School of Education Receives “Teachers Matter” Grant from Boeing

Sep. 29, 2014

ST. LOUIS (SEPT. 29, 2014) - The Boeing Company awarded a grant to a team of faculty members in the Webster University School of Education to develop an innovative teacher education course with The Soulard School in St. Louis.

The innovative course funded by the grant will combine an early field experience in The Soulard School with problem-based learning in the community as well as online learning.

“This partnership will enable us to prepare teachers in the context of a diverse, high quality, urban school where our faculty and the Soulard teachers partner to provide learning experiences that benefit teacher candidates and children alike,” said Brenda Fyfe, dean of Webster’s School of Education. “The additional focus on joint research by faculty and school educators supports mutual professional development and opportunities for scholarship that will contribute to the professional knowledge base on teacher education.”

The grant is called “Teachers Matter: Promoting Partnership & Measuring Efficacy in Teacher Preparation.” The program underscores a commitment to teacher preparation that is not just theoretical, but experiential and is also responsive to the needs of a changing community.

The course being reshaped by the grant is the initial professional introduction in Webster’s Master’s of Teaching (MAT) certification program. The Boeing grant allows the faculty to increase high-impact learning experiences and add more research-based approaches that allow new teachers to successfully respond to 21st century learner needs. The new course will combine the experiential learning approaches that Webster University is known for along with online learning and community engagement.

“For Boeing this is an exciting opportunity to invest in a collaborative, community-based project that supports teacher preparation,” said Jeff Sweet, manager of Global Corporate Citizenship. “Boeing is focused on ensuring that all students have the 21st century skills, knowledge and experience to be successful in life, and in order to do this we need to create teacher preparation experiences that enable them to effectively teach these skills.”

Sarah Christman, executive director of The Soulard School, said the partnership of the grant brings together institutions committed to transforming education. “Our school is dedicated to students demonstrating their vast abilities and strengths. We are excited to support future educators to do the same and open them up to a world of possibility and potential."

School of education faculty members Stephanie Mahfood, Basiyr Rodney, Joe Sencibaugh, and Paula Witkowski, worked collaboratively with development officers Brittany Douglas from Webster and Erin Quick from the Soulard School to apply for the grant.