Dr. Regena F. Nelson presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Anaheim, California in November. The title of her paper was Documenting Urban Preschool Teacher’s Cultural Competence. The data for this study are a part of the Kalamazoo Quality Rating and Improvement System project funded by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
Marcia Fetters and Tabitha Mingus have been working with the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship that seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with backgrounds in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—into teaching in high-need secondary schools in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
Indiana University associate professor Louise Prior McCarty gave a talk about cosmopolitan education at the Bernhard Center on Friday, October 1st. The event was sponsored by TLES and the Haenicke Institute as a part of the Haenicke Institute’s Globalization Brownbag Series. In her talk, entitled “Educating the Cosmopolitan Self: From Local to Global and from Harmony to Conflict,”. Dr. McCarty examined different visions of cosmopolitanism and identified attitudes that reflect not only an appreciation for open-mindedness and harmony but also a willingness to attend to cultural difference, strangeness and even conflict.
Congratulations to Janine Putnam, fifth-year student, Elementary Education major and Social Studies and Language Arts minor for being crowned 2010 Homecoming Queen! She was nominated by Omicron Sigma Lambda. Janine is currently involved in many activities including, National Residence Hall Honorary (2009 – present), New Student Orientation Intern (2010-present), Omicron Sigma Lambda, President (2010 – present), and Western Student Association Senator (2010 – present).
Interesting Fact: “My dream is to be a part of and a leader in a stronger and prospering education system for our nation’s youth."
In a forthcoming publication of the Journal of Educational Research, Drs. Jeffrey Jones, Gary Miron, and Allison Kelaher-Young of the College of Education and Human Development report on “The Kalamazoo Promise and Perceived Changes in Teacher Beliefs, Expectations, and Behaviors.” High teacher expectations are an essential component of quality education, and are known to lead to positive outcomes for
students. Perceptions of change were accessed through interpretive interviews with principals, counselors, teachers, and through interviews and surveys with students in the school district. Educators and students report marked improvements in teacher attitudes and behaviors since the announcement of the Kalamazoo Promise. This paper discusses the implications of research findings and the potential of this scholarship program as a catalyst for systemic change in the district.
In May Dr. Jeffrey Jones, assistant professor in secondary education, and counselor education and counseling psychology students Bethany Warnaar and Joshua Bench, gave three presentations at the International Self-Determination Theory conference in Gent, Belgium. This prestigious forum was attended by motivation researchers from around the world. The presentations focused on how participation in community service can inspire a sense of self-determination and youth purpose. The presentations were a result of their applied developmental research study to understand how involvement in PeaceJam programming affects youth experience. This experience was supported by the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Studies; the College of Education and Human Development; the Haenicke Institute for Global Education; the Office of the Vice President for Research (FRACAA grant); and the Graduate College.
Dr. Jim Muchmore, associate professor in socio-cultural studies, recently presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Denver. The paper, “From Laura Ingalls to Wing Biddlebaum: A Study of Teacher Identity in Works of Literature”, systemically analyzes the types of teachers appearing in 44 different works of literature representing a wide variety of genres, settings, cultures, and historical periods. They include 20 adult novels, 6 young adult novels, 6 children’s books, 5 plays, 4 memoirs, and 3 short stories. The original publication dates range from 1598 to 2010, while the settings include the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Russia, New Zealand, and Trinidad. Through a process of analytic induction, Dr. Muchmore identified the following teacher identities: nurturer, subversive, conformist, hero; villain, victim, outsider, immutable force, eccentric, and economic survivor. The paper describes each of these identities in some detail and offers implications and future directions of this line of research.
The WMU Board of Trustees recently approved faculty promotion and tenure, effective fall 2010. Congratulations to Tetyana Koshmanova, socio-cultural studies of education, for achieving the rank of full professor.
Congratulations to Mary Roobol, alumna, who earned her National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Her certificate is in the area of Early Adolescence Science. Roobol, who serves as Science Department chair and Environmental Club co-sponsor at North Middle, is now one of only four faculty members in the Portage Public School District with NBCT certification. At WMU she earned a B.S in elementary education (1991) and a M.A. in career and technical education (2003). Roobol has been on the NMS faculty since 1993 teaching math, language arts, and science.
Congratulations to top finishers of the University's eighth electronic portfolio contest: Daniel Priest of Lambertville, Mich., who graduated this spring in secondary education with majors in history and English; and Danielle Stoops of Battle Creek, Mich., who graduated this spring in secondary education with majors in English and political science. Students receiving honorable mention included Shawn Schmuck of Sunfield, Mich., who graduated this spring in secondary education with a major in mathematics; and Tabitha Sims of Macomb, Mich., who graduated this spring in early childhood.
Congratulations to faculty Allison Kelaher-Young, professor of secondary education, for receiving the College of Education an Human Development Teaching Excellence Award for demonstrating exceptional creativity, enthusiasm and passion for teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate level(s). Also to Lou Ann Grover, office coordinator, for receiving the Staff Excellence Award for consistently making outstanding contributions in support of faculty, staff, students, administrators and all those served by the college.
Dr. Jeffrey Jones, assistant professor, recently co-authored "Relational strategies in after-school settings: How staff-youth relationships support positive development." The abstract states that staff-youth relationships are a key strength of after-school settings, though more research is needed to understand the actual processes whereby these interpersonal connections lead to beneficial outcomes. This qualitative study focuses on the relational strategies that staff employ within an urban youth organization, and the ways in which those strategies contribute to a positive developmental climate. Researchers observed staff-youth interactions for a year and conducted a series of interviews with 17 youth between the ages of 12 and 18. We found three specific relational strategies that staff drew on in developing relationships with youth. These were minimizing relational distance, active inclusion, and attention to proximal relational ties. These strategies contribute to an overall supportive culture, suggesting a relational pedagogy in this after-school setting. The staff-youth relationships serve as the foundation for both youth engagement in programs and the promotion of positive developmental outcomes.
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth has awarded Project Good Start $47,900 for 2009-10. Project Good Start is a support program intended to increase under-represented students in obtaining their teacher certification. The project offers peer mentoring sessions, tutoring and social connections and serves pre-education and education students attending WMU and several community colleges, including KVCC, LMC, and KCC. The students earn book vouchers and scholarships based on their participation in the program. Jodie Palmer is the director the project.
Allyson Doyle, a speech pathology major and elementary education minor, has been named WMU volleyball team's most valuable player.
Margaret Sikes, B.A., Elementary Education 1971, is a 2010 middle school finalist for the Lafayette Education Foundation's Teacher Awards. (Jan., 2010)