Department of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

Alina Slapac, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor, an International Studies Fellow (2012-2016), a recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (UMSL, 2013-2014) and the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education (since 2010). She is  also a Co-PI for Quality Teachers for English Learners (QTEL) Grant, Department of Education  (2015-2016) along with Dr. Kim Song (PI) and Nicholas Husbye (Co-Pi) and is involved in research and professional development for inservice/preservice teachers working with English language learners. As the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi, Alina received numerous national and regional awards such as O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award (KDP, 2015), Best Faculty advisor (UMSL, 2015, 2013), Regional Counselor Award for the Midwest Region (KDP, 2013) and KDP Recognition Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication as the Counselor of MU Iota Chapter in 2010.

Dr. Slapac received her Bachelors (Romanian-English as a Foreign Language) degree from Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania, her Masters (British Cultural Studies) degree from the University of Foreign Languages, Bucharest, Romania, and her doctorate (Curriculum and Instruction) degree from the University of Northern Iowa. At UMSL, Dr. Slapac is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educator Preparation, Innovation & Research.

At UMSL, Dr. Slapac has been teaching graduate (master’s and doctoral level) and undergraduate courses such as Teacher Action Research I & II Capstone, Action Research for Educational Practitioners, TESOL Practicum, Classroom Management & Positive Behavioral Supports in Inclusive Educational Settings, and Student Teaching Abroad. She was also the Faculty Coordinator for Student Teaching in South Korea (2009- 2011) until the program ended, due to funding.

As the KDP Counselor, she has helped coordinate the Children’s Program during the Martin Luther King Celebration Day. The program received “The Best Cultural Awareness Program” Award (UMSL, 2012; 2015), “Best Sustained Program on Campus” (UMSL, 2015), “Chapter Program Award for Community Service” (KDP, 2015), Achieving Chapter Excellence Award (ACE), and Literacy Alive Silver and Bronze Awards (KDP, 2013-2015).

Dr. Slapac’s research interests have focused on the intersection of culture and diversity in teaching, specifically, the development of cultural and linguistic competence/culturally responsive teaching and classroom management practices, cultural/global awareness, immigrant students, teachers and families, and intercultural and international education. The main research methods used are qualitative methods, including case study and action research methodology. Her research strives to contribute to the field of research on diversity and cultural competence (including, culturally responsive classroom management) in teacher education by examining and challenging the perspectives of teacher educators, practicing teachers and preservice teachers who work with diverse students regarding their responsibilities to go beyond a simplistic view of culture and diversity and find meaningful ways to connect to students/families. Dr. Slapac also aims to advance global awareness regarding the contextual transforming practices of immigrant and American preservice/inservice teachers through intercultural/domestic experiences. 

Dr. Slapac has been a member of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Comparative International studies (CIES), the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), Kappa Delta PI International Honor Society in Education  (KDP), and the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group (LSJTRG). 

 

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e-mail

slapaca@umsl.edu

phone

(314) 516-7358

office

367 Marillac Hall

Alina Slapac, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor, International Studies Fellow, and the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Dr. Slapac received her Bachelors (Romanian-English as a Foreign Language) degree from Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania, Masters (British Cultural Studies) degree from the University of Foreign Languages, Bucharest, Romania, and doctorate (Curriculum and Instruction) degree from the University of Northern Iowa. At UMSL, Dr. Slapac is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, TESOL, and Special Education (ECETS).

Prior to coming to the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Alina taught English as a Foreign Language at all levels (elementary through college) in Romania, volunteered at an orphanage in Constanta, Romania, working with her students to provide English and computer classes through peer support, and taught Multicultural Education and Educational Psychology courses as an adjunct at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Dr. Slapac has been a member of the Comparative International Studies (CIES), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Kappa Delta PI International Honor Society in Education (KDP), and the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group (LSJTRG).

At UMSL, Dr. Slapac has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses such as Teacher Action Research Capstone, Classroom Management, Student Teaching Abroad and TESOL Practicum. She was also the Faculty Coordinator for Student Teaching in South Korea (2009-2011) until the program ended, due to funding. As the KDP Counselor, she has helped coordinate the Children's Program during the Martin Luther King Celebration Day. The program received "The Best Cultural Awareness Program" Award in Spring 2012 (Office of Student Life, UMSL) and Alina received the KDP Recognition Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication as the Counselor of MU Iota Chapter in 2010. In 2013, Dr. Slapac also received The Best Faculty Advisor of the Year Award (UMSL) and Kappa Delta Pi Regional Counselor award for the Midwest Region.

Dr. Slapac’s research interests have focused on the intersection of culture and diversity in teaching, specifically, the development of cultural competence/culturally responsive teaching and classroom management practices, cultural/global awareness, immigrant students, teachers and families, and intercultural and international education. The main research methods used are qualitative methods, including case study and action research methodology. Her research strives to contribute to the field of research on diversity and cultural competence (including, culturally responsive classroom management) in teacher education by examining and challenging the perspectives of teacher educators, practicing teachers and preservice teachers who work with diverse students regarding their responsibilities to go beyond a simplistic view of culture and diversity and find meaningful ways to connect to students/families. Dr. Slapac also aims to advance global awareness regarding the contextual transforming practices of immigrant and American preservice/inservice teachers through intercultural/domestic experiences. 

She has also explored the challenges and successes of new urban public language immersion schools by trying to fill a gap in the literature on language immersion and its relation to culturally responsive classroom management, which is a growing field. By identifying, documenting and analyzing pre-service and in-service teachers' challenges and successes with culturally responsive classroom management practices within diverse socio-cultural contexts (in American schools or in other international settings such as China, South Korea and Romania), Alina's goals is to investigate the relationship among cultural practices (at home and in school environments) and effective ways of incorporating cultural perspectives and classroom management practices while creating, based on the results of her studies, a conceptual framework that would better prepare teachers to connect with the students' communities, families, cultures and heritage. Recent publications include peer-reviewed articles in Kappa Delta Pi Record,Scholar-Practitioner QuarterlyTeacher Education and Practice, and International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community.

Service: Among other committees at UMSL, Dr. Slapac is currently the Counselor of the Kappa Delta PI International Honor Society in Education, a Fellow in the Center of International Studies, a member of the Community of Scholars in the Center of Character and Citizenship, of the Dean's Committee on Social Justice, and of the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group. She has also been a member of the planning committee for the Qualitative Research Conference, Education for Change Curriculum Fair and Martin Luther King Observance Day.

Representative Publications (*with students) 

Slapac, A., & Kim, S.* (2015). International faculty and colleagues as resources for preservice and PK_12 teachers: Building global awareness and cultural responsiveness, Kappa Delta Pi Record. 

Dorner, M. L., Howard, C. E., Slapac, A. & Matthews, K. (2014).The importance of mixed method implementation research for successful interventions and adaptations. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 42(4).

Slapac, A. (2013). A conceptualization of diversity from three teacher educators' perspectives: Teaching about social justice and equity. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 7(1). 

Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (2013). The importance of classroom management in early language immersion: A case study of a new French immersion kindergarten class, Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 1(2), 251-277. 

Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (2013). Fledgling steps to global self-awareness for preservice teachers abroad, Journal for Meaning Centered Education (JMCE), 3(1). Online Journal. 

Csapo-Sweet, R.M, Slapac, A., & Panjeta, L. (2012). New International Exchange Programs between the United States and former Yugoslavia: Cross Cultural Public Higher Education Collaborations. International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community, 2(1),7-24.

Slapac, A. & Navarro, V. (Fall, 2011) Shaping action researchers through a Master's capstone experience. Teacher Education & Practice, 24(4), 405-426.

Slapac, A., & Catapano, S. (2011). Developing skills to differentiated instruction in preservice teachers . International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community, 1(1), 11-31.

Catapano, S., & Slapac, A. (2010). Preservice teachers' understanding of culture and diversity: Comparing two models of teacher education. Teacher Education & Practice, 23(4), 426-443.

Slapac, A. (Fall, 2009). Defining and analyzing "Diversity in Education" through postmodern lenses. The Annals of University of Oradea. Psychology Installment, XVI, 12-29.

Slapac, A. (Spring, 2008). Modeling authentic assessment for preservice teachers: Different discourses toward a common goal. The Missouri Reader, 32(2), 11-15.

Recent Presentations

  • Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (April, 2013). Preservice Teacher Experiences in Asia and the United States: Fledging Steps to Global Awareness . American Education Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.
  • Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (October, 2012). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Practices in Language Immersion Charter Schools. The 4th International Immersion Conference, The Center of Advance Research in Language Acquisition (CARLA), St. Paul, MN.
  • Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (April, 2012). Student teaching exchange program between US and South Korea: A closer examination of its benefits and challenges. Comparative International Educational Studies, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Lung, H. & Slapac, A. (March, 2012). Challenges and Creative Strategies: Classroom Management in the Elementary Art Classroom. National Arts Education Association National Convention: New York City, NY.
  • Slapac, A. (February, 2012). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management: From Local Knowledge to Cultural Adaptations and Global Perspectives. The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference: San Antonio, TX.
  • Slapac, A. (September, 2011). Addressing Diversity and Social Justice Issues in a Teacher Education Program at a Midwestern American University: A Case Study. The Second International Conference in the Field of Community Psychology, Oradea, Romania.
  • Slapac, A., Han, P., Miller, L., & Navarro, V. (2011). Qualitative Work in International Contexts (Invited Panel/Symposia). The 8th Qualitative Research Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (2011). Representation Issues and Method Choices: Case Study Data. The 8th Qualitative Research Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Slapac, A., Catapano, A., Pauls, J. & Kim, G. (May, 2011). Student Teaching Abroad: Cultural Lessons from China & South Korea. Comparative International Educational Studies, Montreal, Canada.
  • Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (November 2010). The Challenges of Managing Classrooms and Developing Moral Action in Diverse Language Immersion Schools. International Conference of the Association of Moral Education, St. Louis, MO.
  • Slapac, A., Dorner, L., Hager, E., & Pauls, J. (April 2011). Understanding Classroom Management Successes and Challenges in Language Immersion Charter Schools. The American Education Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA.
  • Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (November 2010). The Challenges of Managing Classrooms and Developing Moral Action in Diverse Language Immersion Schools. International Conference of the Association of Moral Education, St. Louis, MO.
  • Slapac, A. & Catapano, S. (April 2009).Supporting Cultural Considerations in Instructional Decision Making. The American Education Research Association (AERA). San Diego, CA.
  • Slapac, A. & Catapano, S. (February 2009). Preservice Teachers Developing Decision Making Skills to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners. The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference: Dallas, TX.