Mildred Bankhead-Smith

Project Name:

Developing an Integrated Course Learning Community

The _small learning communities_ model is among the strategies advocated to improve student performance in secondary education. This model includes integrated course learning communities (LCs) in STEM that have real-life applications and an inquiry-based focus. Learning Communities are a linked set of at least three courses that explore a common theme. Research supports integrated course Learning Communities as a way to improve student engagement, retention and performance. Ms. Bankhead-Smith will participate in a five-year fellowship in which she will work closely with University College at FSU and with the Center for Promoting STEM Education and Research to demonstrate the need for an integrated course learning community model, as well as developing and implementing the model in an appropriate middle school setting. She will collaborate in the development of the necessary curriculum for the project, and compare LC to Non-LC student performance in STEM using mathematical modeling and bioinformatics tools. The latter part of her fellowship will be spent collaborating with Kenan Fellows Program staff and university faculty to implement a strategy for disseminating the resources she develops to pre-service teacher education programs in the region.

From School:

West Pine Middle School


Moore County Schools


Dr. Erin White, Fayetteville State University


National Science Foundation Noyce II Grant