On April 24, 2012, the Franks School of Education gained an immaculate technological showpiece with the dedication of the Project Based Learning Center for Excellence. With the support of the Talent Initiative of Northeast Indiana and grant funding from the Lilly Endowment, the classroom contains interactive boards, videoconferencing equipment, and laptop computers. These resources in addition to the physical arrangement of the space allow education students and community members to experience project based learning first hand.
Project based learning (PBL) is a teaching strategy designed to immerse learners in authentic projects which require research and analysis from multiple perspectives. Rather than simply completing a chapter test, students create a final product in a variety of forms best suited to the presented scenario. PBL units also address 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and media literacy. Trine University education students develop PBL units in various courses in order to gain a better understanding of this unique teaching strategy.
In addition to opportunities for Trine education students, local teachers participated in PBL training. Teams of teachers worked collaboratively to develop interdisciplinary PBL units to implement when they returned to school in the fall. Projects ranging from soap-making to preparing for natural disasters to analyzing the fall of historical empires were developed by this group of creative, energetic educators. Teams returned in the spring to share the results of the PBL experience, and many had positive stories of student learning and engagement. Several teachers have continued to develop PBL units beyond their summer training.
From training future teachers to offering professional development opportunities to practicing professionals, the Center for Excellence has become a source of pride and growth for the Franks School of Education. The facility and the learning occurring within it provide yet another example of Trine’s dedication to ensuring high quality, prepared professional educators equipped with cutting-edge strategies and skills ready to apply to tomorrow’s classrooms.
S.E.A. - Student Education Association
The Trine University Chapter of the Student Education Association was founded in 2000. SEA is the student branch of the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA). SEA members enjoy most of the benefits of both ISTA and NEA including limited liability coverage, travel and entertainment discounts, and professional development opportunities. Members participate in a variety of activities throughout the year including:
- Outreach to Teach
- Read Across America
- ISEA Day at the Statehouse
- ISEA Fall Conference
- Local volunteer opportunities in area classrooms and community programs
SEA provides a great opportunity to learn more about the teaching profession, network with other education students, and gain additional experience working with children. New members are always welcome!
Pi Lambda Theta, Direct Honors Program
The Franks School of Education Direct Honors Program of Pi Lambda Theta was established in February, 2007. Pi Lambda Theta is an international honor society and professional association in education. The mission is to honor outstanding educators and inspire them to be effective leaders who address critical issues in education. The Franks School of Education has had 54 outstanding students accept the invitation for membership.
Guidelines and qualifications include:
- 3.5 or higher cumulative gpa after completion of methods courses
- recommendation approved by majority of FSOE faculty
- 35 hours or less credit to complete