Learning the Act of Good Teaching

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $999,000 grant to Moorpark Unified School District to work with California Lutheran University to create a model program where teachers utilize drama techniques as a teaching strategy in all subject areas.

Over the four years of the Project ACT (Active, Collaborative Teaching) grant, CLU education professors Michael McCambridge and Michael Cosenza will provide individualized coaching in active, collaborative instruction to teachers, who in turn will become trainers for their colleagues in the district.

The program is designed to help teachers 1) incorporate drama into their lesson plans throughout all curriculum areas with the goal of increasing teacher effectiveness and student achievement in math and language arts, and 2) create a practical, replicable model of quality arts integration. CLU students preparing to become teachers will intern with Moorpark instructors to help them incorporate arts-based instruction in their lesson plans.

The grant also covers bringing live theater to all elementary students in Moorpark Unified. CLU theatre arts professor Michael Arndt and the professional Kingsmen Shakespeare Company will take their Shakespeare Educational Tour to the schools each year.

In another professional development collaboration, the U.S. Department of Education provided Moorpark Unified with a $938,000 Teaching American History grant to work in partnership with CLU and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

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