Mock Board Meeting Yields Positive Results for Grad Students

School Board simulation

An activity involving current and former members of the Cleveland County Board of Education assisted Gardner-Webb University graduate students in a uniquely tangible way during a school board simulation recently in Shelby.

Dr. Bruce Boyles, associate professor of education at GWU, teaches the Organizational Behavior Module graduate-level course, which surveys historical and contemporary issues in law and ethics in relationship to the educational setting. “One of the goals of the School of Education has been to develop meaningful opportunities for students to use simulations for assessing their readiness to assume positions of greater leadership in school districts,” Boyles shared. “The idea for this simulation came from a training experience at Stanford University in the development of embedded assessments.”

On a Saturday morning in March, students gathered at the Cleveland County Schools Central Office facility and presented draft policies in a mock meeting. “Board members conducted the simulation just as they would conduct a regular meeting,” Boyles stated. “They followed a typical agenda, discussed the draft policies, offered feedback on revisions they would like to see, and voted their approval of the policy drafts.”

Additional training simulations with board of education and district leadership teams for students will be planned in the future. Boyles said, “I had several students tell me that it was one of the most significant learning opportunities they have experienced in their doctoral studies.”

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