2. Improving Preschool and K-12 Education

The connected challenges of unemployment, poverty, and poor health status extend to K-12 education in many of our surrounding communities. In this difficult environment, schools are the most important source of opportunity that our society can provide to our children. This gives teachers and principals real opportunities for real impact. That’s why UM-Dearborn has made a priority of strengthening the effectiveness of teachers and schools, through our programs in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services and our partnerships with urban and metropolitan school systems.

Through partnerships with school districts and community colleges in the area, the high standards of the University of Michigan-Dearborn are changing schools and bettering children’s lives throughout metropolitan Detroit.

For example, UM-Dearborn’s Center for Mathematics Education, through the Detroit Mathematics Academy, has helped hundreds of public school teachers deepen their understanding of math and how best to teach it, while earning graduate credit at accessible Detroit locations.

With support from the National Science Foundation, UM-Dearborn professors have developed pioneering courses for science teachers in training. They learn to teach by utilizing discovery, investigation, and scientific analysis—rather than the usual lecture and memorization. Similarly, innovative work in literacy, cross-cultural education and technology in the classroom has brought new ideas into many of the schools of metropolitan Detroit.

Moreover, because the education of the youngest (pre-kindergarten) children is more critical than ever, a new facility to expand the Child Development Center—one of only a few to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children—will enable the university to double the number of early childhood teachers in training from 200 to 400 each year. Special emphasis is placed on preparation for metropolitan Detroit Head Start teachers, to learn the best in theory and practice while earning their certification.