This Fall, on Mondays, John Maddaus is offering an elective field experience course in Urban and Rural Education: EDG 425. (See flier)
The course features field trips to a variety of schools with diverse student populations: English Language Learners, including both immigrants and international students; students of different racial, ethnic and nationality backgrounds; students from low-income families; and of course, students in urban and rural schools. The goals of the field experience are: (1) to explore ways in which students’ social and cultural backgrounds and community contexts affect teaching and learning, and (2) to consider how to be an effective teacher with students of different backgrounds and in a variety of types of communities.
Most of the field trips are to schools within an hour’s drive of campus. In the past, the course visited John Bapst High School and Penobscot Job Corps in Bangor, Viola Rand School in Bradley, Indian Island School of the Penobscot Indian Nation, Penobscot Valley High School and Hichborn Middle School in Howland, and Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft. John anticipates visiting most of these schools this Fall – leaving campus at 8am, and returning by 12noon. Transportation is provided for those who prefer to travel in university vehicles.
In addition, there are two longer trips offered, and students can participate in either the urban trip and/or the rural trip. In the past, the urban trip was the Park Avenue Elementary School in Auburn, followed by a visit to the Tree Street Youth after-school program in Lewiston. The rural trip is going to be new possibly to Calais High School and Middle School, or Cobscook Community Learning Center (alternative schools program), both in Washington County in easternmost Maine. When on a longer trip, lunch and dinner are included – leaving at 7am and returning by 8pm. For students with Monday afternoon classes, John contacts the course instructors of the afternoon classes and arrange for the students to be excused from class for that day.
In addition to these field trips, they will be some guest speakers for classes here on campus. These classes will be 9am-12noon. The speakers will include someone from Project Reach on teaching ESL, one on an urban-rural exchange program called Operation Breaking Stereotypes, and one on rural education.