Transforming Urban Schools: Lessons for America from an Urban Teacher Residency Program

By Virginia Jagla.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) selects mid-career professionals and recent college graduates to participate in a national model for urban teacher preparation. AUSL partners with National-Louis University (NLU) to deliver a redesigned Master of Arts in Teaching degree with a curriculum in which practice and theory are woven, thereby providing a powerful integration between the 10-month Teaching Residency and the 12 months of graduate level coursework. NLU professors deliver a unique curriculum that directly addresses the needs of urban school children. When AUSL was founded seven years ago, it was the first teacher training academy in the nation to partner directly with a school district to recruit, train, and place certified, highly-qualified and well-educated teachers. Today, AUSL is supported through a unique public-private partnership and serves as a model program for teacher training throughout the United States. It was the first Urban Teacher Residency Program (UTR). UTRs in Boston and Denver followed the AUSL model. As the NLU liaison to AUSL I have first-hand knowledge and complete access to all constituents. At this time I am compiling our stories into a book to celebrate and share the success of the program, now in its seventh year. I am examining the inner workings of the NLU/AUSL program through the candid stories of the many constituents. This method of qualitative written reflection is evoking provocative narrative. Such phenomenological, qualitative inquiry produces a high level of knowledge based on the lived experiences of those providing the rich narratives. The written reflection of the varied constituents involved provides an array of theoretical, practical, and organizational perspectives to gain understanding of the complicated nature of this unique triangulated partnership. The unfettered narratives of those involved relay a wide variety of viewpoints which compose the distinct pieces to the puzzle.

Keywords: Urban Education, Teacher Training, Underserved Schools, Children in Poverty, Culturally Relevant Curriculum

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp.41-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.207MB).

Dr. Virginia Jagla

Associate Professor and Service-Learning Team Leader, Middle Level Program, Academy for Urban School Leadership Liaison, National-Louis University, Lincolnshire, IL, USA

Virginia M. Jagla, PhD is an associate professor at National-Louis University. She is the chair of the National College of Education Curriculum Council. She is a past co-chair of the NCE Faculty. She leads NLU’s Service-Learning Team. Dr. Jagla’s book, Teachers’ Everyday Use of Imagination and Intuition: In Pursuit of the Elusive Image, was published by State University of New York Press in 1994. Other published works include chapters on teacher lore, No Child Left Behind, interdisciplinary teaching, and service learning. She has published articles in various juried journals including Phi Delta Kappan and On Target Magazine. She has presented internationally at ACT; nationally at AERA, ASCD, NMSA, and ATE; and numerous local forums. Dr. Jagla’s long time research interest in imagination and intuition in education continues. Other research interests include the use of the visual and creative arts in education, with particular emphasis on creative drama; and service learning, particularly as it applies to middle level education. She and her husband take pride in being “older” parents, keeping up with their life-stage counterparts, ten to twenty years younger, as they volunteer in the schools, religious education, and sports; while their same-age peers are grandparents and retirees.


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