Developing a culture of excellence in teaching

Camden Diocesan school teachers collaborated with the professional development

team from the University
of Notre Dame’s ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) program, during two week-long workshops this summer
to strengthen science and math curriculums in the diocese.
 
From June 24-28, 58 diocesan elementary and secondary math teachers took part in the first year of a two-year partnership with ACE, to strengthen curriculum, instruction and assessment in their school. Meeting at Our Lady of Hope School in Blackwood, the first year focused on curriculum and was led by diocesan teachers Esther Mancinelli (St. Vincent de Paul School, Mays Landing); Stephanie Callahan (St. Mary School, East Vineland); Barbara Feketics (Cape Trinity Catholic, Wildwood); and Diana Holland (Paul VI High School, Haddon Township).
 
Almost two months later, 49 diocesan elementary and secondary science teachers took part in Year 2 of the Ace Collaborative program, from Aug. 5-9, focusing on instruction and assessment, at St. Joseph Elementary School in Hammonton. Educators from the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Tom Doyle and Dr. Matt Kloser, led the Hammonton workshops.
 
ACE, an enterprise of the University of Notre Dame, works in Catholic schools throughout the nation, and
focuses on four principles that create an effective curriculum: teachers participating in professional learning communities; professional sharing; a culture of continuous improvement; and teachers utilizing a common, research-based language and structure for planning.
 
The collaborations between ACE and local schools involves two week-long workshops for teachers and principals, a one-day diocesan in-service each semester, ongoing work at school level by teachers and principals, additional support for diocesan administrators from ACE, and electronic collaboration among schools and ACE throughout the school year.

By Peter G. Sánchez for the Catholic Star Herald