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From Abbe Creek to e-portfolios

  Mary Russell Curran  

Providing experience
Cornell's One-Course-At-A-Time calendar provides distinct opportunities for education majors, according to students and faculty.

"It's powerful and exciting that we can talk about methods in class and send students out to schools the same day," Bostwick says. "They see the connection between their textbooks and real students, and they have opportunities for sustained observations and experiences long before they student-teach."

"There's no better way to combine theory and practice than the way we do it," says Luck. She remembers talking with a student about phonemic awareness and having the student say, "I saw that today!"

Going forward
Cornell's education graduates have nearly a 100 percent placement rate, as long as they're willing, says Peters, "to go where the students are."

Luck stresses that faculty members have lived and taught in many locations. "We ask students to stretch themselves," she says. "We want them to know that their first jobs will not be their last jobs, that they should be open to all the possibilities."

Seniors routinely attend the University of Northern Iowa teacher fair, which hosts districts from across the country. Recent Cornell graduates are teaching throughout the Midwest and in Alaska, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Egypt, and the Marshall Islands.

"Some graduates are now administrators," Luck says, "and we hope they're carrying over the things we've taught to the teachers with whom they're working."

And speaking of carrying things over, she notes that Peters' approaching retirement will be a big change.

"Dick's been incredibly instrumental in building the department and helping to keep the students as our main focus," she says.

For his part, Peters insists that "good institutions always go forward and remain strong." His final word is a historical note: "Cornell's education department has not been here for 130 years by accident."

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