A new program for training bilingual educators is being developed at Baylor University to fill the increasing need for these teachers in McLennan County, Texas.
According to Department of Curriculum and Instruction chairman Larry Browning there is an ongoing search for senior faculty who can start the program and have it running by next fall.
“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while, so there has been some talk in the past of what we were going to do,” Browning said. “It’s a big need. We don’t serve it at all. We did in the 1970s. We used to prepare bilingual educators here, about two a year. But it was two a year, so it went defunct.” Browning has taught at Baylor University for 41 years.
It is possible that the program could build strong partnerships with local schools, with a larger role for the School of Education which would create “centers for social innovation” focusing on research of best teaching and learning practices, according to associate curriculum and instruction chairwoman Brooke Blevins.
“These are conversations that haven’t been fully fleshed out with our Waco ISD partners, but we know poverty is an issue. We know English language learning is an issue. We know literacy is an issue,” Blevins said. “How do we take the resources we have at Baylor and go into our local schools create centers for research and innovation where we’re trying new things? Our faculty are researching, and kids are benefiting because all this time and effort is being poured into these spaces. … That’s ultimately what we see happening, but that’s pipe dream. It’s going to involve a lot of people coming together and working together.”