Spark! Teaching and Learning immerses students in teaching and learning. Students will understand learning styles, teaching methodologies, technology integration, cultural responsiveness and a focus on data-driven decision making in the schooling system. Students will engage in a collaborative relationship between teachers, administrators, students and families. This experience will focus on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching; the basic principles of educational psychology; the art of teaching; the planning and administration of educational activities; and the social foundations of education. Students will experience the true essence of the teaching and learning process through observation, interaction and teaching. Students may participate in Spark! for two consecutive years if their schedule allows.
Spark! Teaching & Learning meets at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School in the Parkway School District.
Dual credit is available through University of Missouri – St. Louis, Lindenwood University and Maryville University.
Projects/Professional Learning Communities
A key component of Spark! Teaching & Learning is to learn through real world experiences, including solving real-world problems and collaboratively designing projects. Below is a sampling of some of these projects:
- Plan and teach a lesson on the Constitution to fourth graders at Highcroft Ridge Elementary on Constitution Day
- Plan and present about Spark! Teaching & Learning at the Clinical Partnership Meeting to Missouri colleges and school districts at MO Baptist University
- Plan and present at the Parkway School District Career Fair to eighth graders about Spark! Teaching & Learning and the field of education
- Organize and maintain the Literacy Library at Highcroft Elementary
- Plan and organize activities for STEM Expos at Southwest Middle, South Middle and HIghcroft Ridge Elementary
- Participate in Pumpkin Run, Trunk or Treat, Curriculum Night, Meet N’ Greet and Literacy Night at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School
- Research Extended Learning Opportunities and Project-Based Learning options for Parkway Spark! students
Site Visits/Field Trips
Spark! Teaching & Learning students gain a greater understanding of education and teaching through site visits and and field trips. Here are some examples:
- Wyland Elementary School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Lee Hamilton Elementary School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Ritenour Early Childhood Center (Read for the Record)
- Macy’s Build a Wardrobe
- Highcroft Ridge Elementary (Jump in and assist weekly)
- Hawthorne School (observations, discussions, and questions/answers)
- Field Experience (work parallel with classroom teacher plus write and teach 3 lessons)