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Making a difference in Idaho, the nation, the world

February 17, 2016

by Dr. Eric Kellerer, Director of the NNU Doceō Center

Education! This simple word stirs up different types of images in 2016. Many of us are proud to have come from a school (elementary, high school, or university) that provided an education that has served us well. But headline news articles make it known that all students in the United States have not had such positive experiences. Regardless of our own individual experiences and the many outstanding teachers that we know, few would disagree that improving our neighborhood schools is possible and needed.

The Doceō Center, established on the NNU campus in 2013, was created to find ways to improve the learning experience for students at every level of education. Regardless of their zip code or tax bracket, we believe that every student can learn and succeed if given the right opportunity. Over the past three years, the Doceō Center team has spent countless hours investing in teachers. They have provided encouragement, expertise and solutions that support student-centered learning. The work of the Doceō Center has taken place in four primary areas:

1. Closest to home, on the NNU campus, the faculty in the Doceō Center have invested in the teacher preparation program in the education department. They have provided workshops and instruction to pre-service teachers and have worked closely with the faculty in the education department to insure that graduates enter the teaching field fully prepared to teach in a 21st Century classroom.

2. Throughout Idaho and the United States, the Doceō Center is busy holding professional development workshops on the effective use of technology in education for teachers in the field. They understand that teachers do not need to hear how to teach or how to use computers, but many are asking how to teach effectively with computers. Starting from a perspective of proven instructional practices, the Doceō Center has developed the H.A.C.K. Model for Innovative Instruction. This model is designed to move a classroom from a highly structured (teacher-centered) classroom to a model in which the students take ownership of their learning.

3. The Doceō Center is also busy supporting K-12 districts to develop new school models. Many of the systems and processes surrounding education today were systems that were designed during the industrial revolution. We now understand a great deal more about the way that young people learn. The Doceō Center team consults with districts as they look at ways to disrupt their current models and make way for new models of education.

4. Supporting efforts to improve education systems in other world areas. The Doceō Center is working with Innovative Education Liberia (IEL) and the Liberian Ministry of Education on a project that will improve math and reading skills in the war-ravaged country. They have offered workshops in South Korea, China, Thailand, and will be heading to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the near future.

The NNU Doceō Center is committed to changing the educational landscape.

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