Research & Development Education Summit

October 8 & 9 at Malcolm Price Lab School

September 22, 2010

As we discuss the transition from Price Laboratory School to the Research and Development School, it would be wise that we are informed about other models that have made such transitions. 

On Friday, October 8, Sharon Robinson from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) will speak on Research & Development Schools: Educating for the Next Generation.

On Saturday, October 9, we will have the opportunity to review other models at the day-long summit. This summit will be held at Price Laboratory School.  You will have the opportunity to participate in four concurrent discussions examining national research, develpment and dissemination school models. Join us in the Research & Development Education Summit.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Related: MPLS, Summit


R&D School

The feedback from the RD3 Summit was very encouraging. The feedback is being reviewed currently by Lyn Countryman and her faculty and staff at MPLS. I also will be reviewing the feedback with the Strategic Planning Team on Friday, October 29th. I would like to keep the momentum going around the RD3 School. Based on the responses I am reviewing on the blog, it seems that moving forward in determining a model for the RD3 is the next progressive step and that many are poised for changes. I am excited that a new faculty member choose UNI because of the historical significance of our lab school. I ,like the new faculy member, is excited about the transformational possibilities.

Novice Teachers

I have heard rumblings that novice teachers at the bachelor level are not the best candidates for preservice preparation and that level II students should not be placed in their classrooms. Some view the hiring of novice teachers as the demise of the Lab School. This concern was also cited in our Department of Education review. I am aware of this concern and Becky Hawbaker is working on this. I do feel that novice teachers are ideal for the Research Development, Demonstration, and Dissemination School. They can try out innovated practices, collaborate on research with veteran professors, and create curricula that advances academic success. It would be ideal if the effectiveness in teaching and learning that are captured in these novice teachers classrooms are replicated in other settings and disseminated across the state of Iowa.

I can say I have had many and varied experiences with MPLS . . .

I can say I have had many and varied experiences with MPLS.

When I came in the early 1970’s, my wife Jane student taught at MPLS and she then taught language arts for a year when a faculty member was on leave. All of our eight children attended MPLS from Pre-K to 12 in the years 1973 to 2001. As a university professor in Educational Psychology and Foundations, I have taught courses most years that relied on clinical experiences at MPLS for undergraduate teaching majors and graduate experience for school psychology students. I am deeply indebted to many MPLS teachers and administrators for the education our kids received. I am equally impressed with and appreciative of the opportunities and supervision provided to our university students. Both are important roles in the current scheme of things.

I also know the leadership role the MPLS faculty have played in developing the Iowa Core, the professional development provided to Pre-K-12 schools across the state, the numbers of National Board Certified Teachers among the faculty, and the university teaching conducted by these same faculty.

I hope that providing excellent education to K-12 students and being great models and mentors to UNI students continues to be part of the new role. I don’t know what the new role will be, but as I consider the many difficult challenges the faculty and administration of the school have faced over the years, I’m quite confident they can assume this role and do it extremely well.

That will be particularly true if the university and state can develop and nurture a common understanding of just what the role and expectations are as well as the relationship of the R&D school to UNI and to the state.


In the faculty meeting, I stated that it seems like people I spoke to were falling into one of three camps when it came to their understanding and relationship with Price Lab School. The three stances are: advocate, neutral, and resister.
Those who are champions/advocates are pleased with the current model and excited about the future.

Those who are neutral have little to say one way or the other. In some cases, they were encouraged not to engage with Price Lab School because the relationship with the School and the College was ambiguous and it was best not to get involved.

Those who are resisters do not think that the current model at Price Lab is reflective of the past when the school was a model for science-based pedagogical and emperical research. Another reason for resistance is that they may still be having some residual tensions around their tenure at Price Lab and their transition to the College.

Please let me know what is your stance or your commentary about the past, present, or future of Price Lab.

Malcolm Price Laboratory Sschool

As a new faculty member here at UNI, I want to share with you my outsider perspective on MPLS. When I was researching UNI as a potential place to move in my career, the fact that UNI had a lab school was very attractive to me as a scholar and a professor. Having taught at a small liberal arts college for the past four years I was regularly frustrated by the fact that we had a child care center/preschool, but it was absolutely not a lab school. Many scholars at my prior institution in teacher education and the social sciences wished that the college leaders would re-imagine this resource so that it could serve multiple purposes for the community including scholarship and learning. So for me having a fully functional pk-12 lab school was one of many things that was attractive to me as a scholar and teacher. Having gone to graduate school somewhere that had a wonderful center for child development, that although not a full scale lab school, did serve many of the scholarly and teaching roles that one would hope for in a great lab school environment. It is my hope that now that I am here at UNI I can help to bring positive energy to the wonderful resource that we have available to us in MPLS. I am very hopeful to see the transition to a formal R&D school unfold and I am excited to part of the new set of researchers working on research with students at the school.

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