HPU providing professional development for area teachers

BROWNWOOD – July 26, 2012 – Fifteen area science and math teachers, along with two elementary school principals, are on the Howard Payne University campus this summer participating in a three-week professional development experience.

“The teachers are learning and sharing many hands-on activities which integrate math and science and use technology,” said Dr. Pam Bryant, head of HPU’s Department of Physical Sciences.

pam_bryant_teaching_for_webBryant, along with Dr. Mike Rosato, dean of the School of Education, co-authored a grant proposal to the Teacher Quality Grants Program to integrate the Apple iPad 2 into the 5th grade classroom, along with in-depth studies of force, motion and energy for the teachers.

As part of the grant, each teacher receives an iPad 2, a stipend and many hands-on activities and iPad applications to take back to his or her classroom. According to Rosato, the teachers will be better equipped to integrate some of the latest technology in their respective classrooms, which research indicates increases student engagement and learning.

Activity leaders include Bryant; Dr. Gerry Clarkson, associate professor of physical science; Wendy Grooms, associate professor of mathematics; and Tonya Horner, associate professor of mathematics. These sessions will extend into monthly experiences for the participants during the fall and spring semester of the 2012-2013 academic year.

This summer experience for teachers is made possible by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Teacher Quality Grants Program, which provides funding to higher education institutions to promote improved instruction in mathematics and science for Texas school children by providing professional development for their teachers. According to the THECB website, the Teacher Quality Grants Program makes awards through a competitive review process, with the most highly ranked and recommended projects being selected for funding.

Participating schools are Bangs Middle School, Brookesmith Elementary, Brownwood Intermediate, Coleman Elementary, Comanche Middle School, Early Elementary, Goldthwaite Elementary, May Elementary, Richland Springs Elementary and Rising Star Elementary.

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Photo cutline: Dr. Pam Bryant, standing, instructs a class of area middle school teachers as part of HPU’s participation with the Teacher Quality Grants Program.