UChicago camp teaches middle-schoolers STEM skills, perseverance Photo of student Photo of students Photo of teacher and students Photo of students

Project Title:
UC & CPS: A Collaborative Approach to Developing Models and Tools for Professional Development and Teacher Preparation

Requested Amount:
c. $324,000/year for three years

Source of Funding:
Illinois Board of Higher Education, Teacher Quality Improvement Program

Project Director:
Timothy Knowles
Center for Urban School Improvement
University of Chicago
1313 East 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

This project brings together the University of Chicago (UC) and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in a collaborative effort to improve leadership, instruction, and achievement in mathematics and science in nine CPS elementary schools: three professional development schools and six others. The project will also inform and enhance elementary teacher education programs at UC and elsewhere. In order to achieve these goals, the project partners will (i) support implementation of high-quality mathematics and science curricula in participating schools, (ii) institute the use of school-based leadership teams in participating schools, (iii) create sustainable models for collaboration between PD schools and other schools, (iv) develop and disseminate tools (issue-based case studies, classroom vignettes, reading lists, etc.) that can be used in both in-service PD and pre-service teacher preparation, (v) use ongoing evaluation and self-assessment to inform all project activities, (vi) strengthen the mathematics and science strands of UC's Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP), and (vii) enhance UTEP's model for a pre-service teacher education program embedded in PD schools. The project will result in (i) better instruction and higher achievement in mathematics and science at the three professional development schools and six other participating schools, (ii) tools and knowledge that will be broadly useful in both pre-service and in-service teacher education, (iii) improvements in teacher preparation at UC and elsewhere, and (iv) institutionalization of program elements at both UC and CPS. The project will significantly affect teachers and leaders at participating schools and graduates of UTEP and will also reach beyond Chicago through a comprehensive dissemination plan for sharing its tools and knowledge.