Four professors, three universities, two modes of technology, and one eighth grade classroom: Collaboration in middle level teacher education

Penny B. Howell, Margaret Rintamaa, Shawn Faulkner, Mike DiCicco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article focuses on four university teacher educators across three mid-western institutions working together to collaborate and develop a shared understanding of practice in middle level teacher education while modeling a team approach to teaching and learning. Three institutions, University of Louisville (UL), University of Kentucky (UK), and Northern Kentucky University (NKU), are located in what is generally termed the “Golden Triangle of Kentucky” (Berger, Bollinger, & Perry, 2002). Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky-Greater Cincinnati Area are each separated by less than 100 miles and are connected by major interstate highways (Berger et al., 2002; McBrayer, 2011). As teacher educators in this region, we have found it common for teacher candidates from each of our respective universities to accept positions at the same middle schools within this geographic area. Technological advances provide collaborative spaces for anyone to use as a place to engage in teaming activities in middle grades education. In this era of technology innovation, we now have the privilege of giving our teacher candidates and students access to educational and classroom settings previously inaccessible because of geographical or financial restraints. We utilized technology and teaming to provide a simultaneous, virtual experience for our students to learn together in a common space. In the spirit of This We Believe (National Middle School Association [NMSA], 2010), we hope our teaming through cross-institutional collaboration will spark ideas and inspiration for other middle grades teacher preparation programs, school districts, middle school teams and teachers. It is our hope that through this promising collaboration of four professors, three universities, and one eighth grade classroom, we not only help others use technology to eliminate geographical restraints to teaming, but also develop a shared understanding of effective middle level practices that will positively impact the middle school experience for young adolescents in our state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalMiddle School Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Copyright © 2017 AMLE.


  • clinical teacher preparation
  • collaboration
  • specialized middle level teacher preparation
  • teaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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