College of Education News
Gift from Roblee Foundation Enhances Studio Schools Program
Our new Studio Schools program for undergraduates got a boost from the Roblee Foundation with their $15,000 gift to strengthen our 32 Studio School partnerships throughout the St. Louis region.
In this innovative capstone program, our teacher candidates join professionals in the classroom as active participants in a differentiated staffing team. In this system, our teacher candidates team up with school staff expertise in providing P-12 students in-depth and targeted support and intervention. The teams plan and provide focused learning experiences that can include small group settings, whole class lessons, or enrichment and support lessons. The candidates become part of the fabric of the school and school district and as a result, become fully able to demonstrate their impact on student learning.
The Studio Schools program began in Fall 2012 working with 13 schools and quickly expanded to 32 partner schools last fall. Approximately 250 teacher candidates now work as part of school staffing teams to help P-12 students improve their academic achievement where it is most needed. The generous gift from Roblee will support and strengthen the Studio Schools by developing a governance board, as well as by delivering relevant professional development to the clinical teachers, clinical educators and teacher candidates in the areas of video- taping for deeper learning and “Inquire Into My Practice” techniques.
The Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation is dedicated to promoting change by supporting organizations that address significant social issues, improve quality of life, and help individuals fulfill their potential.
For more information about our new teacher preparation program and Studio Schools, please contact Stephanie Koscielski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COE Student Receives Fulbright to Argentina
Moseley, a graduate student in secondary education, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to work at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. She will begin her work in March, and for the next eight months she will assist in a classroom of aspiring English teachers, helping them with English language acquisition as well as learning about United States culture. She also plans to create an “American Culture” club that will meet once a week outside of class so her students have a platform where they can ask questions about United States culture.
“I will be bringing artifacts such as magazines, music, postcards, clothing and other things from the U.S. to share with my students and to help them gain a better understand of American culture,” she said. “I believe it’s easier to understand a language when you understand the culture.”
“I hope to bring to them a greater understanding about life in the U.S., teach them more about the English language, especially in terms of grammar and syntax,” said Moseley. “I hope throughout this opportunity, my students and I are able to bridge a gap between our cultures, discuss similarities and differences in our educational system and address the challenges that second language learners encounter.”
Moseley, who moved to St. Louis six years ago from Columbia, Mo., teaches Spanish at Gateway STEM High School in the St. Louis Public School District and is tutoring liaison at the Youth Learning Center in St. Louis. She will round out her busy schedule in Argentina as a volunteer at a youth service organization where she plans to mentor disadvantaged youth, encouraging them to continue their pursuit of Education.
She said she’s traveled outside of the United States before but this will be a completely different experience and one she’s very excited about.
“I hope to better understand how it feels to be a second-language learner because that’s what I will be when I get to Argentina,” she said. “I have a minor in Spanish and I’m conversational, but I would like to be fluent. This opportunity gives me a chance to gain useful strategies that can be used in my classroom to make Spanish language acquisition for my students more authentic.”
Click here to hear Moseley discuss her Fulbright in a video by Myra Lopez.
“Argument Writing” Enhances College and Career Readiness
In a 21st century world, the ability to analyze, filter and judge the mountain of information that comes into our workplaces and homes every day depends heavily on critical thought. Critical analysis develops the capacity to distinguish fact from fiction and is prominent in the new Common Core Standards. Instead of relying on memorization and covering broad areas of knowledge, Common Core Standards ask students to dig deeper into material and to explore topics in depth.
Local school districts are adjusting their curricula to reflect the new standards, and teachers are learning to innovate and dig deeper to meet those challenges. Such was the work of a group of St. Louis area teachers convened over the past two years through the Gateway Writing Project (GWP), a National Writing Project site based in the UMSL College of Education.
The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the Common Core State literacy standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades. Although the standards stress research—both short, focused projects (such as those commonly required in the workplace) and longer term in depth research (which is necessary for college papers) —it is most prominently emphasized in the writing strand. Good argument writing develops the skills to research and analyze topics across the curriculum.
GWP Workshops for Argument Writing
Beginning in 2011, a top-notch band of GWP-trained classroom teachers agreed to examine the implications of the Common Core writing standards, both by reading high-quality sources and then using new strategies to teach argument writing to their own students. They met over the school year to dig deep into their reading and then reflected on ways they could develop effective ways to teach argument writing.
Together they learned more about asking their students to explore complex questions that did not have a prescribed answer and designed inductive activities that gave students opportunities to experience the power of personal discovery. As teachers shared an array of interesting and timely topics, they came to the conclusion that “arguments are everywhere” and observed that their students became better critical thinkers and better writers, no matter the writing task or the testing method.
Their work resulted in a series of well-received argument writing workshops in 2012 and 2013 for 90 secondary teachers from virtually all content areas. Workshop included topics such as: the essential difference between writing a persuasive piece and writing an argument; explanations and discussion of the critical elements of argument writing; different types of and purposes for argument writing; and, demonstrations of actual lessons teachers could take back to their classrooms.
Youth Learning Center Welcomes COE Students
“Fantastic!” said Laura Millkamp, program director at the Youth Learning Center (YLC), about the work of more than 100 College of Education students who volunteered in the YLC after school programming during the fall semester. “We have an UMSL student with us every hour, every minute, of every day we are open,” said Laura.
Through firsthand interactions with local K- 12 pupils served by area community agencies, COE students are being introduced to a much broader understanding of the education field. Future job opportunities, the expanded role of educators, and the rich learning possible when they reach out to communities across the St. Louis area are major benefits for all those engaged in the program.
Course assignments require all COE students to complete 10 clock hours to 20 clock hours working in youth-serving agencies that provide academic programming. However, as Millkamp knows, the mission of the agencies and the commitment of the UMSL students do not end when the students reach their assignment limits.
“We see UMSL students building relationships with our [YLC] students, and this is often across demographic or social class boundaries,” Millkamp said. “And then our students will ask, ‘When are they coming back?’” She said that the agency gets phone calls from COE students asking if particular students are in the center that day so they can come and work with them, noting that many COE students continue their volunteer work well beyond their class requirements. “In fact,” she added, “four of the COE students were so impressive, the YLC employed them in paid positions after their volunteer work ended.”
The Youth Learning Center’s formal role as a destination for students is part of a new program introduced across the COE during the 2013 fall semester by faculty in the Elementary, Early Childhood, Special Education and TEOSL Department and the office of School and Community Partnerships. All students in their initial education course, an educational psychology course, and a particular special education course are required to volunteer with an organization in the new Community Agency Partnership program.
For spring 2014, the agencies include Youth Learning Center, Mission St. Louis, Beyond Housing, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Girls Inc., and three agencies or programs focused particularly on students or adults with special needs: Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK), St Louis ARC, and the UMSL sponsored SUCCEED program. The Community Agency Partnership Program matches COE courses and assignments with the community work of designated partnering agencies to generate rich new learning for everyone involved. And as Laura Millkamp says, “That’s what you want to see, everybody learning from everybody else.” See more information about our degree program here.
KUDOS! Faculty Awards, Publications, Honors
Rebecca Rogers’ and Melissa Mosley’s new book, Designing Critical Literacy Education through Critical Discourse Analysis: Pedagogical and Research Tools for Teacher Researchers, (Routledge, 2013) was recently reviewed in the NCTE sponsored journal Talking Points.
Rogers was also the co-author with Inda Schaenen on an article, Critical Discourse Analysis in Literacy Education: A Review of the Literature published in Reading Research Quarterly (volume 49, issue 1) one of the premier journals for literacy researchers. Link to an abstract of the article here.
Lisa Dorner and Angela Layton, doctoral student in the College of Education, recently published an article in Linguistics & Education titled Children’s Multilingual Discourses (or interacting, representing, and being) in a First-Grade Spanish Immersion Classroom.
Mark Pope is co-author with William Briddick and Fatima Wilson on an article in Career Development Quarterly titled, The Historical Importance of Social Justice in the Founding of the National Career Development Association. The authors discuss the role of social justice in the founding of the National Career Development Association (NCDA). They discuss the historic context of the founding, the social justice work of the pioneers of vocational guidance, and the social justice influences that permeate the fabric of NCDA even today.
Nick Husbye, assistant professor of elementary literacy education, was nominated for the School of Education dissertation award at his alma mater, Indiana University. His outstanding dissertation was titled, Of Movies and Multimodality: Film Design and Modal Complexity as Literacy Practices in the Elementary Classroom. Congratulations, Nick!
New Beginning Teachers Lecture Series Named
Helene Sherman was honored at a reception to celebrate the newly created Dr. Helene J. Sherman Lecture at the Beginning Teacher Assistance Program (BTAP). Clark Hickman, associate dean of Professional and Continuing Studies in the College, nominated Sherman to receive the honor. The lecture series will be the keynote address at the annual BTAP conference held each fall.
Sherman began the annual BTAP conference in 2005 for new teachers to meet in a supportive environment where their common issues and challenges can be discussed and addressed. Since then, more than 1,000 new K-12 teachers (in their first through fourth years of teaching) have attended the annual conferences offered through Professional and Continuing Studies at UMSL.
Sherman finds the work with new teachers rewarding. “It’s wonderful to hear that what these new professionals learned in their preparation programs is really helping them design their lessons and deal with all their responsibilities,” she said. “And of course, I like seeing that we are providing a way for new teachers to network, problem-solve and support each other in their professional development.”
Of the new lecture series in her name, Sherman said, “I am very honored and expecially grateful for Clark Hickman’s initiative in establishing the lecture series. My hope is for this program to continue, in new and interesting forms, for many years to come so that we continue making a meaningful contribution to new professionals and student learning.”
The next BTAP Conference will be held Oct. 11, and participants can be graduates of any college of education. Teachers who attend will:
- Meet in a supportive environment where both professional and personal issues can be addressed and resources provided.
- Develop professional relationships with university faculty and practicing classroom teachers to share best practices based on research;
- Reflect on current educational standards and effective classroom practice;
- Cultivate an attitude of continuous improvement through reflection and discussion;
- Earn credit for advancing one’s state teaching certificate from Initial Profession Certification to the level of Continuous Professional Certification
For more information on BTAP visit our website here.
Summer Master Educator Institute
Take the Next Step: Become a Distinguished Educator
Whether you are a PreK-12 classroom teacher, a school administrator, or an educator/trainer in a museum, business or youth serving organization, the new Summer Master Educator Institute at the University of Missouri St. Louis offers you the opportunity to follow your passion and deepen your knowledge. Our new concentration areas give educators a degree or non-degree path to expertise.
Degree or Non-Degree
Degree: The Master’s Degree option consists of 9 hours of foundations courses that examine history, the impact of community on our youth, issues of social justice, teacher leadership, and student advocacy; two 9-credit hour concentration areas that provide the core of expertise in the areas you choose and give you the depth and expertise in areas that match the needs of you and your students; and a two-semester, 6 credit hour capstone where you become a researcher in your own organization or classroom to really understand how to ask the right questions, collect meaningful data, and analyze and present it in a way that informs others.
Non-Degree: If you have a Master’s degree, or aren’t quite ready, and simply want to come for more in-depth content about a particular area, just come spend the summer with us and choose one of the concentration areas below.
Don’t wait! Get started this summer with your first concentration area! Check out the Summer Institute here.