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Area Educators Present at National Conference

By Lisa Stratton
UW-RF University Communications

FEB 10, 2006-- Mary Manke, associate dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, recently delivered an innovative presentation with two other area educators at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) annual conference.   The conference took place on Jan. 30 - Feb. 1 in San Diego.  

Ron Berg, curriculum director of the Somerset school district, and Debra Heyerdahl, director of instruction and staff development at the New Richmond school district, co-presented with Manke. The three were introduced during Manke's first year at UW-RF and have worked on various projects jointly since then.

"We enjoy working together," says Manke. "We were really excited to take this presentation to a national conference."

Manke, Berg and Heyerdahl began preparing for the AACTE conference last June, when they crafted a proposal outlining what they planned to present. Over the past year, the three have been meeting regularly, interviewing and videotaping teachers, and creating a PowerPoint to illustrate their presentation.   

The presentation, "A PK-16 Learning Community: Seeking Equality in a School-University Partnership," was funded by UW-RF's Teacher Quality Improvement grant.   The presentation focuses on using UW-RF's relationship with eight area schools as an example, as well as giving more generalized information on the importance of school-university collaboration. It also outlines several current concerns in the world of teacher education, such as new teacher mentoring, curriculum development, teacher professional development, and improving teacher education.    

"I was very pleased with the conference," says Manke. "The presentation went very well, and it was professionally rejuvenating." Manke also states that many attendees approached her following the presentation to express their approval.

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