The Department of Reading and Elementary Education is this year’s recipient of the UNC Charlotte Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for its collective dedication to high-quality teaching and improvements to student learning and outcomes.
The department underwent a unique program redesign to create a series of learning progressions across four semesters that were then compiled in a program handbook that articulates the program structure and sequence and establishes a professional common language and vocabulary to support coherence across coursework.
"It's a result of the hard work and dedication of our faculty," said department chair Michael Putman. "Despite the challenging context that has arisen through various legislative mandates, the faculty have maintained a focus on educational equity, innovation, and ensuring our candidates are ready to enter the classroom and become successful teachers."
The department has rooted equity and social justice into its coursework and developed a culturally sustaining teaching certificate program – the first of its kind in the system. They also led the college in developing the university’s laboratory school, which will open next fall to serve students assigned to low-performing elementary schools.