Good Report Card
gets high marks from state’s review team
the best part of a year and enough paper to sheathe the Pentagon,
the Education Department has gotten a positive rating from
the Pennsylvania Department
of Education, which sent a team of site
visitors to campus April 19.
“Actually, all the work is done ahead,” says
Sandy Fluck, professor of education
and department chair.
To prepare for the visit, each member of
the 15-person team—faculty from
state universities and private colleges, as well as teachers from two school
districts—received an inch-thick binder about his or her specialty area.
(Moravian offers 12 subject areas for teachers, as well as a certificate program
in English as a second language.) The team leader, Kim Long of Shippensburg
University, and the PDE liaison, Clifton Edwards, got the Big Binder, which
is almost five
inches thick and contains everything you ever wanted to know about education
at Moravian. Maybe more.
Education is not the largest department on
since the College is known for training and graduating teachers. But they
get their degrees
in a subject area; there is no B.A. in education. The extensive education
courses taken by these students (enough, in fact, for a second
major) are required
for teaching certification. Secondary-ed students and those in the K-12 disciplines
of music, art, and foreign languages major in their subject area (e.g., history,
math, science) and minor in education.
The department has
just six faculty and a full-time field coordinator, though
it has more adjunct instructors (25) than any department except music. But
it also has the largest outside “faculty”: the many teachers
and administrators in local school districts who assist, supervise, and evaluate
the College’s student-teachers at every stage of their experience.
Certainly Moravian has the most active education
department in the Lehigh Valley, if you count all the students
enrolled in education courses to prepare
for a teaching career.
Muhlenberg College, which has the closest
program to Moravian’s, has
more education faculty but fewer students. It faces state evaluation next
year and sent representatives to Moravian during the PDE visit to get a
sneak peek at the process.
Moravian also has an extensive preparation
for student teachers, which
it instituted long before any other school and which contains more components
than any other program. “I think our field experiences are more
extensive than any other college’s,” says Sandy.
who are interested in becoming teachers have a field experience at
the end of their freshman year or the start of their sophomore
year. This gives them the chance
to go into the
classroom and see what teachers face on a daily basis; and it gives students
an early opportunity to decide whether teaching really is their career
As juniors or first-semester seniors, they have pre-student
teaching, allowing them to take on more of the responsibilities
of teaching. Then there is
the student-teaching experience itself, which requires completion of all
a 3.0 grade average, as well as a 3.0 in the academic major and overall.
In the defense of its curriculum, Sandy says,
the department included not only many, many pages of description
but also an “evidence room” (the
largest laboratory classroom in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex)
filled with posters and crafts, classroom projects, and an
array of faculty publications,
to emphasize the variety and quality of instruction throughout the College.
The PDE team came to town on a Sunday, met
with students and faculty on Monday, and were gone by Tuesday
But they left word that the department
passed with flying colors. “There will be concerns and recommendations—there
always are,” Sandy says. The official report will come in the fall,
but in the meantime the education faculty can relax in the knowledge that
doing most things right.
All they need is to keep on doing them for
five years, when the next state evaluation comes along.
Sandy has kept a copy of the Big Binder and
each of the subject area binders, but in hunting for documents
interview, she sometimes came
up short. “There
were so many things I already flipped [threw away],” she says with
a smile, “bcause
I got tired of it all!”