UTSA | COEHD | University of Texas at San Antonio | College of Edcuation and Human Development
Tue, September 17, 2019
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COEHD faculty to improve service learning course through UTSA grant

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Drs. Kristen Lindahl and Kathryn Henderson, faculty members in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, recently received an Academic Innovation Course Redesign Grant from UTSA Teaching and Learning Services. 

“We are extremely excited to have received the grant,” said Lindahl. “We are passionate about the importance of the course for teacher candidates, and the grant provides us with the resources to make sure the content and instructional approach are cutting edge.”

Through the grant, Lindahl and Henderson hope to improve the service learning component of the Second Language Teaching and Learning course. All undergraduate interdisciplinary studies majors are required to take the course as part of their core degree requirements.

“The service learning aspect of the course provides UTSA teacher candidates with the opportunity to be engaged in the community and apply what they learn in class,” said Henderson. “The service-learning component of the course affords UTSA teacher candidates opportunities to interact with English language learners, which provides the context to dispel any myths and deficit perspectives of these students.”

Currently, students enrolled in the course complete their service learning hours by tutoring English Language learners (ELLs) in schools around San Antonio through a partnership with Communities in Schools, a local non-profit organization. Lindahl and Henderson hope to expand this partnership and increase the number of participating schools through the grant.

“Second Language Teaching and Learning is designed to give all prospective teachers a core understanding of effective instructional approaches for ELLs and school-based experience implementing research-supported practices,” said Lindahl. 

They also plan to update course assessments, redesign the course curriculum, and develop a model to make the course sustainable as part of the grant.

“The grant provides recognition and resources to our department for our role in teacher preparation, specifically our aim to train teachers to work with linguistically diverse students,” said Lindahl. “This grant helps with the mission of the College of Education and Human Development to develop culturally efficacious agents of change that are knowledgeable, community-based, and professional.”

The course provides UTSA students with nearly 3,000 hours of hands-on experience through service learning each academic year. 

“We aim for teacher candidates to finish the course with strategies to serve and advocate for ELLs through their service-learning experience,” said Henderson. “Teacher candidates learn how to use and view students’ linguistic diversity as a resource for linguistic and academic development, which contributes to their career-readiness as educators in South Texas.”

Learn more about the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies.

Learn more about the Academic Innovation Course Redesign Grants.





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