The School of Education serves the Bronx and surrounding communities through continuing partnerships with community organizations, teachers, school counselors, school building and school district leaders, families, PreK-12 students, and alumni who hold teacher, counselor, and leadership positions in Bronx schools and serve as leaders and advocates for equity. Our hope is to improve the quality of life, educational equity, and access for people of all ages and backgrounds.
The School of Education models ways to create internal and external environments where students flourish academically, in career and college access and readiness, and in personal/social competencies. We emphasize data-driven equity assessment in all school policies and practice. Our collaborations with schools, community organizations, and families align with our vision, core purposes, and values. We believe the future of the Bronx is the future of urban education, We cannot overstate the significance of our longstanding commitments to a borough with high percentages of single-parent and first-generation families, with one of the highest poverty rates in the country, and with a high incidence of health-related problems. In keeping with CUNY’s mission and Lehman College’s goals and far-reaching presence in this borough, we share similar ideals about what can be. We translate those ideals into partnerships and practices that we believe will bring about transformations in a variety of contexts.
Collaborations with PreK-12 Schools
In order to enact and realize the School of Education’s Core Purposes, highlighted earlier in the document, we continue to develop strong partnerships with PreK-12 schools. We believe in the rich contribution of each of our educational partners in shaping our transformative practices. Our partnerships are based on mutual respect, common beliefs, and a shared commitment to:
- develop ethnically- and culturally-diverse, globally aware, competent, socially just, caring, qualified teachers, school counselors, and school building and school district leaders;
- understand and affirm linguistic, ethnic, and cultural diversity;
- support school cultures, climates, policies, and practices that are safe, equitable, and responsive to changing needs; and,
- create school climates where human relationships are nurtured, and students receive academic, career/college access, and personal/social competencies to help them reach their dreams.
We work with our partners to provide professional development opportunities and collaborate on a number of other undertakings. These collaborations include use of data, evidence-based practice, research, scholarship, and service to transform the power of urban education in closing achievement, opportunity, and attainment gaps and to ensure college and career readiness for every student. Working in schools also provides our faculty with opportunities to tie theory to practice and advance educational scholarship.
The School of Education supports a Professional Development Network of schools. This partnership focuses on preparing of teachers, counselors, and school leaders. While the sites vary significantly, they were chosen because the teaching and learning that take place in Network schools align with our conceptual framework and offer our students valuable professional- development experiences. The College has identified three levels of school participation: Professional Development Schools (PDSs), Resource Sites, and Partnership Sites.
In the late 1990s, the NYC Department of Education moved toward breaking up unwieldy, large high schools into small, theme-based secondary schools that would function independently but be housed in one building. Lehman was the only CUNY College to work extensively with the teams that developed these small school proposals. As a result, the College partners with nine small Bronx high schools and has been successful in obtaining continuous funding to sustain student and teacher success.
Our partnerships with PK-12 schools are also vital connections for students as they complete fieldwork requirements. A majority of School of Education courses require students to spend 10-30 clock hours at an educational site, where they observe and work with individuals and groups. In a capstone placement, for which students must apply, initial teacher education candidates spend extended time—300+ hours—at one or two schools so that they can apply what they have learned. The cooperating teacher and a College supervisor observe, rate, and help candidates reflect upon their developing skills. The school settings and the cooperating teachers are selected on the basis of criteria aligned with LUTE themes. Regularly scheduled professional development workshops are held for cooperating teachers and supervisors. These workshops improve mentoring skills and ensure that performance assessments are conducted systematically.
Last modified: May 28, 2013