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Travel Seminar to Antigua

ED361 Advanced Topics in Education (3 credits)
Student Teaching in Antigua
January 2008

This seminar is designed to provide an opportunity for Education Studies majors to extend their experience as classroom teachers, and participate in a rich educational and cultural exchange. The research focus for students will be on identifying questions of significance in collaboration with their host cooperating teachers. In addition, students will be engaged in identifying effective strategies, and studying their impact within diverse communities, from urban city to rural village, with limited resources. Site visits will include government schools, the Ministry of Education, the Teacher's Union, old plantations, sugar fields, the marina, historical museums, etc. A basic understanding of the history, culture, and geography of Antigua Barbuda will be essential for students to gain an understanding of the contemporary educational dynamics. Students will deepen conceptual understandings about the culture of Antigua/Barbuda by living with their host teachers.

This travel experience to Antigua is scheduled for January 5-19, 2008. There will be three required 1½ hour seminars at Skidmore in the fall to present a general orientation, required readings, research responsibilities and cultural awareness, as well as two required 1½ hour evening seminars while in Antigua. There will also be a required journal component that will form the basis of a required reflection paper.

Students will be required to do post-placement work in the form of a reflection paper and action research paper to be presented at Academic Festival.

Faculty Program  Directors

Joyce Rubin

Joyce H. Rubin has been at Skidmore since 1997, having retired from the NYC Board of Education, where she was the Director of Gifted Programs for School District 18 in Brooklyn. Rubin is a licensed Educational/Administration/Staff Development and Instruction Specialist, and has a NYS Certificate as a School District Administrator and Supervisor. From 1981 to the present, Rubin has been a consultant in both curriculum development and Gifted and Talented Education for NYC and New York State. She served on the NYC Chancellor's Task Force and the NYS Commissioner's Advisory Council, and continues to be active in the State Education Department Gifted Education Teacher Services (GETS) Network. Rubin has presented at state, national, and international conferences since 1990. Among these include her work on applying Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences to classroom instruction at The Hague, Netherlands (1991), the Edyth Bush Symposium on Intelligence, Tampa, Florida (1992), and the National Learning Center Symposium on Multiple Intelligences, Washington, D.C.(1994). In May, 2002, and 2003, Rubin was invited by the Antigua and Barbuda Teachers Union to make a presentation to a group of 600 teachers, as part of the Skidmore College University Without Walls program. A strong proponent of educational collaboration and intercultural exchange, Rubin developed the Skidmore in Antigua Program in which majors from the Educational Studies Department, and faculty traveled to Antigua where the students spent two weeks teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms, grades 2 through 7 and lived with their host teachers. The exchange will be completed this year when the cooperating teachers from Antigua spend two weeks teaching in a local elementary school.

Another ongoing collaboration Rubin developed is between Skidmore College and PS/IS66 in Brooklyn, New York.  In March, 2007, thirty seventh-and eighth-graders got a taste of college life at Skidmore. Their campus visit, hosted by Rubin and about twenty five education majors, included sitting in on a wide range of classes and staying overnight in student residences. Skidmore education students had visited the Brooklyn school last year and this year, where they benefited from first-hand encounters with the needs and successes of urban schools. Joyce Rubin is currently in her second year as the Chair of the Education Studies Department.

Donna Brent

Donna Brent has been at Skidmore for seven years. Dr. Brent received her doctorate in school psychology from SUNY Albany. She is also a licensed psychologist in New York State. She has taught classes in child development and adolescent development, and assessment in addition to supervising student teachers and senior thesis research. Dr. Brent is particularly interested in cross-cultural approaches to special education. She has worked with students from Antigua in her online class and has supervised many of their final projects. This will be her third visit to Antigua.

Preliminary Travel Schedule

(Subject to Change)

January 5th
Travel to Antigua from Albany, NY. In Antigua, we will be transported to The Teachers Place where students will meet with their assigned classroom/host teacher.

January 6th        
Sunday visit to historical buildings and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.

January 7th
Students will begin their student teaching placement after meeting the building principal and touring the school.

January 8th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school visit to The Teachers Place, for a meeting with the union President.

January 9th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school evening seminar.

January 10th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school visit to Fort George and Fort Barrington

January 11th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school visit to the Infant Learning Center (Grdes1-3) for a meeting with Sandy George the Center Director.

January 12th
Sightseeing in the capitol city of St. John's with host families.

January 13th
Planned trips with host families.

January 14th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school visit to the Ministry of Education for a meeting with the CEO.

January 15th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After-school evening seminar.

January 16th
Students will team teach in the classroom. after-school visit to the Antigua State Teachers College for a discussion with Paula Spencer, member of the faculty.

January 17th
Students will team teach in the classroom. After school meeting with current and graduate Skidmore students.

January 18th
Students will celebrate last day in class. Children will share experiences through a program-wide event with parents and educational community.

January 19th
Return from Antigua to Albany, NY.

Past Program Highlights

Full coverage of the January 2006 Skidmore in Antigua Program can be found online at http://academics.skidmore.edu/uww/weblogs/antigua.

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