2016 Charrette

The Cato College of Education Charrette was held on November 15, 2016. School and community partners were invited to campus to hear presentations from current candidates and recent graduates on what they have learned at UNC Charlotte. Alumni in particular were asked to reflect on their experiences as practicing classroom teachers. During the morning, candidates shared via poster presentations and alumni shared through “Ted Talks.” (new link to new page?) In the afternoon, a Moderated Alumni Panel was held followed by Roundtable Discussions. Many of the presentations are aligned with the student learning outcomes at the Cato College of Education and can be viewed on the SLO Data page

Click the links below to see some examples of Alumni / Student presentations from the Charrette:


Results from the Charrette

Throughout the Charrette, data was collected to inform future directions for the Cato College of Education and P-12 partners. Notes were taken during the Moderated Alumni Panel and Roundtable Discussions. All TED Talks provided by COED alumni were videotaped. Data was also collected from Exit Tickets that were provided to all attendees. Upon reviewing the collected data, the following themes emerged (summarized here).

1.  What did you hear or see today that impressed you? (organized by theme)

  • The high level of passion about teaching exhibited by candidates, alumni, faculty, P-12 partners and participants.
  • The College’s increased emphasis on relationship-building at multiple levels (COED faculty and P-12 partners; candidates with students/families).
  • The quality and rigor of our programs in College of Education
  • The transparency of the College in taking a risk with the charrette and our commitment to growth and improvement (“not complacent in success”)

2.  What did you not see or hear but wish you had?

  • Participants would like to have had CEs (Clinical Educators who host our candidates) involved in the event.
  • Participants wanted to hear more about specific instructional strategies and clinical practices being taught at UNC Charlotte, including technology integration and classroom management.
  • Participants asked about possible messages to policymakers that could come from the charrette; also about next steps from the charrette, in general.

3.  What did you see or hear that worried you, and why?

  • Many participants reported feeling troubled about negative clinical experiences affecting recruitment/retention efforts. Participants were also worried about general negativity in the profession and public perceptions of education.  
  • Some participants expressed concern that candidates should be getting more varied experiences (e.g., candidates are good at writing lesson plans but may need more emphasis on instructional delivery; candidates need more strategies for teaching English Language Learners)
  • P-12 partners have little information about edTPA. This needs to be addressed. We need to continue to develop close alignment between university courses and P-12 curriculum.  
  • Sharing with policymakers -- the impact their actions have on morale and recruitment.

Using Charrette Feedback to Guide Improvements: Next steps for the Cato College of Education

The Cato College of Education used the data from the Charrette and implemented the following steps to provide more opportunities for discussion and collaboration with P-12 partners.

  • On January 20, the college held a CMS partner workshop where teachers and administration from CMS came to campus to discuss early clinical experiences of candidates.
  • On January 20, the Department of Middle, Secondary & K-12 Education invited content area experts from CMS to begin conversations of what the school districts needs in terms of training their teachers.
  • The first Teacher Education Institute will be held (see information below) in summer 2017.
  • A possible Charrette in the future designed in collaboration with P-12 partners.
  • The Cato College of Education will be holding its First Annual Teacher Education Institute (TEI) June 27-30. The goals of the TEI are: 1) to strengthen the partnership between the college and P-12 partners (specifically among the cooperating teacher, university supervisor and university faculty), 2) to establish common ground for what accomplished teaching is, 3) to discuss what is learned at the university and what is practiced in schools to ensure that candidates are receiving consistent information, 4) to learn embedded coaching techniques that can be utilized in coursework, early clinical experiences, and student teaching and how these can strengthen the learning experience of candidates. This work is generously funded by the Belk Foundation.
  • The Cato College of Education has been examining our candidate clinical experiences, including student teaching.  As a result, we know that there are areas of improvement that need to be made, including how we make placements. We will be providing opportunities for P-12 partners to discuss potential changes and implementation.