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Institute director pushes for altering education systen

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:38 pm

Thomas Bellamy said education institutes need a revival of schools and teachers.

The director of the Goodland Institute for Educational Renewal spoke at the Mike Moses K-16 Leadership Speaker Series hosted by the College of Education and Health Professions on Thursday evening in the Central Library's sixth floor parlor. He works with schools and universities to create a partnership with the community.

Bellamy is researching finding new approaches on creating a different system of education within schools.

Standards for each grade level have undergone reform and changes for 30 years, yet there has been no change in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessment, which tests how well students understand what they read, he said.

“There is a call for educational intrapreneurship " Bellamy said. “Educational intrapreneurship is improving education results for children and family by developing and spreading innovation within the public education system."  

Bellamy said the education system needs individuals who are willing to take direct responsibility to turn ideas into actions. He said innovation and willingness to take risks is necessary to change the system.

“If politically-driven reforms aren’t working like we hoped and if the regular public education system isn’t working like we hoped, then what should we do?” Bellamy asked.

He said the impacts of reform have narrowed the country’s curriculum and reduced regulation of education in schools.

Intrapreneurs are a key piece in fixing the education system, he said.

Bellamy said there is not as much support for the education system as there needs to be, especially in an economy with teacher shortages and extremely high student dropout rates.

"We need to tackle the real problems and focus on the student first, not the structure,"Bellamy said. “It won’t be easy, but it’s what we need, it’s what education needs to do.”

Education as a whole is going to have to work together to bring about this change, he said.

“The series is a great way to help educate our graduate students on what they will be facing,” Adrienne Hyle, department chairwoman for education leadership and policy studies said. “We’re bringing scholars from all over the state and nation to them.”

Many of the graduate students are already working all over the Metroplex and have seen the education problems first-hand, she said.

Jeanne Gerlach, College of Education and Health Professions dean, said she believes the students will identify with the speakers and create lasting connections with other educators.

“I like the speaker series a lot,” education doctoral student Rick Garcia said. “It’s part of the learning system and it helps to prepare us for when we graduate.”

Garcia especially likes the interaction with his colleagues and the faculty.

“It’s great to see the faculty out of the classroom and be able to have a conversation with them," Garcia said. “I really enjoy speaking with them about the different topics speakers talk about, and education restriction is an important topic.”

Education restrictions limit the educator’s ability to teach, which in turn limits the child’s ability to learn, he said.

“This is great education for the students,” Gerlach said. “It will help spread awareness of education to UTA, the community and the people around us.”

Changing education will take time and effort, but educators need to work to align the curriculum in all grades across the board, she said.

“We need to move the boundaries, otherwise the problem of education will never change,” Bellamy said.

@DarcyBirden

darcy.birden@mavs.uta.edu

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