Albright College’s Board of Trustees has approved plans to design and develop a new school within the college focused on educational innovation.
Albright College’s School of Educational Innovation, recommended to the board by a faculty taskforce, Albright Provost Karen Campbell, Ph.D., and Adelle Schade dean of pre-college and summer programs, is designed to integrate Total Experience Learning (TExpL) methodology across all of Albright’s education programs, reaching current and future PreK-12 teachers and administrators.
In addition to bachelor’s degrees in PreK-4 education, special education, secondary education, art education, and foreign languages K-12 programs, Albright offers master’s in education degrees and certifications in several categories. A new 4+1 bachelor-to-master degree program, launched this year, allows Albright students to earn both degrees in five years.
The Total Experience Learning method has already demonstrated success in classrooms across Berks County. Students in TExpL classrooms have demonstrated 86% improvement in English test scores (compared to 48% of students in non-TExpL classrooms taught by the same teacher), a 93-point increase in math (compared to an 18-point increase in non-TExpL classrooms) and have shown increases by one to two levels of reading proficiency.
“As a veteran with over 20 years of experience in education, I was tired of the daily battle to engage my students’ 21st century minds with classrooms set up for 19th century educational practices,” said Molly Sherman, a 5th-12th grade gifted support teacher in Fleetwood Area School District. “TExpL offered me the opportunity to break down the classroom walls and bring a true renaissance to my teaching. I feel as if I am an integral part of the much-needed transformation to modernize our educational system, and my students are the prime beneficiaries.”
Exasperated by the pandemic, teacher burnout is at an all time high. Last fall, the National Education Association estimated a shortage of roughly 300,000 teachers and staff across the nation, particularly in rural districts and where special education and STEM teachers are in high demand. Administrator burnout is highest in urban districts. Albright’s new academic structure aims to further develop teacher programs that impact professional educator satisfaction and expand the teacher pipeline.
“Instead of quitting teaching, I decided to give the total experience learning a chance. And right away, it was the roadmap that I needed to put all of the pieces together,” said Lauren Peterson, a third grade Wilson School District teacher.
“TExpL has revitalized not only my classroom, but who I am as an educator,” said Sarah Johnson, a first grade teacher at Allentown Sacred Heart. “TExpL challenges me to keep student learning, engagement, and achievement in the center of my educational designs.”