Ford shares real world teaching
Ford shares real world teaching scenarios with local teachers
Posted on 11/05/2009
Forty-five educators from Floyd County Schools and other school districts in Georgia will participate in a professional development session focused on teachers using real-world problems in their instruction to help students succeed in the future workplace. This Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS) Regional Mini-Institute, hosted by the Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy, will be held at the school on November 12 - 13. Attendees will learn how to incorporate Ford PAS (Partnership for Advanced Studies) into their teaching and also hear from leading Rome area business leaders about the top skills they look for in their employees. 

“One way you reach the young people of today is to make sure what is being taught in the classroom can be related to what they will experience in the real world – we must make learning relevant,” stated Frank Pinson, CEO of the Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy. “One of the ways that Floyd County Schools and the College & Career Academy are addressing this need is through partnerships with local businesses, the Chamber and civic leaders that focus on project-based learning.” Through project-based learning available from the Ford PAS program, students are able to practice new skills and deepen their understanding of new information, as well as design questions that generate and test hypotheses about their learning. “Our partnership with Ford PAS helps us to engage students in activities that enhance their knowledge of academic content and to be able to apply that content to real-world applications,” said Dr. Lynn Plunkett, superintendent, Floyd County Schools.

Ford PAS is a dynamic high school curriculum currently being used across the nation. It encourages students to work together to solve real-world problems and identify opportunities in fields such as business, engineering, technology, alternative energy, global economics and other challenging fields. The curriculum is enhanced through professional development for teachers and networking opportunities between business partners, educators and students. It was developed by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company, in partnership with Education Development Center, Inc. 

Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy was selected to be a Ford PAS Next Generation School by the Ford Motor Company Fund last year. The College & Career Academy became one in twelve such schools in the country and the first in the state of Georgia. The Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy was chosen for this designation because of its commitment to prepare students for the 21st century workforce by combining academics with technical training and career exploration. The announcement was made during Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Innovation in Education Conference held on Friday, April 17, 2009. 

“We have a long history of supporting education initiatives across the country and we are pleased to add Georgia through our work with the Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy.” said Cheryl Carrier, Program Director, 21st Century Education Programs, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are excited to play a role in bringing together educators and business leaders to benefit our youth.” 

The Mini-Institute will involve all of the teachers at the College & Career Academy; two teachers each from Armuchee High, Coosa High, Model High and Pepperell High; as well as teachers from Houston County Career Academy, Hapeville Career Academy, and Southeastern Career Academy. Irene Munn, representative from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s office, and local Chamber and business leaders are scheduled to participate in the two-day workshop. Teachers will be lead in a series of activities taken from the Ford PAS curriculum in order to learn how the curriculum is taught. One example is an activity called Inventive Thinking, where students develop a new product that fills the need for a consumer group and then describes the impact this product will have on society.

The Ford PAS Regional Mini-Institute is being organized through the collaborative efforts of Ford Motor Company Fund; the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce; and Floyd County Schools.