This year, Battelle for Kids and the Ohio Department of Education are speaking with faculty from Ohio colleges and universities to learn about how formative instructional practices are helping pre-service teachers. Patricia Morrison and I spoke with Amy McClure, Ph.D. a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. A huge challenge within higher education is finding personal examples for pre-service teachers that have not yet had their own classrooms; they aren’t always easy to access, and many students learn from those examples rather than simply reading a textbook. In 2012, Amy started integrating the FIP modules into her coursework for her Early Literacy class. “I wanted kids to understand formative assessment before they had to do formative assessment... Students do an entire case study using a series of assessments and use assessment to understand the concepts that they are learning,” said McClure.
For the past 15 years, Dr. McClure has had her junior class work through a two-month project, in which they meet and assess an early childhood student. It is one of the first specific student assessment assignments that OWU students receive in which they have direct interaction with children. Amy recognized that the Foundations of FIP modules offer an alternative to the memorization and mind-dump methods that many of us experienced in our own education. Her junior Early Childhood students would often forget what was taught in class or read in textbooks, so Amy hopes that the FIP modules, being interactive by nature, can eliminate the problem completely.
We have quickly learned that there is not a single road to success while integrating FIP into pre-service curriculum. While other universities have made modules and FIP resources strictly a part of in-class discussion, Ohio Wesleyan University has been using modules as a homework assignment with required verification for students. Upon completion, the class spends a partial session discussing the concepts and strategies used in the modules. OWU is still in their first year of integrating FIP, but we look forward to watching as pre-service teachers apply their learning of formative instructional practices to their classroom experience.
As we continue to help universities integrate formative instructional practices into their pre-service programs, we encourage you to take a look at the resources that are available to institutions of higher education. Higher education faculty of undergraduate and graduate students in educator preparation programs now have access to the following resources:
- Foundations of Formative Instructional Practices modules
- Leading and Coaching Formative Instructional Practices modules
- Creating Clear Learning Targets modules
- FIP in Action modules
- The Facilitating Formative Instructional Practices Guide
- All resources located in the FIP Your School Fileroom.
For more information on how FIP can fit into your higher education program, click here.