Category Archives: Curriculum and Instruction

TESL minor and elementary education major, Whitley Lubeck, is driven to work with rural students

Senior Elementary Education Foundations major and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) minor, Whitley Lubeck, wants to bring her experience with diverse learners and communities to students abroad, and eventually, back to rural Minnesota.

What drove you to enroll in the TESL minor program?

The TESL minor program goes hand-in-hand with my Spanish studies major and gives me the option to teach abroad, which is one of my goals after graduation.  After deciding to also pursue a degree in Elementary Education Foundations, the TESL minor has been very helpful with my teaching practicum in elementary school sites around the Twin Cities because there is a large group of English-language learners in the urban area.

How was your experience with the faculty been?

The faculty of this program are great to work with and very knowledgeable.  They bring a lot of experience to inform their instruction and often arrange their class in an interactive way, encouraging students to not only learn from them but also from other students.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I see myself working in a rural elementary school similar to the school the one I attended in my hometown.  I want to bring awareness to difficult topics in education, an appreciation of diversity, and a drive to seek justice to students in less diverse populations.

Which part of the program did you find the most valuable?

The requirement to do a service-learning project as part of the course “Basics to Teaching English as a Second Language” was very valuable.  I learned about the different programs that exist for ESL learners in the community and I was able to use my knowledge from class discussions and activities at my service-learning location.  The hands-on experience gave me an authentic glimpse of teaching ESL and helped to prepare me for working in the field.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

The students in the TESL minor program have a variety of backgrounds and experience in different languages.  It is extremely helpful to learn about different languages and how characteristics of the language can affects learning the English language.

Learn more about the TESL minor and certificate program, and the B.S. in elementary education foundations in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Ph.D. candidate Yi-Ju Lai examines the unique challenges of international teaching assistants

Yi-Ju Lai is a Ph.D. candidate in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She is driven to understand the complicated role of international teaching assistants, and the communication challenges they face in the university community.

What drove you to enroll in the Second Language Education Ph.D. program? (a little background on how you came to us).

I have a background in applied linguistics and its application to language education.  During one of my projects researching how academic language is learned and used among multilingual international students in U.S. higher education, I became more and more interested in the theories of linguistic anthropology and their applications to language acquisition and language use in different contexts.  I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree to sharpen my research skills and develop my knowledge of linguistic anthropology.  One of the Second Language Education Ph.D. program focuses is language acquisition and language use in a range of contexts and settings, which drove me to join this research community.

What is your current research focus?

A major issue on U.S. campuses is miscommunication between university students and their international teaching assistants (ITAs) who lack knowledge of U.S. classroom interactions.  My current research project uses language socialization theory–– the study of the interrelated processes of language and cultural development–– to examine: (1) ITAs’ language socialization experiences in U.S. graduate schools and (2) language use between ITAs and their U.S. university students, and the classroom interactional challenges facing them.  It also looks at how institutional cultures shape those language use and classroom interactions.  In addition, my current project explores how ITAs are positioned simultaneously as content experts and language novices in everyday instructional interactions with their university students.

When did you become interested in applied linguistics, or linguistic anthropology, particularly language socialization?

As a life-long language learner, I am always interested in how language is learned, how language is used verbally and nonverbally in diverse contexts, and how language shapes the way people understand the world.  My first class in the field of linguistic anthropology inspired my research interest in language socialization and brought an interdisciplinary approach to my study considering language as a form of social action.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I will seek a position that allows me to continue my language socialization research and support meaningful cross-cultural communication in higher education contexts between multilingual international students and their U.S. professors and students.

Which resources have you found through the department to help with your research?

My research has been benefited from C&I travel grants, pro-seminars, emerging scholars conference/ research day, graduate student organizations, and conversations with colleagues and faculty members. In addition, the collaborative work between the department and UMN institutions (e.g., Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, Center for Educational Innovation) has also helped deepen my research.

When did you come to the United States? Has your experience affected your research?
I have been studying and teaching/working in the United States for more than ten years. My experiences have encouraged me to re-think how multilingual practices cross-cultural communication can be achieved among speakers with diverse backgrounds.

What has been your favorite part of living in Minnesota?
It is interesting and meaningful to observe and learn how languages are used in communication among diverse populations in Minnesota, and how those language varieties may represent individual’s lived experiences and reflection of the society.

Learn more about second language education research and the Ph.D. program in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

TESL minor student, Iftu Adem, share her inspiration for teaching English language learners

Sophomore Iftu Adem is majoring in Elementary Education Foundations with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Languages (TESL). She explains how her experience as an English-language learner inspired her to become a teacher.

What drove you to enroll in the TESOL minor program?

When I came to America I saw teachers who were very passionate about their jobs, especially teaching English to students who were learning English for the first time. They had a dedication and enthusiasm that attracted me to that profession and ever since I’ve wanted to be like them and be able to inspire someone in return.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I hope to be able to go to my home country, Kenya, and teach the next generation and pass on the legacy of my former teachers and show them the advantages that learning a language opens up for them.

What has been your experience with the faculty?

My experience so far has been amazing. The professors that I have had the pleasure of meeting this semester have been amazing; They’re understanding and very passionate about what they do and that kind of energy reinforces in me the whole reason i decided to do this minor.

What’s been your favorite course so far?

Basics in Teaching English As a Second Language because of the community service aspect. That helped me implement what I learned in a real-world setting. That was very helpful in envisioning how I could carry out a lesson and plan lessons based on what I’m learning.

Learn more about the TESL minor and other second language education degree programs.

Ph.D. candidate in STEM education, El Nagdi, receives ASTE graduate research award

 

Mohamed El Nagdi, a Ph.D. candidate in STEM Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, has received the Davis-Foster Graduate Student Reseach Award  from the North Central Association for Science Teaching Education (ASTE).

ASTE recognized El Nagdi for his research on the evolving roles of STEM educators in new STEM teaching environments. “This [research] was conducted in four Minneapolis emerging STEM schools,” explains El Nagdi. “The research findings show that STEM teachers’ identities are a developing construct with much emphasis on the need for great alignment between teacher’s personal philosophy of teaching and what is required in order to be a successful STEM teacher.”

El Nagdi developed his research with colleague Felicia Leammukda, and his advisor Gillian Roehrig, a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the current acting president of ASTE.

ASTE grants the Davis-Foster Graduate Student Research Award to several students each year. The recipients receive a a monetary prize in addition to ASTE covering the costs of travel to their annual international conference. El Nagdi will attend the 2018 conference in Baltimore, Maryland this January.

Learn more about  STEM education research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

C&I students present at curriculum theory and classroom practice conference

 

Five graduate students from the College of Education and Human Development, four of whom are Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction , presented papers at JCT Online‘s 38th  Annual Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice in Dayton, Ohio last weekend. Hillary Barron, Meghan Phadke, Rachel Schmitt, Ramya Sivaraj, and Weijian Wang were joined by Professor Nina Asher of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The students sat on the panel “Seeking Sites of Resistance: Engaging Identity, Culture, and Belonging in the Classroom.” They discussed the possibilities for equitable educational practices through an interrogation of their own identities and lived experiences based on research conducted with Professor Asher in a graduate seminar focusing on postcolonialism, globalization, and education.

The students presentation abstracts and panel received high praise from attendees and they were invited to return to present at future conferences.

Learn more about the doctoral programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

C&I’s Linda Buturian receives Institute on the Environment fellowship

Senior Teaching Specialist Linda Buturian of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction has been awarded a fellowship to become an IonE educator with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE).

IonE’s Faculty Leadership Council selects between three and five educators for a fellowship each year. As an IonE educator, Buturian will work with other educators on a year-long project surrounding sustainability efforts. The project team will “develop curricula related to education, storytelling, art, and creativity which focuses on the Mississippi River, and local and global sustainability issues,” says Buturian.

Her team will also “forge connections with CEHD faculty, staff, and students who are addressing, researching, or interested in environmental issues in order to move toward a dialogue about sustainability issues and mission as they relate to respective departments represented in the college,” adds Buturian. During her 14-month fellowship, Buturian will have the opportunity to present on her research at the statewide Sustainability Education Summit.

For more information or to become involved with the sustainability project, contact Linda Buturian.

Consider donating to this project or continued projects in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Angel Pazurek presents on eLearning in Mauritius, Africa

Angelica Pazurek, a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction presented a workshop on “Global Perspectives on Design Thinking for Technology Supported Learning” at the annual eLearning Africa conference in Mauritius, Africa. The conference is the largest gathering of eLearning and ICT-supported education and training professionals in Africa, enabling participants to enhance their knowledge and expertise while also developing multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships.

Pazurek also led a panel discussion on effective practices and the importance of context in online teaching and learning.

Learn more about the Learning Technologies programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Annie Mason writes op-ed challenging critics of racial justice education in Star Tribune

Annie Mason, Program Director of Elementary Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, published an op-ed in the Star Tribune as a counterpoint to Katherine Kersten’s article, “Racial identity policies are ruining Edina’s fabled schools,” on the Edina school district’s new “All for All” plan, which Kersten blames for lowered test results in Edina schools.

Kersten alleges the new plan shifts the  district leaders’ educational philosophy from “academic excellence for all” to ensuring “that students think correctly on social and political issues.” She argues that the new racial justice-geared agenda creates a hostile environment for students with “nonconforming views,” and does nothing to improve test scores or foster high academic performance in the district.

Mason challenged these ideas in her op-ed, ” Counterpoint: Edina schools: why it’s crucial to unlearn racism.” She discusses the way white privilege has shaped our country’s education system since its conception, the learning limitations placed on students of all races, and the importance of maintaining a dialogue about race in our schools. “[Students] know that to change the future, we have to reckon with the past,” Mason writes. “To unlearn racism, we have to be willing to face what it is, what it has created and how we are all implicated in it.”

Learn more about The Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s teacher education programs  and our commitment to equity in education.

 

Aspiring English teacher and first-generation American Quynh Van wants to reshape the discussion on race in the classroom

Quynh-Huong Nguyen Van is a senior majoring in English enrolled in the DirecTrack to Teaching program. She shares her hopes of shaping the conversation about race in America with students, becoming an English teacher, and how being a first-generation American will help her as a teacher.

What do you hope to accomplish as a teacher?

I want to be a teacher because it’s more than teaching a subject you are passionate about, but also about creating a safe space for students to be themselves and to grow intellectually. I also believe racism is a serious issue in America today and want to play my small part in helping to reshape the way we view race by incorporating discussions about racism and society into my classroom. I cannot think of a better setting to facilitate this than English classrooms; especially since many literary works can be used as a vehicle to help students see truth through fiction and to help students build empathy for other people by getting to know characters and authors.

What strengths do you think you will bring to the classroom? 

I believe one of my greatest assets as a future educator is my Vietnamese-American background. I feel my first-generation immigrant experiences have given me unique perspectives that will allow me to be a more empathetic and inclusive teacher

What has been your experience with the DirecTrack faculty?

My experience with my DirecTrack advisors over the last three years has been absolutely phenomenal. They have always been understanding and supportive of not only my academic work, but also my personal endeavors. My DirecTrack advisors have proven to be some of the strongest faculty relationships I have cultivated at the University.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I imagine myself in a classroom, more adept at my job than my first year of teaching, and hopefully being an advisor for a school club like speech or directing the school play.

What’s been your favorite course so far?

My favorite course has been ENGL3601: Analysis of the English Language, an intro-level linguistics course focusing on the English language. It is a course that is required for my major as well as a prerequisite for the Master’s in Education and Initial Teaching license in English program. I initially only took the class because it was required, but it quickly became my one of my favorites. The class felt like I was applying chemistry or math to the study of the English language; I found the class to be a breath of fresh air!

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

Through DirecTrack, I have been able to have many meaningful service-learning experiences, make great friends who are as dedicated about teaching as I am, and have found a community I feel I belong in.

Learn more about the DirecTrack to Teaching program and the M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Elementary education majors work hands-on with students in Montpellier, France

Students interested in teaching have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a teaching practicum in Montpellier, France through the  Learning Abroad Center. Participants can meet their major requirements for  the Elementary Education Foundations  program while learning and teaching in the vibrant city of Montepellier, which is known for its beautiful architecture and atmosphere of political tolerance.

Engaging in a teaching practicum in France presents a wonderful opportunity for elementary education majors to flex their teaching muscles in a classroom with students of different cultural backgrounds. During this one-semester study abroad program, participants plan lessons alongside local teachers in Montpellier that explore effective ways of teaching English to students who do not speak the language.

Cynthia Zwicky, a lecturer in the   Elementary Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, recently returned from Montpellier, where she observed students working in their classrooms. “They teach in classrooms that are representative of a large immigrant population in Montpellier and learn many skills that are transferable and applicable to multicultural elementary classrooms in the United States,” she explains.

This program offers not only the opportunity to interact with students of many cultures and backgrounds, but for university students to learn for themselves what it’s like to be a new language learner.

“There is no substitute for living an experience that many of these aspiring teachers’ future students will be experiencing here in the United States,” Zwicky says. That cross-cultural understanding students can be carried with them back into their teaching practice in their classrooms.

Find out more about the  Teaching Practicum in France at the Learning Abroad Center.

Learn more about the B.S. in Elementary Education Foundations program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Aaron Doering gives keynote speech at #EdCrunch 2017 in Moscow

Professor Aaron Doering of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction recently gave the keynote to over 3,500 participants for #EdCrunch 2017 in Moscow, Russia.  Doering’s keynote, “Higher Education: Tomorrow Is Already Here,” addressed his principles aimed at transforming learning communities and improving student interaction with online learning materials.

#EdCrunch is one of the largest European conferences in the area of new educational technologies in secondary, higher and professional education. This year’s conference highlighted personalization in education technology, technological capabilities in classrooms, and teacher competency and ability to embrace change.

Doering is the Co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Media Lab, and a professor in the Learning Technologies program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Find out more about the Learning Technologies degree programs  and educational technology research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

International student and online learning researcher: Ph.D. candidate Fan Ouyang

Fan Ouyang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Learning Technologies program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, talks about the unique challenges of studying in a foreign country, her research in online and blended learning, and deep commitment to education. 

What drove you to enroll in the Learning Technologies Ph.D. program? 

I have a background in computer sciences and software theories. After graduation, I taught college-level courses for six years in my native China. I thought an intersection of education and computer technology would be a good fit for my professional interests, so I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. I’ll complete in February, 2018.

You are originally from China. How has your experience been studying in a foreign country?

It is a worthy experience, full of challenge, anxiety, hope, and joy. I came to the U.S. at a relatively mature age to purse my doctoral degree. I believe that helped because it was an age that I started to really want to know myself at a deep level, without self-judgment. Putting all the emotions aside, I believe it is the persistency of hard work that helps me not only overcome all language and research barriers to complete my degree, but more importantly, it helps me to become more open-minded, reflective, and calm in all life situations. I believe I come to the end of my Ph.D. journey as a better person.

What is your current research focus?

My research interests lie at the intersection of online and blended learning, pedagogy development, and learning analytics. Specifically, my current research focuses on three interrelated strands:

  • the research of computer-supported, network-based collaborative learning
  • the design of online and blended learning and development of relevant pedagogies
  • the application of computational methods and analytical techniques to understanding learning and instruction.

I want to better understand how students learn in online and blended learning contexts to help educators and practitioners better use this knowledge. I also hope to design innovative instructional tools to foster learner engagements.

How is the field of online teaching changing? Do you think it could replace face-to-face teaching?

At the early stage of online education, instructors tended to utilize traditional instructor-centered methods. Now, online teaching is changing to be more democratic, where instructors play a more symmetrical, participatory role with students. Students transform from the passive recipient of information and knowledge in the traditional instruction context to critical constructors of knowledge under their own autonomy.

Overall, the ultimate goal of education always stays the same, no matter the format: to nurture responsibility and initiative in learners, to build diversity and openness in the learning environments, and to help learners become self-directed and reflective. Therefore, I don’t think we need to replace one format with another. Instead, we as educators need to think about how to empower learners to view themselves as individuals who can shape their fields of interest, make action to achieve their personal and professional goals, and help people in their communities to grow and develop.

Which resources have you found through the department to help with your research?

I have benefited from department traveling funding, research workshops, involvement in research day, graduate student associations, and interactions with faculty in the department.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

During my Ph.D. study here in U.S., I have made efforts to cultivate four characteristics in myself: life-long learning (being eager to learn), capacity (being accessible, positive, and resourceful), entrepreneurship (being critical, innovative, and open-minded), and collaboration (being trustful, supportive, and collegial). I think this mindset has laid a positive foundation for my Ph.D. journey.

Learn more about the Learning Technologies programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

C&I receives several STEM and technology research grants

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction, known nationally and internationally for cutting-edge research in education, received grant awards for several research projects this summer in the fields of STEM education and Learning Technologies.

Associate professor in the Learning Technologies program, Bodong Chen, received $169,041 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue his work over the next two years on “Cyberlearning: Connecting Web Annotations and Progressive Online Discourse in Science Classrooms.”

Julie Brown, an assistant professor in C&I’s STEM Education Program, received $1,022,146 from NSF over three years for her work with Keisha Varma on “ESPRIT: fostering Equitable Science through Parental Involvement and Technology.”

C&I’s Gillian Roehrig, a professor in the STEM education program, was awarded $103,172 by NSF for “Teacher Network Retention in Noyce Communities of Practice, State University of New York at Stony Brook.”

Kathleen Cramer’s GopherMath Project earned $50,000 over nine months from Greater Twin Cities United Way. Cramer is a C&I professor who specializes in mathematics education for children in grades 4-8.

Cassandra Scharber, a professor in the Learning Technologies program and co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab, received multiple grants for her project SciGirls Code LRNG Playlists. Grant organizations included Twin Cities Public Television, the University of California – Irvine, and the MacArthur Foundation.

STEM education professor, Lesa Covington Clarkson, was awarded $95,767 from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education over 14 months for “e3Algebra: Engineering Engaging in Eighth Grade Algebra in Urban Classrooms.”

Learn more about the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s research projects, centers, and areas of faculty expertise.

Curriculum and Instruction library launches digital catalogue and website

The Curriculum and Instruction (CI) Library, housed in 45 Peik Hall, recently launched a new website featuring an online searchable catalogue that effectively creates a digital space for patrons to search for texts that are not available in the UMN library system. The library is the only campus space that loans children’s and adolescent literature to students, faculty, and staff.

The CI Library is one of campus’s best-kept secrets. It houses a curated collection of children’s and adolescent literature and a smaller repository of academic curricular materials and texts. Library staff can partner with instructors to work on course assignments and put course materials on reserve. Students can check out books, use the space for study or meetings. Staff are happy to give a tour to interested patrons.

“We are excited to extend our reach outside of Peik Hall with the launch of our first website,” says CI Library Coordinator, Sara Sterner. “We welcome visitors to enjoy our new digital space and visit us in person.”

Learn more about academic programs in literacy education  in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Search the CI library’s online catalogue.

 

Ph.D. student in STEM Education travels to Japan to research STEM equity

STEM equity researcher, National Science Foundation fellowship recipient, Ph.D. candidate, and sushi connoisseur Jeanna Wieselmann shares her research agenda as she spends the semester in Japan partnering with Shizuoka University.

What is your degree program?

I am in the STEM Education Ph.D. program within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  I plan to graduate in May of 2019.

What drove you to enroll in the STEM Education Ph.D. program?

I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and spent several years teaching for a STEM non-profit.  As a STEM teacher, I observed students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields excelling.  I wanted to learn more about how to make quality STEM education accessible to all students, through quality curricular materials and support for teachers.  The University of Minnesota has amazing faculty and an integrated STEM program that perfectly matched my research interests.

What is your current research focus?

I am currently interested in gender equity in STEM and am looking at the factors that influence whether girls are interested in pursuing STEM careers.  Girls already tend to have less interest in STEM by the time they reach middle and high school, so I’m focusing primarily on the elementary grade levels in the hopes that quality elementary STEM experiences can help foster continued STEM interest.

You are in Japan this semester working on STEM education. Tell me about your goals for the semester and how the project came about.

I am interested in international perspectives on STEM, and I decided to visit Japan because my adviser, Dr. Gillian Roehrig, has cultivated a strong relationship with Dr. Yoshisuke Kumano from Shizuoka University. I was able to study through my National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This semester, I am working on two research projects.  The first project investigates middle school students’ perceptions of STEM and interest in STEM careers after participating in STEM activities through various programs.  The second project involves helping with teacher professional development focused on STEM and supporting these teachers as they implement STEM activities in their elementary classrooms for the first time.

What have you found surprising/challenging as an educator and researcher working across international borders?

This certainly hasn’t been a surprise, but the language barrier is a major challenge to conducting research across international borders.  I’m fortunate to be surrounded by Japanese colleagues who are willing to help me, but my ability to understand what is happening in a classroom is limited.  As a researcher, I’m also very aware of my positionality and am cautious about entering a new culture and pushing my beliefs and values on people. I’m working in collaborative groups with Japanese researchers to help ensure that the Japanese perspective is fairly portrayed in the research I conduct.

Which resources have you found through the department to help with your research?

The biggest resource that has helped with my research is the faculty within the department.  I learned a lot through my coursework, and I also have wonderful mentors who are willing to give advice and feedback on my work.  Every time I talk to another professor about my research, I leave with new ideas and new resources to explore. In addition, my fellow graduate students are irreplaceable for the support they provide.

And the key question: have you eaten the most delicious food in Japan?

The food in Japan is absolutely amazing!  There’s great, affordable sushi available everywhere, including the grocery store that’s a block away from my apartment.  One of my favorite meals was Okonomiyaki, a regional specialty of Hiroshima that features a savory pancake topped with cabbage and other veggies, noodles, meat, and a delicious special sauce.

Learn more about the Ph.D. in STEM Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

McNair scholar and Al Franken’s education intern: Aarinola Esther Okelola

esther okelola

Senior Aarinola Esther Okelola talks about her drive to change the educational system, her research on school discipline practices, and her internship with Senator Al Franken.

What is your current degree program?

Elementary Education  Foundations, and I am minoring in English as a Second Language (ESL). I expect to graduate in May 2018.

What drove you to enroll in the program?

I’ve always been interested in a teaching role, and in education as a whole.  In my First Year Inquiry class titled “Making a Difference in the Lives of Young People,” we read The New Jim Crow and Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There.  I learned from this class and the books we read about the school-to-prison pipeline and the opportunity gap that leads to the achievement gap. I felt very strongly in myself that I have to do something about these racial disparities, specifically those in education that start at an early age. That led me to become an elementary education major.

Tell me about your research as a McNair Scholar.

I am conducting research in the area of education justice with Professor Catherine Squires. This last year, we collected literature on both  punitive and restorative justice discipline practices in Minnesota schools.  Moving forward, we’re working on collecting discipline data from schools, meaning find out the different discipline practices used to create a map that displays school discipline practices in Minnesota.

You also are interning in Senator Al Franken’s office. What are your duties there?

I currently do administrative tasks as well as sorting through constituent policy requests. I am partnered with the education expert at the office and will be working with him on education-related projects. I will be present the results of our projects at the end of my internship. We will get a chance to meet the Senator later on in the internship, too.

What do you hope to get out of your educational experience?

I hope to grow in my understanding of our education system, to make connections with my colleagues and professors, to find mentors, and eventually to take a leadership role in making the policies surrounding education.

What has been your experience with the faculty?

My experience has been positive so far in regards to CEHD faculty. All have been receptive, knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to share helpful information.

Did your coursework help prepare you to move forward in your career of choice?

The coursework has given me a good scope of material that I will need to know as a future teacher. Because there is always room for improvement, adding more lesson planning and multicultural discussions to the Elementary Education undergraduate coursework I feel will better prepare us as educators in our current world.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

I feel I’m exactly where I need to be and CEHD has been a warm environment for me to learn in.

Learn more about the elementary education foundations program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

C&I faculty and staff discuss racial justice in day-long retreat

Faculty and staff in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction kicked off the school year with their annual retreat, but the topics of the day were not the usual plans and announcements. Instead, the department sat down to discuss the departmental climate as it relates to race, bias, and diversity.

The conversations were facilitated by Samuel D. Museus, Director of the National Institute for Transformation and Equity at Indiana University, Bloomington and Kimberly Truong, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We hope that this will be a transformative experience and lead to an even stronger and more cohesive community within the department,” Museus wrote.

After the retreat, the staff and faculty are prepared to continue working on bringing topics of race and bias to the forefront and plan to address areas in the curriculum where equity can be more deeply interwoven into the instruction. “As as an outcome of the retreat, the Second Language Education program has begun process for systematic review of curriculum so that the goals of social equity, multilingualism and racial justice are highlighted throughout coursework and program planning,” notes Professor Kendall King.

Many in the department expressed optimism for the coming year after the constructive dialogues.Teaching Specialist Linda Buturian noted that “when we share our stories, when we feel heard, it makes things lighter.”

Learn more about the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s commitment to diversity and social justice.

 

Sato helps to edit new handbook on international teacher education

Professor Misty Sato in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction was part of the editorial team behind recently released SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. The handbook, co-edited by D. Jean Clandinin at the University of Alberta and Jukka Husu at the University of Turku, Finland, provides an international overview of the current landscape of teacher education, as well as insights about how research can influence future practices and policies.
Within the two-volume handbook, Sato edited “Section Nine: Learning with and from Assessments in Teacher Education.”

Watch a short description of the handbook and an interview with the co-editors:

Learn more about the teacher education degree programs and teacher education research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Learning Technologies Media Lab releases climate change documentary on PBS

Professor Aaron Doering and his team of explorers and educators trek across the unforgiving arctic landscape by dog sled in order to deliver a real-time educational program to millions of students who follow along on the adventure. Their efforts have been captured in a documentary, “The Changing Earth: Crossing the Arctic,” co-produced by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s Learning Technologies Media Lab (LTML) and Twin Cities’ Public Television (TPT).

The Changing Earth project was conceived and led by Doering as a way to engage students in a real-world adventure by broadcasting from wherever they find themselves along the journey—on sleds, in tents, and across frozen treks to Inuit villages. “We focus on a culture, we focus on an environmental issue, and now we focus on a social issue,” says Doering of each new adventure-learning expedition.

The first arctic expedition in 2004 took six months. By the end of the trip, Doering was excited to see that they had over three million learners watching from around the world. The program introduces students and viewers to the challenges of the Arctic and the impact of climate change on its indigenous people in a way that resonates with young learners.

The Changing Earth documentary is now available for free on PBS for anyone interested in learning more about the hardships and thrills of crossing the arctic.

Consider supporting the work of LTML to continue the work of documenting the impact of climate change for all learners.

Find out more about the degree programs available in Learning Technologies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, which houses the LT Media Lab.

New Racial Justice in Urban Schooling minor seeks to improve educational equity

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is thrilled to launch the Racial Justice in Urban Schooling undergraduate minor, a program that examines the intersections of race, social class, language status, gender, or sexual orientation, and how those impact educational equity and social justice.

The program supports undergraduates from any major to explore their interest in graduate studies in education or activism on educational issues. The minor is designed for students who are deeply interested in education as a social issue, whether or not they want to become a classroom teacher.

Participants will learn to recognize educational practices that marginalize students who are diverse in terms of their race, class, language or gender status, and learn how to support educational equity through alternative approaches. Students will reimagine teaching materials and techniques that hold the possibility for a more equitable and just society.

Learn more, see the curriculum requirements, and read about the educational experiences involved with the minor in Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. Accepting applications now!