||Junior's internship at Kentucky Department of Education invaluable for teaching career
RELEASED: May 14, 2009
DANVILLE, KY—Drew White, a junior at Centre College, recently completed a semester-long internship at the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort, working in the Office of Teaching and Learning. With the help of Mary Rudd, visiting instructor of education, White obtained the internship and says that his time at the KDE has been extremely valuable to his future career in education.
"This internship allowed Drew to see the larger dimensions of teaching in this state," Rudd says. "This deepened his understanding of what to do in the classroom and the 'why' behind a lot of the decisions made at a state level that affect classrooms."
White, an education major who plans to teach social studies, was involved in many aspects of KDE, from working with the legal department, to following a legislative bill through the approval process, to finally seeing how that bill is being implemented in classrooms.
"Each week I was there I got a more in-depth look into what KDE does to help insure our school systems are performing at the best of their abilities," White says. "I've worked with the state's Curriculum Consultants and learned how Kentucky Content Standards are formed and implemented into the state's assessment plan. I helped lobby support for House Bill 508 and the merger between it and Senate Bill 1." This bill reorganized the state's testing system for the second time since 1990's Kentucky Education Reform Act was passed.
White continues: "I was also able to meet Greg Stumbo (Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives), discuss SB 1 and HB 508 with Senator Ken Winters and carry on a conversation with Representative Jody Richards. I've worked with the Virtual High School and Hybrid Learning, which aims to bring technology into the classroom while also providing each student in the state the opportunity to take any classes that their home school may not offer. I was fortunate to sit in on a conference where individuals from across the world were invited to Kentucky to present our philosophies and practices so that they could in turn take those practices back to their respective counties to improve their educational systems."
In addition, White was able to sit in a planning meeting with the Commissioner of Education, the two Deputy Commissioners and all of the Associate Commissioners.
For Rudd, helping White organize this internship was part of the larger picture of Centre's mission for future teachers. This internship allowed an education major to experience the silos of the education process not normally understood in the classroom: legal, political, financial, and technological aspects. In addition, this type of internship is appropriate for non-education majors, as well. Students considering careers in government, economics or politics, in general, could gain from seeing how the legislation evolves into policy.
"Centre students are going to impact education regardless of whether they're teachers, board members, lawyers or doctors," Rudd says. "Internships like the one Drew has at KDE not only make education majors aware of other aspects involved in the education process, but they also show non-education majors that there's a broader scope to education, and that they will impact it in some way throughout their lives."
White says his KDE experience will be invaluable to him as a social studies teacher.
"The information I learned will separate me from all other first-year teachers and comes with a responsibility to help lead my fellow faculty in the latest philosophies and techniques that are helping to improve our public school students," he says. "This opportunity has opened my eyes to the greater world of education, and through this internship I have a personal connection to one of the state's most effective educational resources."
For more information on the Education Program at Centre, click here.
Internships are guaranteed under the terms of The Centre Commitment. For more information, click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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