The School of Education and Human Development’s partnership with Belle Stone Elementary School in Canton will be showcased on the Discovery Channel on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 a.m. as part of the Profiles Series.
“We are very excited,” Dr. Rhoda Sommers, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, said. “This really gives us an opportunity to showcase a key strength of our department, and our partnerships with area schools.”
In March of last year, a representative from the Profiles Series inquired about the program. A researcher for the show had become aware of Malone’s partnership with Canton City Schools and thought the innovative and unique approach Malone was taking would be perfect to highlight on the Profiles Series, a television show dedicated to showcasing the best in educational, business, environmental and medical (among many other fields) innovations.
Malone’s partnership with Belle Stone is not the only option offered to undergraduate students. With current cooperative partnerships also being conducted at two other sites, one in Perry and another in the Jackson area, students are offered a variety of ways to get hands-on experience while seeing how the methods and techniques they are learning are being applied in the real world.
The class that will be highlighted in the series is SPED 462 Language Development and Differences. Like all other classes that are taught within the context of the partnerships with area schools, this course is held on-site in the elementary school. University students are focusing on education techniques that assist students with language and developmental differences, such as those studying English as a Second Language (ESL), those with hearing impairments and those with other developmental differences.
“The school really uses technology in amazing ways,” Sommers said.
“Canton City Schools have been wonderful to work with,” Sommers said. “Our students are used and utilized in the classroom and they cherish the opportunity that they are being given.”
Senior intervention specialist major Courtney Gardner has had a positive experience at Belle Stone. During one of her two placements there, she worked with a student whose first language was Creole. Through one-on-one time outside the classroom, she was able to see that he needed help in grammar.
“I was grateful to have experienced that because it would have been very easy to assume he didn’t need any extra attention if I wouldn’t been able to have that up-close and personal experience,” Gardner said.
Students are able to exercise what they learn in the classroom in real-life scenarios.
Currently Gardner works in a deaf education classroom at Belle Stone. The primary form of communication within the classroom is sign language.
“This placement has invoked in me the desire to pursue mastery of sign language and I really feel like this is an area I may end up doing extensive work in,” Gardner said.
According to Gardner, the teachers at Belle Stone are utilizing Malone students in the classroom for the benefit of everyone involved.
“The teachers in the schools are used to Malone students’ presence,” she said. “The students are utilized and the elementary school teachers work with them in a way that benefits both the elementary students’ learning and Malone students’ learning.”
Belle Stone Elementary is part of Canton City School District, and for the 2010-2011 school year had an enrollment of 327 students. For that school year, 42% of fifth graders were proficient in science, and only 45% were proficient in reading, according to the latest statistics from the Ohio Department of Education.
Above all, the kids were excited to be filmed for the show. The film crew was peppered with questions of “Is our school going to be on TV?” The video shoot was filmed over the week of Labor Day in September 2011 and features four interviews; they include one Malone graduate, who has continued into employment with the school, and a Malone student who currently attends and is active in the class that is highlighted. The entire video shoot was on location at Belle Stone Elementary.
The episode will air on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 a.m. on the Discovery Channel. It is not currently available online, but an exclusive video will be posted on the Profile Series website after the airing.
Marissa Geib is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.