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Posts Tagged ‘elementary education’

The Little Makerspace that Could

Student in maker space using two 3-D printer penThe Maker Movement has been gaining momentum over the past 14 years with the publication of MAKE magazine in 2005 and the first Maker Faire sponsored by John Dougherty. The book titled Invent to Learn, 2nd Ed.  (2019) has become what is known as the Maker’s Movement Bible. Written by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager, the book goes into detail about how teachers and students can let loose their creativity in a myriad of ways if they are provided with space and materials to do so. 

There have always been “makers” who used their hands, brains, and hearts to invent and produce the things that people use for work and play. Classrooms have long been known as places where students could be caught making things on any given day. Why the hype about maker spaces, then?

Perhaps it has to do with the disconnect that appears to have occurred due to the technology revolution that has moved learning through exploring with material objects to learning from screens. On our small campus in Northeast Ohio, we have seen a constant move toward emptying the library of books and journals in favor of digital texts. Getting a hard copy of a textbook from publishing companies is becoming more of a challenge as well. Students on all levels rely more on Google than library stacks to conduct their research. It may be that the pendulum, as it always does, is beginning to swing the other way, and humans are craving the need to get back to hands-on learning that can leave printing ink on your hands, and clay under your finger nails.

Author Interview: Educators Perspectives of Controversial Children’s Literature

Read the latest JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.

In this interview, The JTE editorial team shares insights from the Sue C. Kimmel and Danielle E. Hartsfield, co-authors of the article “It Was . . . the Word ‘Scrotum’ on the First Page”: Educators’ Perspectives of Controversial Literature, published in the September/October 2019 issues of the Journal of Teacher Education.

What motivated you to pursue this particular research topic?

Sue: We both teach children’s literature, and we were interested in how our students who were pre-service educators reacted to controversy in children’s literature. We believe in the power of literature to promote empathy and positive inquiry into social issues. We were concerned with the willingness of pre-service educators to avoid “controversy” in the classroom and library with little critical thought about what it meant to withhold quality literature about difficult topics from their students. 

2019 Nation’s Report Card Shows Growing Disparity between High and Low Achievers in Math and Reading

2019 Nation's Report CardThe recent release of the 2019 Nation’s Report Cards for mathematics and reading in grades 4 and 8 illustrates a growing disparity in achievement between the highest and lowest achieving students. The results show the divergence is happening across the nation, across states, and for student groups by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely known as the Nation’s Report Card, provides data from the nation, states/jurisdictions, and urban school districts that volunteer to participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).  Approximately 296,900 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 mathematics assessment and nearly 294,000 fourth- and eighth-grade students across the nation participated in the 2019 reading assessment.  Results are available for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools, as well as for the 27 participating large urban districts.

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.

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