Beginning fall of 2017, Carroll University’s Education Department and Hawthorne Elementary School are set to launch their new and innovative Hawthorne LAB School project. This partnership is designed to bring together Hawthorne faculty and Carroll faculty and education majors to create a research-focused learning environment which places the children of Hawthorne first.
The “LAB” in Hawthorne LAB School stands for Learn, Analyze and Build: Learn Together, Analyze Thinking and Build on Strengths to foster curiosity. With this in mind, Hawthorne LAB will look to achieve its mission of inspiring a passion for learning to create positive changes in our shared community.
This partnership took its course in fall of 2016 when Duy Nguyen, Principal of Hawthorne Elementary, invited Carroll University faculty to discuss the benefits a LAB school partnership may bring, including increased student engagement, learning, and achievement at Hawthorne and the increased clinical placement opportunities for Carroll students. After months of meeting regularly to plan and articulate the LAB school model, the School District of Waukesha approved the model in March of 2017. According to Carroll education professor, Dr. Kerry Kretchmar, this is the first LAB school partnership of its kind in the state, in true pioneer fashion.
Planners involved hope to see benefits that stretch far beyond a semester or school year. The LAB school gives Carroll education students the resources and support to develop curiosity about student’s thinking thus providing strong teaching practices. In addition, Dr. Kerry Kretchmar says “this embedded model for developing teachers provides the opportunity for pre-service candidates to see education from a broader, systemic perspective.”
The advantage for Hawthorne students is simple- more adults in the building, working side-by- side and focused on creating the best outcomes for the school’s students will translate into increased personal attention for each student. It will also build upon the expertise, knowledge and passion of Hawthorne’s faculty and teachers, allowing them to become collaborators as they employ the best practices for their students.
Because this model is a first of its kind, many unique and innovative practices will be utilized in a LAB classroom. The following five foundational practices will be used to translate in the LAB school:
- Students will engage in inquiry to develop critical thinking skills
- Administrators, teachers and staff will engage in an inquiry approach in studying how our students think
Co-teaching and Co-serving
- Action research will be the primary method used analyze student thinking and improve teaching and learning
- Coaching cycles will be used to engage in action research assess student work, and develop teaching competencies
- Master teachers, initial educators and resident teachers will co-teach in order to enhance student learning and teacher development
- Regular education teachers and special education teachers will co-teach and co-serve in fully inclusive environments
- Administrators, teachers, staff and faculty will learn through inquiry and action research
- School and university personnel will develop and implement professional development opportunities to support best practices in teaching and learning
With the Hawthorne LAB School in full swing, Carroll students and faculty are now able to apply their research results to further advance teaching practices with the end goal in mind of improving student development and retaining excellent teachers.
- School and university personnel will partner to enhance the development of pre-service and in-service teachers who support and challenge learners to reach their full potential
- School and university personnel will engage with parents, families, and communities to build authentic relationships and work towards making a difference in the world