UWP teaching center receives planning grant

February 24, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Teaching Excellence Center (TEC) has received a UW System Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative planning grant.

In addition the TEC, in cooperation with the Community University Partnership and the Improvement of Learning Committee, is sponsoring a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program that focuses on the Scholarship of Engagement, or service learning, initiative for the UWP campus.

Service learning provides services to communities related to coursework and makes practical applications, said Tom Lo Guidice, TEC director. "This is unique to UWP. We have decided to incorporate service learning here."

The initiative is in the form of small grants to faculty to explore the meaning of teaching and engagement in terms of the way it is represented in literature and practice.

The grant will help teachers and professors to incorporate service learning in their courses, said Lo Guidice. "Service learning involves providing services to communities related to courses."

Lo Guidice added, "An engineering course may involve the construction of playgrounds as a practical application."

Working with the quality of water in communities could be part of an environment or conservation class or accounting classes could meet with small businesses to help set up accounting plans, he said.

"A history class may work with a local historical society to store and make resources more useable," Lo Guidice added. "In teacher education, there could be a direct link with tutoring and what's being learned in class."

All projects should incorporate clear teaching and engagement goals along with appropriate teaching methods that should characterize service learning, data collection related to the goals and reflective techniques.

UWP's TEC provides professional development, consultative services to faculty in the areas of teaching improvement, scholarship and instructional development.

TEC support and development includes establishing student management teams, planning classroom improvement, conducting action research, conducting focus groups and helping with first-year challenges.

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