Dordt College News

Teachers attend Dordt for continuing education

August 23, 2010

More than 100 elementary school teachers from Inwood, Doon, Sanborn, Sheldon, Rock Valley, Ireton, and Orange City gathered at Dordt College on Thursday, August 19, for a workshop on formative assessment strategies that help teachers with instructional decision-making.

The workshop is part of a service Dordt College provides to local teachers through the Graduate Education program and the Center for Educational Services.

Formative assessment helps teachers learn how to better meet the needs of their students. The goal is to help teachers improve student achievement using processes that provide students with clear learning targets, examples and models of strong and weak work, regular descriptive feedback, and the ability to self-assess, track learning, and set goals.

Teachers attending the workshop divided into grade level groups to discover assessment strategies appropriate for the age levels they teach, and left with an “assignment” to try out three of the strategies before returning to Dordt’s campus on September 17 to report their action research.

Dordt professors who presented the workshop were Dr. Ed Starkenburg, Professor Gwen Marra, and Dr. Tim Van Soelen, co-director of Dordt’s Center for Educational Services and the Graduate Education Program.

During the month of July, Dordt’s graduate education program drew 138 students to campus, most of whom are current teachers using their summer vacation to pursue a Masters of Education degree. Dordt’s graduate program is structured to allow participants to do off-campus advance preparation during the school year, followed by one week on campus in July to complete courses.

The Dordt College Master of Education degree is a 10-course, 30-semester-hour program with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. It is approved by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Iowa Department of Education. Classes also meet continuing education requirements for professional development.

For more information about the M.Ed. program, contact co-director Tim Van Soelen.

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