SPC College of Education Dean Kimberly Hartman had the esteemed honor of being one of five Florida educators chosen to participate in an international workshop Sept. 8-11, in Melbourne, Australia.
Delegates from Florida and Colorado represented the United States at the Initial Teacher Education Community of Practice workshop funded by Learning First and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Florida team, chosen for the work they are doing in teacher preparation reform, was led by Eileen McDaniel, Chief, Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development and Retention for Florida’s Department of Education.
“Florida is dedicated to being cutting edge in teacher preparation,” said Hartman. “We are committed to making sure all students have the same opportunity to learn and are equally prepared to succeed.”
Representatives also came from Korea, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Finland.
The goal is to share practices from different countries to improve teacher preparation, teacher quality and eventually, student learning outcomes.
In January, SPC’s College of Education was awarded a three-year, $5 million grant from the Florida Department of Education to help prepare future elementary school teachers. In May 2014, SPC announced the Elite Educator Program, a partnership with Pinellas County schools aimed at transforming the way we prepare teachers. The new program was developed to provide new teachers with the content knowledge, qualifications and confidence needed to lead future elementary students on to academic success.
“The work we are doing with our $5 million grant and our new Elite Educator program lends to the same type of work being done in Australia,” said Hartman.
Part of a three-year, ongoing initiative, the second and third workshops are tentatively scheduled to be held in the U.S. and Brazil.
“Our goal is to develop a common vision worldwide that would also meet Florida’s needs for teacher preparation,” said Hartman. “We want to develop a vision for producing the best teachers in the world.”