College of Education > Center on Rural Education and Communities > CREC Research and Outreach Initiatives

CREC Research and Outreach Initiatives

Press Releases

Current Initiatives

Past Initiatives


    Outreach Priorities of the Penn State College of Education

    Professional Development

    We are seeking to expand the Professional Development School concept that has been jointly developed by the College and the State College Area School District into rural areas of the Commonwealth. This is an innovative teacher education model that provides comprehensive clinical experiences and that ties the cooperating schools directly to the Penn State faculty members who are preparing new teachers.

    In-service Professional Development

    It is vitally important to keep practicing teachers and school administrators aware of the latest developments with respect to state standards and new knowledge that has been created about both the subjects being taught and the latest techniques and insights into how best to meet the needs of learners.

    Utilization of Technology

    Rural schools and communities are particularly well positioned to take advantage of new and emerging computing and telecommunication technologies that can be used to improve teaching and learning.

    Family Literacy Initiatives

    The College offers programs dealing with the teaching of reading and adult literacy in several different areas, largely corresponding to the age level of the learners. The Center on Rural Education and Communities will bring this research and outreach work together around a rural community focus. The recently created Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy is well positioned to contribute to this work.

    Assessment and the Utilization of Data

    The efforts to develop improved measures of student performance are creating new opportunities for teachers, counselors, and administrators to use, and to base decisions on scientific data, and yet the capacity to use data for this purpose is quite limited. New efforts are underway to prepare new as well as existing educators to have the capacity to incorporate data into decisions that are made about instruction as well as the operation of the schools. Similar challenges are faced by decision makers in the larger community.

    Multicultural Understanding and the Utilization of Indigenous Knowledge

    The relative isolation of some rural communities can create a degree of parochialism that interferes with the ability of students and citizens to participate meaningfully in the contemporary society. At the same time, these settings give rise to indigenous knowledge that is not sufficiently well shared with others in the larger society. Educational activities are uniquely well positioned to break down these barriers and we seek to build a multicultural and indigenous knowledge theme into the operation of the Center.