Teacher Education Program faculty have been awarded over $750,000 by the Michigan Department of Education since 2003. These “Improving Teacher Quality” grants have supported partnerships with a variety of local schools, provided professional development opportunities to veteran teachers, and enhanced the field experiences required of students currently in Calvin's Teacher Education Program.
Professional development workshops incorporated into the partnerships have impacted local teachers' knowledge and teaching skills in the areas of science, literacy, and mathematics.
For example, several Wyoming Public and Calvin Christian middle school science teachers participated in a series of workshops designed by professors Jim Jadrich, Ron Sjoerdsma and Ken Bergwerff. Teachers gained expertise in using technology and inquiry-based instruction with their students.
Teachers at Oakdale Christian, Alexander, and Shawnee Elementary Schools explored hands-on teaching tools to model mathematical concepts under the leadership of Dr. Jan Koop.
Buchanan Elementary and Potter's House Christian School teachers have benefited from training and support through Dr. Jim Rooks' Four Blocks Literacy Partnership, which was expanded to include Calvin Christian and Coit Elementary Schools.
All projects emphasize the development of quality curriculum that meets the needs of a variety of learners from diverse populations. Calvin students have gained valuable experience by tutoring struggling students and assisting many of the teachers involved, making these partnerships mutually beneficial.