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College students who aspire to teach usually complete their student teaching assignments at area schools. Education professor Mary Webster Moore took a unique approach to that process and brought a local school to campus to give her education students real-life experience.

Moore assigned students in her Teaching in the Middle Grades class to design a self-instruction module for seventh- and eighth-graders in subjects of their choice. She also arranged for 25 students from West Side Christian School in Chicago to visit the College April 16 and test the modules.

"This gives my class an opportunity to connect with students who are in the grades they will teach," said Moore, who was the principal at West Side before coming to Trinity. "There are modules in history, math, physical education, science.we cover all the topics. It's not purely an academic exercise; it is an academic project with practical application."

Each Trinity student sat with a West Side student as the middle schoolers worked through the curriculum. Jeralyn Harris, who teaches grades seven and eight, accompanied the students from the school in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood.

"This experience shows my students how much they can learn in a short period of time without direct instruction," Harris said. "They will need more independent learning as they go into high school and eventually to college. I implement a similar structure in my classroom sometimes, and it's good for them to be exposed to these opportunities at this stage of their education."

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