LEC Faculty to Participate in Harvard University's Project Zero


Seven Lake Erie College (LEC) School of Education faculty members will be spending the fall semester working closely with experts from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. The program draws together diverse disciplinary perspectives to “examine fundamental questions of human expression and development” and is committed to “melding theory and practice.”

The LEC team will work through a 13-week online course, Teaching for Understanding: Educating for the Unknown, designed to help educators answer two essential questions. What does it mean to understand something? What kinds of curricula, learning experiences and assessments support students in developing understanding? 

Dr. Katharine Delavan, dean of the School of Education, said the participants hope to use the course experience to refine best practices. “Our team is looking forward to this collaborative course that supports our efforts to provide our teacher candidates with consistent and meaningful preparation for the classroom,” Delavan shared. “Knowing that education is constantly changing, our intention is to define how to best prepare our graduates for the challenges, both known and unknown, they will face in their future classrooms.” 

The LEC faculty were notified of its acceptance into the program, which required an application, during the summer and were placed in two teams.   The first team includes: Delavan, Pam Martin, director of clinical placements, Dr. Greg Rothwell, assistant professor of Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) social studies, and Mark Knapik, AYA English language arts faculty member. The second team includes: Dr. Katie Krammer, associate professor of special education, Dr. Beth Walsh-Moorman, assistant professor of literacy, and Hannah Fairbanks, early childhood faculty member. Through the course, each team will collaborate with about five other teams of educators around the globe, including Chile, Peru, Australia, China and Laos. 

Dr. Delavan believes that the LEC team will not only learn from those educators, but can bring perspective and experience that will benefit others. 

“LEC’s team brings a positive and collaborative culture to this course. We really do like and respect each other,” Delavan said. “We are a supportive and complementary team that works with humor and a practical perspective.” Team members hope to develop units for use in future education courses as part of the Teaching for Understanding collaboration. 

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