a project that emphasizes “classroom management.” We acknowledge that the success of our scholars to improve education depends on their thorough knowledge of the content they intend to teach. However, we also recognize the importance of our scholars developing an effective classroom management system so that their future students will benefit from top notch instruction delivered in both an organized and coherent fashion. To this end, our scholars have participated in surveys and prompted journal writing assignments designed to get them to focus on classroom management issues. They have also responded to videos with examples of both good and bad classroom management practices, and participated in small group discussions from educational literature on the topic.

This presentation will document the progress made by our scholars in understanding classroom management. (2) Second, our project has also benefitted from the College of Education’s Pre-Professional Block (PPB) of courses. All of our scholars have had to complete the PPB field observations practicum in order to be eligible for our scholarship program. Even though the classroom observations filtered out some students who had considered teaching as a profession, we have still met our predicted goal so far for the total number of scholarships granted. In this presentation, data will be provided that documents and more fully explains the effect of classroom observations on our program. (3) Third, as part of our internship program, we discovered a valuable activity for our math scholars: directing performance assessments with pre-service elementary teachers. In this activity, scholars are responsible for supervising pre-service elementary teachers as they use concrete objects and explanations to connect procedural and conceptual knowledge. For example, our scholars may listen to pre-service elementary teachers’ explanations as they use fraction bars and a number line to make sense out of the division algorithm for fractions. This presentation will also highlight the effect that this experience has had on our scholars.


NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program Conference


Washington, DC