College receives $3 million grant

By on October 21, 2008

By Dennis O’Neil

After four months of bad news, the College of Education and Human Development finally received some good.
At a media advisory on Thursday, the college’s Interim Dean Blake Hazelton announced a $3.1 million grant they received from the National Science Foundation.
The grant will go toward developing a program for teacher assessment and student achievement, with a specific focus on geometry.
The announcement comes in the middle of a federal investigation into former CEHD Dean Robert Felner, who has been accused of misappropriating close to $694,000 in federal funds and supervising the awarding of a Ph.D. to a student who had only studied at the University of Louisville for nine credit hours.
Hazelton expressed great appreciation with the grant.
“The fact that we received a $3 million dollar grant speaks highly of the confidence that federal and state government agencies have in the quality of work and research being conducted by our faculty,” Hazelton said.
The three year grant will see U of L partnered with the University of Kentucky and Florida State University in the development of the program. Heading up the project on U of L’s end will be Dr. Bill Bush, a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.
Bush said the project will involve evaluating the amount of knowledge teachers have in a particular subject before instructing in it. Bush said the initial focus will be in mathematics and will help put together some assessments that might predict how well a teacher might do before stepping into a classroom.
“We have found that the knowledge a teacher has a lot to do with their quality of teaching,” Bush said at the press conference. “We also know that that doesn’t guarantee good teaching. We have a lot of people who know mathematics but aren’t particularly good teachers.”
The U of L team on the project has already begun reviewing high school geometry books for the research, with some college geometry books and standards being reviewed as well. Bush said teams will begin videotaping high school geometry classes in the spring to see how teachers are actually using their knowledge in the classroom.
Bush said they will start writing items to try to capture that particular knowledge and that they are also looking at standards in geometry for both teachers and students.
“We are very excited about this grant,” he said.
For more information about the grant or the program, call Bush at 502-852-0590. 

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