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The DaVinci Scholars Award provides a $1,000 award for Outstanding First-Year Teachers.

The DaVinci Scholar Award is designed to honor pre-service teachers whose academic accomplishments and service to the university are deemed most notable. Nominees will demonstrate the ability to integrate content into relevant applications through a service learning proposal. The proposal should exemplify scholarship, creativity, inventiveness, sound teaching techniques, and a keen sense of responsibility.

Eligible applicants for this award must in their final two years in a teacher preparation program.

Presidents or Provosts of each university may nominate no more than two education majors for the award.

Deadline for submitting nominations is December 20, 2013.

Selection will be based on four characteristics:

  1. Academic GPA (20 percent)
  2. Service Learning Proposal (see attached instructions) (50 percent)
  3. Creativity (20 percent)
  4. Letter of Recommendation (10 percent)

The recipients will be honored at the annual DaVinci Awards banquet, March 28, 2014, and will receive a $1,000 check in October of the first year of teaching in an Oklahoma school.

A complete application consists of four documents:

  1. nomination form from University President or Provost
  2. a current transcript of nominee
  3. the nominee’s completed Service Learning Proposal (not to exceed five typewritten pages) (See instructions below)
  4. a letter of recommendation (not to exceed one typewritten page)  which provides specific examples and/or evidence of nominee’s distinguished qualities and activities

Nomination Submission:  The complete application should be submitted electronically by December 20, 2013 to: davinci@osrhe.edu

A notice of receipt will assure submission is complete.

Contact Information: Kyle Dahlem, Executive Director, DaVinci Institute.   davinci@osrhe.edu

2013-2014 Service Learning Proposal

Teachers in the 21st Century face many challenges, one of the most important being the necessity to make learning meaningful to the students in their classrooms. Students question the relevance of their learning. How will I use what I’m learning? When will I ever need this? Interdisciplinary/cross-curricular teaching is often seen as a way to address some of the recurring problems in education, such as fragmentation and isolated skill instruction.

Service Learning is a pedagogy that utilizes interdisciplinary/cross curricular teaching to involve students in community service to meet instructional objectives of courses. Students apply information from classes in authentic settings, while addressing critical needs in the community. The lessons are designed for students to see the connection and apply this knowledge to formulate and execute problem-solving strategies, often in a novel approach. These real world situations encourage communication and collaboration. Research suggests that learning tends to proceed from the concrete to the abstract, therefore, service learning is a powerful tool for impacting student achievement.

The purpose of the DaVinci Scholar’s Service Learning Proposal is to show evidence that the applicant knows his or her content and can integrate course objectives into a service learning teaching unit.  Additionally, it will give readers an insight into the applicant’s educational background, writing skills, and creativity.

The Proposal Criteria

Design a Service Learning Project to be accomplished as a class in a familiar community (neighborhood or school). The formal proposal must not exceed five (5) pages. It must be double-spaced, using Times New Roman in 12 point font.  The written proposal is all that is required in this application—not the implementation of the plan.

A well-planned service learning project should include:

  1. Stated academic and service goals that are linked
  2. Identification of the reciprocal benefits of service for both the student and the community partner
  3. Strategies for assessment
  4. Opportunities for reflection

The narrative should at a minimum include:

  1. Unit title
  2. Learning Objectives based on the Oklahoma Academic Standards
  3. Learner Outcomes
    1. What students will know or be able to do after completing the unit
    2. Expected Academic gains
    3. Expected Societal gains
  4. The Service Component
    1. The Need
    2. Community Partners
  5. Timeline – A sequential listing of teacher and student tasks to be completed in this unit
  6. Assessments – Ways to measure how well the students mastered the intended objectives

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