Cleveland School Partnership
Although many people visualize a career in urban education as teaching a bare-bones curriculum from outdated textbooks in an old, run-down building, one visit to Cleveland Public Elementary School >> on Chicago’s north side quickly dispels this impression. Replacing the mental image of drafty, cracked and boarded-up windows, peeling paint and leaky pipes is a warm, sunlit hallway with fifteen-foot ceilings, brightly painted classrooms and newly finished hardwood floors. The building, designed by Perkins, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, offers a safe, spacious, welcoming environment for learning mathematics, literature, dance, art, and many other subjects of a rich kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum.
Now in its second decade, Wheaton College’s partnership with Cleveland School was initiated in 1997 by Principal Jack Rocklin and Dr. Jill Lederhouse. Students not only teach in the city but live there as well, sharing apartments with other Wheaton students doing internships in the Urban Studies Program and returning to campus for their weekly senior seminar course.
Cleveland School was selected as a professional development site for Wheaton’s teacher education program because it provides a realistic, yet positive, urban experience in a large, metropolitan school district. Two features of the school include its diverse Latino, Asian, African-American, and White student population (While many urban districts are quite multicultural, their individual neighborhood schools tend to be highly segregated.), and its strong emphasis on dance and the visual arts.
Although student teaching at Cleveland is an intensive, holistic experience, it is not the only gateway to a career in urban education. Being mentored by an effective cooperating teacher is the most important element in teacher preparation whether it is in Chicago, West Chicago, Wheaton or Naperville. While former Cleveland student teachers are currently teaching or ministering in multicultural settings, many Wheaton alumni who student taught in suburban schools have also shifted to urban teaching and ministry.
If you have an interest in teaching in urban communities, consider joining Rebuilders or the urban tutoring programs which are part of the Office of Christian Outreach on Wheaton's campus. You might also explore the Urban Studies Program or contact Dr. Lederhouse.
International Student Teaching
In 1990, Wheaton College helped form the Christian College Teacher Education Coordinating Council (CCTECC) >> which is a voluntary organization of Christian colleges and universities providing qualified students with opportunities for an international student teaching experience. Since that time, several dozen education students from Wheaton College have completed their student teaching in various mission and international schools around the world >>. These placements provide rich cross cultural experiences and unique challenges. Some have combined this experience with the six month internship for the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program.
Interested students may apply during their sophomore year for an overseas placement to be completed in their last year at Wheaton. Each applicant is considered on his or her own merit. Preference is given to students who exhibit characteristics suitable for these placements, have previous cross cultural experiences, and have a strong academic foundation in their major and in education courses. Students accepted for this program must attend a weekend retreat/orientation in the April which precedes the student teaching semester. This experience involves a $375 fee for the retreat and securing the international placement and students are also responsible for their own transportation to and from the host international school. For more information stop by the education department or contact the coordinator of the international student teaching program, Dr. Egeland.
In 1951 Wheaton College became an innovator in using outdoor learning for educational purposes with the development of the Northwoods Campus at HoneyRock located in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. HoneyRock, with its Wheaton Passages program, gained an international reputation in the use of camp programming to train college students in leadership, education, and discipleship. The college owns 800 acres of land, 100 buildings, 3 climbing facilities, a 40-element challenge course, 45 horses, 100 watercraft, a well-equipped library, computer lab, and is situated on the shores of Long Lake, one of a chain of 27 inland lakes.
The Department of Education has partnered with Honey Rock for over 35 years. In this incredible setting, education students have the opportunity to take classes such as learning and development (EDUC 225) as well as other general education classes. Wheaton students also have the option to gain valuable experience working with children by teaching and counseling elementary and middle school children for up to four weeks.
A significant number of education students enroll in this 2-10-week program each summer. Key benefits include: holistic personal development, distinct educational philosophy, leadership and ministry training, major and general education credit, and significant financial savings. Several members of the faculty in the department of education teach at HoneyRock each year, including the culmination of the Philosophy of Education class at the end of the student teaching semester.
Models of Excellence Award
The Department of Education at Wheaton College was presented the Models of Excellence Award for 2004 by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) >> at their 2004 Extended Annual Meeting. This award was based on the program's strong emphasis on the liberal arts and the preparation of preservice teachers to be reflective practitioners with a broad educational foundation.The award reflects Wheaton College's commitment to the liberal arts throughout the institution. AILACTE consists of more than 200 liberal arts colleges with teacher education programs.