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Teaching seminar particicpants

Guest speaker discusses how to engage students

(March 7, 2008)--The Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE) of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) hosted two sessions Feb. 29 by Carmen Mercado, faculty member at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Mercado spoke on techniques for engaging students to more than 50 UTSA faculty members, doctoral students and pre-service teachers, and teachers from partner school districts.

Throughout her life, Mercado has been affiliated with New York City public schools, first as a student, and since 1988 as a faculty member at Hunter College. Most of her personal and professional experiences have involved collaborating with teachers, students and their families to identify and build upon sociocultural resources for learning.

Mercado's first session for faculty and doctoral students focused on the importance of re-thinking what it means to teach for change and how to prepare teachers using available resources. The session attracted more than 30 participants and provided a platform to discuss research-based strategies and theory in meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

With more than 20 participants, the second session was for ATE partner district teachers and COEHD pre-service teacher candidates. Mercado noted the importance of teachers' knowledge of their students' cultural backgrounds. She encouraged teachers to take an active role as researchers and apply their findings to teaching to bridge the gap between student learning at school and home.

For more information on the Academy for Teacher Excellence, call (210) 458-6170.

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