Education Students Gain New Ideas Via Exeter/Geneseo Exchange Program

Six University of Exeter education students visited and taught in Geneseo-area schools May 24-June 11, part of the Exeter/Geneseo Exchange Program. Front row (l to r): Laura Charlton; Stephanie Taylor; and Jane Larkin. Back row (l to r): Ashley Dyer; Louisa Bowman; and Rob Crocker.

GENESEO, N.Y. - Six students from the University of Exeter's Graduate School of Education in England spent time student teaching and visiting schools in the Geneseo and Rochester area May 24-June 11, part of the Exeter/Geneseo Exchange Program with SUNY Geneseo's School of Education. It was the third year of the program.

The British students taught in the Mt. Morris and Honeoye Falls/Lima Central School District. They visited the School of the Arts and Geneseo Community Charter School in Rochester. Four of the students focused on secondary education and two on elementary education.

The Geneseo students spent the bulk of their time in schools in Newquay on the southwest coast of England and were involved in a three-credit Geneseo course: International Field Experience. The Exeter and Geneseo students stayed in touch with other via email about their experiences.

"It's been an extremely rewarding experience for me to see teaching practices in the United States," said Laura Charlton, who is studying elementary education at Exeter. "It has given me another perspective on my teaching practices and helps boost confidence in what I am doing at home."

The students are "very attentive and ask very good questions," said Rob Crocker, who is studying secondary education. "They were fascinated with our accents and sometimes would ask us to say specific words."

The accreditation coordinator for Geneseo's School of Education, John Williams, coordinated the schedule for the Exeter students.

"This program is a win-win for everyone involved," said Williams. "These young teachers were able to not only observe classes in their host schools but were able to do a considerable amount of teaching. They are a very enthusiastic and professional group who will return to the UK with new ideas and strategies, new friends and colleagues, and a new perspective on education in the United States."

It wasn't all work for the Exeter students. They visited Niagara Falls and Toronto during the Memorial Day weekend and took a Finger Lakes tour. They also spent an  evening with one of their cooperating teachers and learned about farming in the Genesee Valley.

"The hospitality we have received during our visit has been tremendous," said Louisa Bowman, a secondary education student. "We thank everyone who made it possible."

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