Butler University’s College of Education is the recipient of the 2015 National Model of Excellence awarded by the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education.
The Models of Excellence Award identifies outstanding programs in professional education that serve as tangible models of quality in the areas of Moral and Ethical Dimensions of the Learning Community; Partnerships; Liberal Arts; and Global Awareness and Action.
“The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools as they should be, not simply perpetuating schools as they currently exist,” Dean Ena Shelley said. “We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in our schools and society and to help them to become agents of change. This, of course, means that as faculty we must examine our own beliefs, be willing to keep our hearts and minds open to the ideas of others, live our lives with integrity, and model how great teachers take risks, challenge the status quo, and advocate for the rights of all students.”
The College of Education was recognized for its numerous partnerships with school districts in Indianapolis, including:
-The Metropolitan School District of Pike Township. The partnership provides a current practicing teacher the opportunity to serve in a dual faculty role in both the district and University contexts. This role, known as the Pike/Butler Master Practitioner, has been an important part of the middle/secondary program in the College since 1998.
-Indianapolis Public Schools’ Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy. The Early College Program (ECP) provides students at Shortridge who are academically ready with access to college courses for credit at Butler while the students are completing their high school requirements. Early College Program students also have the opportunity to spend time on Butler’s campus participating in many educational programs such as Academic Day (during Welcome Week) and the Diversity Lecture Series. Butler has welcomed ECP students on campus since fall 2011.
-Indianapolis Public Schools/Butler Lab School. In August 2010, Indianapolis Public Schools and Butler University signed an agreement to create the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School, a public magnet elementary school. The College of Education helped design the Lab School concept, and has worked with IPS to oversee its curriculum and assessment development. The curriculum and learning environment is inspired by the practices of Reggio Emilia. Every teacher at the Lab School has completed his or her education preparation at Butler, and has participated in graduate coursework focused on Reggio Emiliaor in professional development through the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative.
-Indiana Partnership for Young Writers. The Indiana Partnership for Young Writers, located at the IPS/Butler Lab School, provides professional development in the teaching of reading and writing. In 12 years, it has served more than 1,500 teachers, 150 undergraduates, and 113 schools.
“Butler’s College of Education certainly strives to build exceptional partnerships across the University, in our local schools, and across the Indianapolis community,” Shelley said. “In this challenging time of teacher education, it certainly takes all those who are passionate about this profession to lift it up and give it the recognition it so richly deserves. Butler serves as an exemplary beacon of how our next generation of teachers can be prepared.”