The Five College Schools Partnership was established in 1984 to link faculty in the Five College Consortium with faculty and administrators of school districts in Western Massachusetts. The Partnership brings college and school faculty together in areas of mutual interest in improving their own teaching and the education of all young people. The Western Massachusetts Math Partnership (WMMP), established in 2010, is a current and lively example. Through the WMMP, faculty from eight school districts and ten colleges and universities collaborate in professional learning communities and institutes on math and math teaching.
Neal Salisbury, co-director of the NEH Institute and Professor Emeritus at Smith College, talks with Susannah Remillard, teacher at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich, Massachusetts, at right, and Robin Williams of Ponemah Elementary School, Red Lake, Minnesota, center.
The Partnership also helps Five College faculty groups offer national and regional professional development for teachers. Native Americans of New England was a three-week NEH Summer Institute for twenty-five participants under the auspices of Five Colleges, Incorporated. The 2013 Institute examined the history of Native American peoples in New England through a rigorous, interdisciplinary humanities program that included primary source analysis, museum visits, conversations with Native and non-Native guest presenters, and development of curriculum plans for their home schools.
We also identify resources in the Five Colleges that help address needs of K-12 education, both in specific school districts, and as a whole. From 2002-2013, the Partnership collaborated with the Springfield Public Schools to offer Teaching American History to Springfield social studies teachers. Teachers became historians by studying critical moments and themes in American history with Five College faculty scholars and museum researchers. They developed their classroom instructional practices by working with history content coaches to use their deepened content knowledge to improve their students’ achievement in American history.
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