The College of Education held the Spring Teacher Education Research Symposium (TERS) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Over 480 Teacher Candidates presented the results of their teaching inquiry research studies in poster session format. The Symposium is an important opportunity for prospective teachers to ask questions about their own teaching practices, then present and discuss their work in a professional setting.
New PartnershipThe scale and scope of this semi-annul event is a unique feature of the College of Education (COE) at the University of Houston. It focuses on action research in field based settings while supporting UH’s goals for undergraduate research. This semester, COE was able to form a key new partnership with Austin High School’s Teaching Magnet program. "Twenty-two high school seniors participated alongside COE students, presenting their ideas and getting targeted feedback," said Melissa Pierson, Associate Dean and Director of Teacher Education. " We hope to extend this partnership for future Symposiums."
Director of Student Teaching, Amber Thompson
Participants also attended Roundtable sessions where teacher candidates were able to extend discussions about their inquiries in small groups. "These roundtable sessions gave teacher candidates developing their research inquiries a chance to receive targeted feedback from their peers," said Amber Thompson, Director of Student Teaching. "It's a great opportunity to celebrate the work of teacher candidates developing their inquiries about their teaching."
I wonder . . .
Each semester, student teachers are asked to reflect on something they wonder about in their teaching, which becomes the foundation for their research presentations. Some teacher candidates chose to explore topics such as; behavior management, student motivation and making math more fun for students. While others examined issues like; understanding and breaking down word problems and how to help students who do not speak English.
Spring 2013 Teacher Candidate Presentations on You Tube
Participants felt the Symposium gave them a platform to learn more about their own practice by connecting research to teaching as they prepare for their careers. "Research allows us as educators to be more purposeful in our actions," said Sara Molsberry, teacher candidate and second time attendee. "We shouldn't just do things because it's always been done that way."
The event was well attended by faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and Houston-area principals who support teacher research in the college. The QEP-funded undergraduate research initiative presents a major opportunity for professional development for undergraduate students.
Teacher Education Research Symposium (TERS) Coordinator, Ruqqayya Maudoodi
This year, the Teacher Education Program launched a TERS website. It serves as a central location for all information related to the event. The website also features a Research Coach which is a series of podcasts developed through the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to promote and support education research for undergraduate students. "These podcasts were designed to be used in the student teaching semesters and provide a personalized coach to target research skills training and expand research opportunities in field based settings," said Ruqqayya Maudoodi, TERS Coordinator. "Connecting research and teaching will help create a pathway to actively seek research based solutions and give our students the tools they need to succeed in their life after the degree."
The UH Teacher Education Program has been recognized by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) as the Distinguished Program in Teacher Education at the University of Houston. Students in the program learn to teach with the latest research-based strategies and modern technologies from a world-class faculty. Future teachers participate in early and continued field experiences in urban schools, doing the real work of real teachers.