|Vol. 17, No. 19||Feb. 12, 1998|
A group of 80 students from the Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore visited the Newark campus on Jan. 30 as part of a one-day field trip. But, some also came to renew their relationships with UD students who had spent two weeks in the Baltimore school earlier in the month.
As part of the special Winter Session program in Baltimore, sponsored by the Center for Intercultural Teacher Education in the College of Human Resources, Education and Public Policy, UD students spent the mornings of Jan. 5-14 teaching classes of 6- to 10-year-old students in the urban elementary school, which operates year-round.
The intensive, eight-day teaching workshop conducted by UD student-teachers was designed to help students identified by the Coleman School principal, according to Sylvia Brooks, director of the 1998 Baltimore Winter Session program.
Eleven UD students participated in the program, which was part of the "Instructional Strategies and Reflective Practices" course. Classes on campus consisted of discussions and lectures on instructional strategies, group activities and viewing the videotapes of each student teaching at Coleman elementary school.
Using the theme Grand Prix, the elementary school students built, painted and raced cars, drew pictures of what they imagined their future cars would be like and created cars out of shoeboxes. These hands-on activities enabled the youngsters to learn through fun, Brooks said.
"We learned about the exhaust system of cars. It was fun," one student said. For another, being in Newark was a new experience. "I miss my teacher," he said, "and I like being here in Delaware. But I like the big buildings in the city."
"It was satisfying to see kids excited about attending the program," Anne Boltz, UD junior elementary education major, said. "We established rules in the classroom, and the students were fine after that."
The Robert W. Coleman School is chosen by the University for the Winter Session project because it can accommodate the student-teachers, and, more importantly, it is an example of a successful urban educational program, with all of the children coming from the neighborhood surrounding the school.
"This school is 100 percent African American. This gives the students from the University an opportunity to practice teaching in a different environment," Brooks said. This is the third year the University has conducted a Winter Session course there.
Several UD students said they believe the program enabled them to grow in confidence, improved their abilities as teachers and helped them learn to work together.