Brown Deer, UWM form education collaboration

Nov. 28, 2012

Brown Deer - The Brown Deer School District and the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin's School of Education are teaming up on education projects that benefit both parties.

The School Board on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding for the current school year that details a partnership with UWM's SOE. There is no financial impact for the district as a result of this collaboration, Superintendent Deb Kerr said.

Both parties agree to work together on the development and implementation of projects that benefit both institutions. Funding could from either UWM or the district, depending on what is being done.

"We are using each other and the expertise and talent to accelerate and evaluate learning," Kerr said.

The district will help the SOE with both funded and unfunded research projects that can help educators from both places. For example, if the Brown Deer School District agrees to let a faculty member who teaches motivation, conduct research at Brown Deer, that faculty member will provide professional development or consultation with Brown Deer faculty at no cost.

"It's a win-win," Board President Gary Williams said.

The SOE is planning to conduct research from inside the classroom, Kerr said. Williams said this will give those educators insight into a diverse classroom setting. In exchange, educators in the Brown Deer School District can receive professional development assistance from UWM faculty.

Student teachers will also be placed in Brown Deer classrooms. With faculty collaboration, they hope to develop co-teaching experiences to help create student teaching models. Student teachers are not paid by the School District.

"One idea to pursue is that student teachers would co-teach with one of our teachers to provide that wonderful year-round experience for when they take over the classroom," Kerr said.

Currently, student teachers work in a district for a few weeks at a time, not year round.

The memorandum is only good for the current school year. Once it expires, UMW and Brown Deer representatives will meet to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the partnership, as well as discuss plans to extend it.

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