On April 18, CASDA and the University at Albany School of Education hosted a presentation for area educators that focused on school leadership and community schools.
During the event, International Visiting Professor Dr. Alan Dyson, Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Equity in Education at the University of Manchester, UK, presented original research on development initiatives with new designs for schools serving children, families and communities challenged by place-based disadvantages. Through their research, Dyson and his colleagues have helped to pioneer innovative initiatives in urban neighborhood communities. In this comprehensive approach, new schools with expansive services are structured to strengthen families and communities and, at the same time, community development contributes to children’s learning, healthy development and school success.
In addition to his presentation, Dr. Dyson also visited the UAlbany uptown campus on April 19 and elaborated on the role of the researcher and university in community schools with a talk titled “Challenges Faced by Schools in the Current Environment & Options for Developing the Capacity to Address These Challenges”. This was followed by a discussion and response panel that included Dr. James Stellar, Provost; Dr. Darrell Wheeler, Dean, School of Social Welfare; Dr. Hal Lawson, Professor, Educational Administration & Policy Studies; Dr. Kristen Wilcox, Assistant Professor, Educational Theory and Practice.
For ten years, Dr. Dyson and his colleagues have been involved in the evaluation and continuous improvement of these initiatives. They have derived theories of action and offer key lessons learned for colleagues in New York. Dyson has worked closely with one of the pilot academies and offers a compelling way to plan for new school designs.
His wife, Dr. Sue Beverton, visited with Annette Romano, lead NBCT NY program developer at Niskayuna CSD, and other teacher leaders in the area during their visit. Dr. Berverton’s work is at the forefront of teacher education redesign and she spoke of new designs that were of interest to our districts locally as well as our Teacher Preparation programs on a University level.
D. Alan Dyson is Professor of Education in the University of Manchester where he co-directs the Centre for Equity in Education and leads work on breaking the link between educational disadvantage and family and place based hardships. For more information about the Centre for Equity in Education, please visit www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/education/research/cee.