A Place for Teacher Renewal: Challenging the Intellect, Creating Educational Reform

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Anthony G. Rud, Walter P. Oldendorf
IAP - Information Age Pub., 2008 - Education - 160 pages
Are teachers ever given the credit and respect they deserve? Is there a place where they can go to be treated as intelligent professionals rather than as underpaid tools of school administrations or the government? For some teachers the answer to these questions is, finally, yes! The focus of A Place for Teacher Renewal is the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, a state-funded university-based program, located in the Western North Carolina mountains, and designed to renew and retain teachers of all kinds. As an exemplary teacher renewal and staff development program, NCCAT strengthens teachers' commitment to their practice by offering outstanding teachers the opportunity for intensive personal investigation into topics inside or outside of their specialties. This hands-on study-extensive, concrete, and engaging-is just what many teachers need. After the tediousness and hectic pace of classroom life, they need a chance to use their intellect just for themselves. Teachers given a chance to express their full adult selves, a chance to be renewed by intellectual challenge, a chance to be valued as competent professionals, are more likely to stay in the profession. Chapters provide the reader with an historical perspective on the Center, arguments for the rationale of the Center, an overview of the programs offered, the roles of administration and evaluation in the creation and continued success of the Center, and NCCAT's future role in teacher renewal. Many chapters are written by NCCAT staff members, all of whom are also experienced educators. A foreword by Maxine Greene and a chapter by Gary Griffin, as respected educators not affiliated with NCCAT, offer objective and very supportive comments on an idea, and a program, that is long overdue. Staff developers and anyone interested in teacher retention and renewal will find this case study of the finest teacher renewal program in the nation to be an invaluable resource. Anthony G. Rud Jr. is a senior fellow at NCCAT. Walter P. Oldendorf is associate dean of the college and chair of programs in education at Western Montana College of the University of Montana. He served as interim associate director for programming at NCCAT from 1987 to 1990.

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