Tuesday August 26, 2008

Working Together

The University of Dayton is working with the new Catholic Education Collaborative to maximize and coordinate shared resources to benefit all of the Dayton area's Catholic school teachers.

Catholic school teachers in greater Dayton are all getting something new this school year: The help of more than 600 fellow teachers.

Faculty lounges won't need to be any bigger, however. All the extra help is coming from a local network of resources called the Catholic Education Collaborative.

Supported by the University of Dayton's Center for Catholic Education, the new collaborative is sponsoring a professional development day for all of the region's Catholic school teachers from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at the Dayton Convention Center. The event will be the first time these teachers will gather under one roof for training and to share ideas.

"For years, Catholic schools have operated independently out of a local parish, sometimes with limited faculty resources," said UD Center for Catholic Education Director Susan Ferguson. "Some schools may have just one second-grade teacher who could really benefit from the experience and teaching ideas of other second-grade teachers. That's what we're trying to provide."

Among the topics planned for discussion will be greater information sharing and curriculum mapping. Already underway at Chaminade-Julienne High School, curriculum mapping allows teachers to use computer software to chronicle what they teach daily, how it is connected to the educational objectives of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and how teachers assess their daily lesson plans.

As a networking tool, the mapping software allows teachers to save lesson plans and share them with other instructors in participating schools. Ultimately, teachers will be able to compare how others are teaching across the country, making curriculum design and student assessment more effective.

"We are committed to equipping our Catholic school educators for professional growth, because the result will be continued student success, and we are excited to partner with UD's Center for Catholic Education in laying this firm foundation," said Catholic Education Collaborative President Anne Battes.

The Catholic Education Collaborative was founded in July 2007 to maximize and coordinate shared resources to benefit all the Catholic schools in the greater Dayton area of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

By the Numbers

The Catholic Education Collaborative consists of:

23 parishes

18 elementary schools

4 Catholic high schools

624 Catholic teachers

10,505 students and their families

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.