A team of UALR professors has just received a $146,812 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to support their training of Central Arkansas teachers. Led by Dr. Gail Hughes, Professor of Educational Leadership, the team will provide professional development sessions in science instruction for K–4 teachers from Bale, Booker Arts Magnet, and Pulaski Heights Elementary Schools, as well as Pulaski Academy and Little Rock Christian Academy. In addition to Dr. Hughes, the team will consist of Dr. Anne Lindsay, Dr. Tony Hall, Kristy Kidd, Keith Harris, Sandra Leiterman, and Kelly Chaney. Dr. Nancy Hamilton, UALR Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations, will serve as the project’s external evaluator.
While science can be a difficult subject for teachers and students to master at any school, many of the participating schools are considered high need, making this project even more beneficial. Thanks to the ADE grant, each attendee will be given a $2500 stipend, around $150 worth of books, and around $200 worth of materials. The UALR team will ensure that participants leave with an improved understanding of the Arkansas K-4 Science Standards and the tools and passion necessary to meet these standards in their classrooms.
The professional development sessions will equip participants with innovative methods for generating interest in and imparting scientific knowledge to elementary-age students. The sessions will focus on using unconventional tools, such as trade books instead of textbooks, to make this tough subject more accessible and engaging for young learners.
The professional development sessions will be held in the fall, spring, and summer, with the fall and spring sessions occurring online and on Saturdays and the summer sessions occurring over two weeks. The project is funded by ADE for its first year, with three full years of funding anticipated.