In the fall of 2014, the education department is offering an opportunity for education majors to shadow teachers in urban classrooms through the CitySquare program.
CitySquare is a faith based organization located in downtown Dallas that “exists to fight the root causes of poverty by partnering with those in need”. Their goal is to empower those in poverty and find ways to connect them to people and resources.
Dr. Dana Pemberton, chair of teacher education said, “Over 90% of teachers are white and the majority comes from middle class and advantaged backgrounds. The learners these teachers encounter in urban classrooms have not experienced the same background and largely because of this mismatch, over 50% of beginning teachers leave the field within the first 5 years.”
“The mission of the ACU Department of Teacher Education is to prepare exemplary, committed educators for service in diverse and multicultural communities for the glory of God,” Pemberton said. “City Square offers a unique context for our program as we seek to fully live out this mission. Our teacher candidates are primarily white and economically advantaged. Still, many have the heart to serve in high needs urban settings. City Square offers us a way to more fully prepare these future teachers for what they will encounter so that they will be more likely to persist in the profession, and specifically in urban settings.”
Teacher candidates for the CitySquare program will apply to current freshman during their spring semester. The education department will provide more information about the program during the Welcome Week academic meetings.