Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling  |   Document Shredding
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating 14 Years Online
HOME

Development Program for High School and College Faculty




faculty.jpg

Rocklin, CA -- In response to the growing demand for graduates with critical thinking skills, the Sierra College STEM Collaborative established an innovative professional development program -- Applied Critical Thinking for Advanced Technological Education (ACTivATE)

In June, faculty from Northwestern Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching trained 12 Sierra College and high school faculty to develop curriculum that incorporates applied critical thinking. Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Enhancing Critical Thinking in STEM Disciplines: A Faculty Development Model, the Searle Center designed, piloted and studied a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty development program focused on improving higher order learning outcomes of STEM students.

On many levels, Sierra College's approach is groundbreaking according to Denise Drane, Associate Director, Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Northwestern University. "Applied critical thinking has rarely been addressed in faculty development programs at the high school level," said Drane. "And students are rarely asked to demonstrate a deeper understanding of critical thinking in an applied setting. In addition, the relationships that Sierra College and high school instructors have with employers are uncommon in education." 

Through the Sierra College workforce development programs, the need for critical thinking was uncovered, explained Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). "The strong ties that Sierra College has with employers will lead to the incorporation of current, workplace applications into critical thinking lessons. Faculty will be able to use real examples from local businesses," said Pepper-Kittredge, who manages the Sierra College STEM Collaborative. 

For the next nine months, the ACTivATE project will support participants as they develop new approaches to overtly teach applied critical thinking in their classrooms.  Instructors will also develop and pilot test hands-on demonstrations to assess students' understanding and align with the new Common Core State Standards. 

"ACTivATE coaches will offer one-on-one support to faculty throughout the project," said Pepper-Kittredge. The Sierra College STEM Collaborative will hold two additional ACTivATE professional development sessions for participants in 2013-14. Findings and applied critical thinking lessons will be published at the conclusion of the project.

A pioneering aspect of the ACTivATE project is that it includes a mix of math, English and Career Technical Education (i.e. welding, media, pre-engineering and Mechatronics) instructors at the high school and college levels, sharing ideas to create lessons that stimulate deeper learning.

 "Those who teach technical education courses seem more in-tune with critical thinking because so much trouble shooting is already part of what they teach," said Drane. "During training, the instructors demonstrated an eagerness to share ideas, challenges and feedback across their disciplines and institutions."

Drane explained that teaching critical thinking skills has been focused primarily at the college level and incorporated almost exclusively into theoretical courses. "Critical thinking should be developed across all disciplines and stages of education to better prepare students for college and careers," said Drane.  

Sierra College STEM Collaborative

The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by California Community College Chancellor's Office, to create a pipeline of students interested in technical careers. Students can pursue Welding, Mechatronics, Engineering, Energy Technology and Drafting & Engineering Support at Sierra College http://www.sierracollege.edu/. For information about the ACTivATE professional development project, go to www.appliedcriticalthinking.com  or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College at (916) 660-7801.





Placer County News Headlines

Placer County's New Committee for Lodging Tax FundingAuburn, CA, - Lodging taxes collected from overnight guests in eastern Placer County have long been allocated for local, visitor-serving projects to benefit its tourism-based economy

Placer Public Health Laboratory Seeks Cost Effective FutureAuburn, CA, - Placer County will seek a more sustainable model for public health laboratory services, with a recent vote by the Board of Supervisors allowing staff to move forward

World Renowned Neonatologist to Lead Pediatrics Dept. at UC Davis(Sacramento, Calif.)-Satyan Lakshminrusimha, a world renowned neonatologist, has been named chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine

In Cancer, Talking About Bad News Can Be Good(Sacramento, Calif.) - Giving bad news is never easy, especially when it's life or death. But when an oncologist delivers a poor prognosis to a cancer patient, does it harm their relationship?

Folsom City Council Picks Mayor and Vice MayorFolsom, CA - The Folsom City Council unanimously selected Steve Miklos as mayor and Ernie Sheldon as vice mayor at the Dec. 12 City Council meeting

Roseville Paying 20 Percent More for ThisRoseville, CA, - Roseville gas prices dipped again slightly this past week offering motorists a slight reprieve since the gas tax went into effect on November 1

263,000 Acres Already Torched in Southern California FiresCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 9,000 firefighters remain on the line, successfully making progress in containment of several of the fires that sparked last week in southern California

WinterWonderGrass Music and Brew Festival Tickets On SaleOlympic Valley, Calif., - Silhouetted against the snowy Sierra Nevada, WinterWonderGrass Festival returns for its 4th year at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with headlining artists

TobyMac Tour Coming to Sacramento and RenoSacramento,CA, - Seven-time GRAMMY winner TobyMac will once again bring his dynamic "HITS DEEP Tour" to 29 markets next year, alongside a talent-packed line up

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue Seeks Volunteers and InternsAUBURN - Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is seeking the assistance of dedicated individuals to help support animals in need.

All-new Volkswagen Atlas a roomy SUVRoseville, CA,- Looking to fill what it considered a void in its sport utility vehicle offerings, Volkswagen developed the 2018 Atlas.

Lower Cost Electricity Anticipated for Some Placer County ResidentsPLACER COUNTY, CA - In December, residents and businesses will receive the first of several notices informing them about the coming change in their electric energy supply


NEWS: In Case You Missed It