Teachers have been pushed to meet changing standards due to the implementation of initiatives such as Common Core. Standardized testing links student mastery of these standards to graduation, school funding and job security. As teachers focus on meeting content and test goals, they are left with little time to try new teaching methodologies, such as guided inquiry, despite evidence that these are effective practices. These policy changes spill over to undergraduate education; students enter with different skills and competencies than even just a few years ago.
To address these challenges, under the auspices of Allegheny College and Partners in Education (PiE), in the spring of 2014 we established a partnership between Allegheny College and Crawford Central School District (CCSD) STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty. Since then, we have expanded past STEM to include social science and the humanities, and expanded past CCSD to include other school districts and programs. This program ended in 2019.
The primary purpose of the collaboration was as follows:
- To develop curriculum and pedagogy that is line with the current adopted Common Core and Pennsylvania standards to benefit the education of Crawford Central students and teachers.
- To inform Allegheny faculty about the current curriculum and issues in our local school system as a window into our incoming students’ lives.
- To provide an opportunity for Allegheny students interested in education to work with local students and teachers.
- To augment Allegheny’s developing efforts to engage the larger Meadville community in work of mutual benefit to both.
Activities of the Partnership are funded by Allegheny College, Crawford Central School District, and the John Nesbit Rees and Sarah Henne Rees Charitable Foundation.