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    Team Wins 5-year, $1.98 Million NSF Grant to Improve Teacher Preparation


    A team of Penn State College of Education faculty led by P. Karen Murphy has won a five-year, $1.98 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the preparation of undergraduate preservice elementary teachers.

    Murphy, distinguished professor of education (educational psychology), is the principal investigator (PI) on the study. She is joined by co-PIs Gwendolyn Lloyd, the Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor of Teacher Education and professor of education (mathematics education); Amy Voss Farris, assistant professor of education (science education); and Rachel Wolkenhauer, assistant professor of education (curriculum and supervision).

    With support from the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program: Education and Human Resources, this project aims to serve the national interest by investigating whether teaching preservice elementary teachers how to use discussion-based pedagogy improves the quality of mathematics instruction in their classrooms. Specifically, the researchers will adapt Quality Talk (QT), a small-group, teacher-facilitated discussion approach, for use by teacher educators in STEM methods courses and classroom-based field experiences for future elementary teachers.

    Avatar Lab at KSU Provides a World of Scenarios for Teachers of the Future

    Child Interacting with avatars as educators observe.

    This article and photo originally appeared in Cobb Life Magazine and are reprinted with permission.

    Teachers encounter all sorts of situations when they’re instructing students in the classroom, and the Bagwell College of Education at Kennesaw State University is taking an animated approach to preparing teacher candidates for scenarios they will experience as educators.

    Bagwell has a new laboratory where KSU students and faculty utilize mixed-reality technology to interact with avatars of children and adults, simulating a variety of situations and challenges teachers can encounter. The student avatars each have their own unique personalities, and the scenarios have low, medium and high settings requiring varying levels of problem-solving.

    “The lab’s capabilities are endless for providing purposeful practice for teacher candidates before they ever step foot in a classroom,” said Kate Zimmer, interim chair of the Department of Inclusive Education and an associate professor of special education.

    School of Education Receives $40K Grant to Continue Partnership with Berkeley County

    Kristin Williams, Charles Town; Susan Stambaugh, Martinsburg; Kayla Shultz, Falling Waters; and Alexis Shearer, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania  Shepherd University’s School of Education received a $40,635 grant from the West Virginia Department of Education to continue working with five Berkeley County Schools providing professional development and to start a pilot program in which a select group of Shepherd student teachers spend the entire school year in a Berkeley County elementary school.

    “The teacher candidate goes in from day one and works with the mentor teacher in co-planning, co-teaching, and co-assessing,” said Dori Hargrove, Shepherd’s elementary specialization coordinator. “By being involved from the first day, the teacher candidate gets a better understanding of all the decisions that go into planning. It helps the teacher candidate feel more prepared and helps the mentor teacher learn new strategies.”

    Four Shepherd elementary education majors are participating in the pilot program—Kristin Williams, Charles Town; Susan Stambaugh, Martinsburg; Kayla Shultz, Falling Waters; and Alexis Shearer, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The typical length of time for student teaching is 14 weeks; however, the four are co-teaching in a school the entire year.

    ECS Profiles the School Funding Allocations of States

    Apple, ruler and pencil on a desk with a backdrop of money

    As states work to allocate funding for school districts, they must take into account the various needs and populations of the students they serve. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has developed a resource, “50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding” that helps clarify and compare each state’s school funding mechanisms, organized by method and category. 

    Visit the ECS webpage to review data describing the funding mechanisms of the states as well as the specific funding allocations for a list of funding priorities, including special education, English language learning and at-risk and low-income students. 

    As elementary and secondary teachers head back into their classrooms, conversations on teacher shortages, teacher salaries, and teacher strikes continue. Having an understanding of how your state funds its K-12 schools can help you support the schools in which your graduates will teach and engage in democracy on this critical issue. 

    JSU Creates Teacher Prep Program with Southern Union State Community College

    JSU and Southern Union State Community College are joining force
    JSU and Southern Union State Community College are joining forces to provide a smoother route to an early childhood or elementary education degree through the newly established Teacher Prep program.

    Teacher Prep creates opportunities for Southern Union students to seamlessly enter JSU’s School of Education through concurrent enrollment. Students are able to earn college credit simultaneously at the community college and university level, placing students on a quicker and more cost-effective pathway to receiving an associate’s degree and a

    Guilford County Schools draws in, trains new teachers with Teacher Quality Partnership

    This article originally appeared on Fox 8 News and is reprinted with permission.

    The Guilford County School District is getting more teachers with the help of a new program.

    Guilford County Schools, High Point University and North Carolina A & T State University partnered together for the Teacher Quality Partnership. It’s a federal grant that helps get highly qualified teachers into high-needs schools.

    The grant awards more than $4 million to get 25 participants into an accelerated program. In this program, they will learn what they need to be an effective teacher while applying the skills simultaneously in their own classroom with the help of a mentor.

    “I never thought I would be in the classroom. People have been telling me for years, ‘Oh, you’d be a great teacher,’” Rashida Queen, one of the 

    Call for Book Chapters: Teaching Learning for Effective Instruction

    Information Age Publishing LogoAs co-editors, we are seeking chapter authors for a book we are publishing with IAP: Information Age Publishing titled Teaching Learning for Effective Instruction. The volume is part of the series, Theory to Practice: Educational Psychology for Teachers and Teaching, and it is scheduled to be released in early spring 2021.

    Education researchers and practitioners are invited to submit chapter proposals between 500-750 words by September 15, 2019.  Chapters in this volume may include

    • a review of the empirical research that supports the teaching of learning and cognition as it applies to P-12 settings;
    • a description of instructional practices used in college courses that have been effective in teaching about and modeling principles of learning and cognition; or
    • a systematic discussion of issues surrounding the teaching of learning and cognition theories, research, and classroom applications, with clear connections between the empirical literature and the instructional practices.

    A Conversation with Donald Easton-Brooks on Culturally Responsive Practice

    AACTE board member Donald Easton-Brooks is widely known as a scholar of educational policy and culturally responsive teaching. This year, he released his book Ethnic Matching: Academic Success of Students of Color. In a recent Q&A with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Easton-Brooks talked about the book and how his research shows diversifying the teaching profession will ultimately improve student’s success. The following summary highlights the conversation.

    Donald Easton-BrooksHow would you describe the concept of ethnic matching and its importance to student learning?

    What ethnic matching initially suggests is that teachers of color can play a significant role in enhancing the academic experience of students of color. As this research and other research progress, findings have shown that teachers of color can play a significant role in also enhancing the academic experience of white students and can assist in enhancing a more culturally responsive profession as a whole.  Therefore, the concept and research related to the concept suggest that we need to diversify teacher education. Mainly because as our communities are becoming more diverse, we are seeing our public schools also becoming more diverse. Yet what is happening is that our educator profession is not growing at a similar rate as these communities of students. The research around the concepts shows that perceived knowledge or knowledge from a preceptive culturally lens can play a role in students’ understanding of concepts, learning, and processing of information. This often can lead to these students being misinterpreted by teachers and feeling somehow misunderstood by teachers if they do not have that cultural lens to understand them. That is what teachers of color can bring to the table that can be of assistance to educational systems.

    NYACTE Invites In-State and Out-Of-State Submission for Its Online Journal

    The journal of the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Cover - Excelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning, has successfully navigated from a print journal with a subscription price to an online, open access journal that is free. Our new co-editors, Christine Ashby and Julia White have just published their first issue. The journal welcomes submissions from all interested teacher and leader educators.

    Excelsior is the key outlet for publishing work in teacher preparation for the New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. For over a decade, it has reported research across content disciplines, research methodologies, theoretical perspectives, and current issues in the field. 

    In addition to presenting authors the opportunity to publish in an open access journal, we want to increase the diversity of manuscript topics, including the diversity of research methods, and extend the range of researchers and practitioners publishing in Excelsior. To meet this goal we will routinely solicit submissions from:

    New NCLD Helps Teachers Unlock the Power of Students Who Learn Differently


    One in 5 students in the United States have learning and attention issues. This includes those with identified specific learning disabilities, diagnosed attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, or related disorders that impact learning. Despite often having above average or average intelligence, the majority of these students are achieving below grade level. This equates to millions of students across the nation whose strengths and potential are going untapped.

    The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and Understood set out to unpack and address this problem. We partnered with teachers—often the most consistent touchpoint for students after their caregivers—to understand their experiences and insights. We rooted these experiences in rigorous research focused on general education classrooms, where the majority of the “1 in 5” spend most of their time. The culmination of this work is found in “Forward Together,” a new report from Understood and the NCLD.

    AACTE is joining several other education organizations to develop Forward Together Toolkits for our teachers and teacher educators. Stay tuned for more information on the dissemination of those toolkits!

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