From America’s Best Kept College Secrets –
“The visitor to WWU is likely to be struck by the university’s location – Two hundred-and-fifty beautifully manicured acres overlooking Bellingham Bay and Puget Sound. The grounds are spectacular; an arboretum adjoins the campus, and the university is celebrated for its outstanding sculpture garden, one of the finest in the country.
Western is a relatively small university, enrolling about thirteen thousand undergraduates, and as a result, undergraduates get a superior education and a superior college experience at a public school price. Classes are taught by professors rather than Teaching Assistants, an important difference when comparing Western to the flagship university in Seattle. There are no fraternities or sororities, and the active, happy campus is an inclusive place. Western’s students speak glowingly of their experience in the classroom, in the residence halls, and on the remarkably handsome campus. The students tend to be liberal, kind, and welcoming, and the mix of interests on campus keeps the place hopping…”
Find the full profile of Western Washington in America’s Best kept College Secrets.
BELLINGHAM – A new $2.9 million grant awarded to Western Washington University by the National Science Foundation will fund a five-year study of the impact of Western’s innovative elementary science teacher preparation program.
The grant, “Model of Research-based Education for Teachers (MORE for Teachers),” will explore elementary teachers’ development of important knowledge and skills that studies have shown promote students’ deep understanding of important science concepts.
This longitudinal study will follow future K-6 science teachers as they complete their science content courses and instructional methods courses at WWU and comparison institutions. The researchers will also follow a group of graduates of the innovative teaching program during their first few years in the classroom to determine the impacts on their science instruction and students’ understanding of science.
“This grant is a great example of the deep collaboration between the College of Sciences and Technology and Woodring College of Education,” said George Nelson, director of the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Program at WWU and chair of the grant’s advisory board. “Our unique structure enables us to innovate beyond the cutting edge of current thinking in teacher preparation and do the careful research necessary to create new knowledge that can inform the nation.”
This research will produce understandings about specific components of Western’s research-based teacher education program for elementary science teachers and K-6 schools that contribute to high-quality instructional practices in elementary science classrooms. This study will help the WWU researchers continue to make refinements to the program, which is currently a model for universities across the country. Findings from this research will also help the broader K-12 education community understand how teachers apply their knowledge, skills, and beliefs in school settings that support effective science teaching and learning.