Collaboration has been a key component of the National Center for Urban Education (NCUE) since its inception. The diversity of partnerships NCUE has built for the last 16 years make the center a place where communities, teachers, school districts, future teachers, faculty, and researchers have found a home.
NCUE has always worked closely with other Illinois State University units and departments to share the wealth of data and experience the center has to offer. For the last two years, we have been very intentional about seeking additional ways to collaborate with new partners across campus. This article will highlight some of our recent collaborations and ways NCUE can support faculty and staff across campus.
NCUE is working with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CESL) at Illinois State University on its Civic Engagement and Responsibility Minor Curriculum Committee. CESL is reviewing curriculum, asking for suggestions for new courses, and soliciting ideas to enhance existing courses.
Given the nature of NCUE programming, many of the courses redesigned with an urban focus through our CDG program would qualify to be part of the minor. In addition, our long-standing focus on civic engagement and service learning helps us offer meaningful suggestions for enhancing current course content.
Another organic collaboration that is coming to fruition is the partnership between NCUE and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT). This fall, NCUE will be facilitating a Learning Community called Exploring the Neuroscience of Learning and its connections to Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Using this community as a platform, NCUE staff will demonstrate how knowledge of fundamental concepts in brain development can inform interactions with students, including understanding the impact of our own biofeedback on the learning space. We will explore how various neurological states affect learning processes and how instructors can bring the lens of empathy to the learning space to create safe classroom communities that are culturally responsive and maximize the cognitive potential of students. Our hope is this learning community will not only help instructors become more aware of how neuroscience can impact classroom interactions, but that it will also highlight some of the knowledge and resources that NCUE staff can bring to the Illinois State University campus community.
NCUE can also offer support to faculty who want to write grants to do research in Chicago Public Schools and assist in the grant writing process. We recently collaborated with the School of Teaching and Learning and the College of Applied Science and Technology to design and write a grant proposal that creates opportunities to have Illinois State faculty and students work alongside NCUE partner schools and communities in Chicago in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. NCUE is open to partnering with any grants or projects interested in collaborating with diverse Chicago communities in order to bring resources to the schools and partners we work with.
If you are interested in urban education, want to collaborate on a grant, or are interested in the knowledge and resources the NCUE staff has, please contact Dr. Maria Zamudio. We’d love to have the opportunity to partner with you as well.