Department of Childhood Education
As early as third grade, Dr. Maddas knew that she had in interest in teaching; albeit, the drawings of her “future classroom” with its students sitting in rows with their attention directed at the board didn't represent her current practices of student-centeredness, application, collaboration, and higher-order thinking.
Dr. Maddas proudly worked as a teacher and principal in the Uniontown Area School District for 13 years at both the elementary and middle levels. She taught and led programs in her schools for both general and special education, and prides herself in cultivating a school environment in which everyone shared a vision of focusing on learners.
Student success was Dr. Maddas' top priority. Her schools received the Keystone Achievement Award for accomplishing AYP goals under the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as meeting or exceeding proficiency and growth indicators during the transition to the rigorous Common Core State Standards and Educator Effectiveness model; in fact, one of her elementary schools achieved the second highest School Performance Profile score in the county.
During her principalship, Dr. Maddas also strived to impact children's lives in a positive way and to build strong relationships with members of the school community. She combined an approachable disposition with a visible presence in the buildings and community, and instituted several programs including a school-wide positive behavior support program and a “Raising Readers Parent Club” for grades PreK-2 as well as took part in a collaborative administrative effort in developing a differentiated supervision model for teachers in the district that allowed one-on-one professional development sessions between her and the teachers.
Furthermore, Dr. Maddas also facilitated a strong relationship between her schools and Cal U through a Professional Development School partnership to support the preparation of prospective teachers, faculty development, and student achievement. One of her favorite PDS projects, Kids Talk Democracy, included a video and panel of several sixth-graders from her school who shared their views about political topics in observance of Constitution Day. She worked to interconnect district and institutional work, which she believes is critical to strengthening teacher preparation and the professionalization of teaching altogether.
Dr. Maddas is a Cal U alumnus, having attended eight of formative higher education years here. In fact, she attributes much of her professional success to her education and practical experiences gained at Cal U. She's a true example of how Cal U can afford its students with opportunities beyond their imagination; she cannot imagine being able to “pay it forward” as a role model for her students on any other platform.
Since her days of mentoring teacher candidates as a cooperating teacher and hosting them at her schools during her principalship, she has aspired to serve university students. She is now fulfilling that aspiration, teaching and supervising student teachers and sharing her expertise through methods courses. Additionally, she is enjoying her work in research, writing and presenting on topics that relate to co-teaching, pre-service teacher development, and literacy.
- Maddas, R. R. (2014). Co-teaching as a teacher preparation model: A qualitative study of cooperating teachers' perceptions (Order No. 3665897). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (1640771028).
- Maddas, R. R., & Diehl, H. L., (2013). Perceptions and benefits of co-teaching in The student teaching experience. PA Education Leadership Journal, 33(1), 47-74 .
- pre-service and in-service teacher development,
- best practices in teaching and learning (i.e. differentiated instruction, co-teaching),
- teacher quality, effectiveness, and evaluation,
- the teaching of reading and writing,
- content-area literacy, and assessment and data literacy.
Applied Teaching Methods
Student Teaching Program
During the fall and spring semesters, Dr. Maddas supervises the culminating clinical teaching experience for graduate and undergraduate student teachers at various school districts in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Her student teachers are engaged in full-time teaching responsibilities for a fifteen-week period in one or two placements, depending on their certification program. This hands-on learning experience provides student teachers with the opportunity to apply educational theories, to demonstrate their disposition for teaching, and to engage in practical applications of knowledge and skills deemed essential for effective, professional practice within a supportive learning environment for all children.
Graduate & Undergraduate Field Experiences
Dr. Maddas has supervised various field experiences at the graduate and undergraduate levels. These early field experiences provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to examine teaching in practice—observing teachers, interacting with students, teaching lessons, and learning about themselves as professional educators. One example of a field experience involves a summer program for incoming kindergarteners designed to support the young students' transition before the official start of school. For five consecutive weeks, teacher candidates work with their mentor teachers to develop the children's school-readiness skills and behaviors as well as teach whole group, small-group, and individual language arts and math lessons.
Graduate & Undergraduate Services Program Internships
Dr. Maddas has supervised early childhood internships for students completing the Services Program. Students choose an internship site that gives them experience in an educational-type career such as child day care centers, recreation centers, and museums, and focus their projects and assignments on topics that are of interest to them, enhances their knowledge and skills, and supports the needs of the site.
Dr. Maddas incorporates authentic learning experiences in her methods courses that allow her students to apply their knowledge and skills that they gained throughout the semester. She partners with school leaders and teachers to organize various projects including teaching lessons, examining and analyzing student work, and action research.
- B.S., Elementary Education K-6: Cal U
- M.Ed., School Counseling K-12: Cal U
- Post-Grad, Certification in Educational Administration and Supervision K-12: Cal U
- D.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction: Indiana University of Pennsylvania