Category Archives: Uncategorized

C&I’s Erin Baldinger shares strategies to prepare math teachers for success

Erin Baldinger, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction leverages her experience as a mathematics teacher and educational researcher to prepare aspiring mathematics teachers to effectively communicate their knowledge of math to their students.

“I’ve found that most teachers come into the field with a deep background in math. The problem is that the understanding of mathematics gained through advanced university mathematics courses is not well-connected to the mathematics in the work of teaching,” Baldinger explains.

She distills her experience into five teaching strategies to effectively support all students to engage in mathematics:

Five Techniques for Better Math Teachers

Improving math education and preparation programs for math teachers is a complicated task, but through my experience and research I’ve learned some general principles and strategies that are effective in helping support all students to engage in mathematics.

  1. Believe that all students can learn math. You must believe that every one of your students – no matter their background or current level of knowledge – is capable. Look for each student’s individual strengths and how you can leverage those strengths in the classroom. To me, this is the fundamental underlying principle of being a good teacher.
  2. Use rehearsals as a preparation tool. The most important things that I do in teacher preparation classes is helping my students connect the ideas that we read about to their own practice as teachers. One of the ways I do this is through “coached rehearsals.” One student will lead a discussion while the other members of the class act as the “kids.” During the rehearsal, we have the chance to stop, ask questions, and give feedback, so the discussion leader can get an idea of the kinds of dilemmas they’ll face in a classroom – without the pressure of being in front of a classroom of kids. Later, we use the process of recording video of novice teachers in the classroom and give them the opportunity to analyze their own performance and give feedback to one another.
  3. Explore multiple solutions to math problems. Doing math with my students is critical. When I’m teaching aspiring math teachers, we’ll do math problems that I would then have them do with their own students. During this process, we analyze the problems, looking for multiple solutions strategies. This helps them gain perspective on how their students might approach a problem. It also highlights that there are often multiple mathematically valid ways to approach a task, and the teacher’s role is to help students make connections among the different solution strategies.
  4. Listen. Secondary math teachers must be committed to listening to their students and understanding what they have to say about mathematics. By valuing all student contributions and building on them, you’ll help them cultivate a deeper mathematical understanding.
  5. Understand that there’s no quick fix. With my students, I use multiple strategies to help them learn about teaching. Sometimes it’s rehearsals, sometimes it’s doing math tasks, sometimes we’re watching video or reading and analyzing various aspects of teaching. Having all those touchpoints is critical for me. It’s counterproductive to try and have a quick fix or to think that there’s one technique that will work all the time. Teaching is tough, complex work – but with the right approach I’ve seen my aspiring math teachers – and their pupils – make tremendous strides.
    Read the full article on the CEHD Vision 2020 Blog.

Learn more about the teacher licensure program in mathematics in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Kinesiology’s Nicolette Peterson and Anna Solfest present at 2017 UROP Symposium

Nicolette Peterson and Anna Solfest, both undergraduate students in the School of Kinesiology, participated in today’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the U of M.

Peterson, mentored in the UROP program by Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor of movement science and director of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL), presented her research, “The Effect of Feedback on Postural Sway and the Result of Possible Motion Sickness.” Solfest, mentored by Don Dengel, Ph.D., professor of exercise science and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), presented her research, “Body Composition and Bone Mineral Density of Division I Collegiate Male and Female Basketball Athletes.”

Nicolette Peterson
Anna Solfest

LaVoi quoted in Harvard Crimson

Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is quoted in a Harvard Crimson article, “In Harvard’s Athletics Department, A Stark Wage Gap.” The article critically reviews Harvard athletic coach salaries.

C&I’s Vichet Chhuon Writes in the Star Tribune on the Importance of Teacher Diversity in MN

Vichet Chhuon, C&I associate professor the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, wrote about the crucial need for more teachers of color and native american descent in Minnesota classrooms in an op ed in the Star Tribune, “Counterpoint: Teachers of color and American Indian descent in Minnesota are crucial.”

Chhuon underscores the reasons that  a diverse teaching force is imperative for students. “Minnesota has had some of the worst academic and opportunity gaps in the nation,” he notes. “Developing trusting and affirming relationships with diverse students and families is crucial to closing equity gaps.”

Chuuon believes that the Minnesota teaching force should reflect the population of its students and its inhabitants. He argues that research has shown that students of all races benefit from being taught by diverse teachers. In addition to simply seeing diversity of adults in professional roles, all students will receive exposure to diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Read the full article in the Star Tribune.

Billington collaborates on NSF-funded grant to create interactive science education games

Barbara Billington, a science lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will collaborate with University of Minnesota colleagues and educational technology company Andamio Games on a project funded by the National Science Foundation to produce a series of tablet-based lessons and challenges to help high school students master concepts related to photosynthesis and cell respiration. This project will enable students to learn difficult science concepts using a collaborative gaming approach that aims to significantly increase student engagement and understanding.

As part of the grant, Billington will partner with life science teachers from Saint Paul Public Schools to conduct a classroom study in the second year of the project. Lessons will be designed and research directed by both Billington and her colleagues Sehoya Cotner, associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, and Christopher Desjardins, research associate at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.

“Science teacher feedback in Phase I of the project reconfirmed the value of our multi-player approach and also led us to the addition of a virtual biology lab,” said Andamio Games president Adam Gordon. “Teachers wanted their students to get a practical experience of scientific experimentation — including when it doesn’t go quite as expected — independent of the usual costs and time commitments for conventional lab experiments.”

Billington has a unique understanding of science classrooms after seven years teaching high school biology. She earned both her teacher licensure and Ph.D. in science education from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where her current research focuses on training pre-service teachers and gender equity in STEM education.

Find out more about the science education programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

 

Inaugural C&I Emerging Scholars Conference highlights student research

Keynote speaker, Maria Asp of the Children’s Theatre Company, presents at the C&I Emerging Scholars Conference

On April 7, the first annual C&I Emerging Scholars Conference was held in Peik Hall to recognize undergraduate and graduate students engaged in projects and research. Organized by the C&I Graduate Student Association (CIGSA) this conference (formerly named C&I Research Day) was reimagined this year in a conference format to highlight the research scholarship of students. The theme for the conference was “examine everything” based on a call to action from our Department Head, Dr. Cynthia Lewis in the Fall to “denounce supremacy, confront hatred, and build socially just classrooms and communities”.

The event kicked off with a keynote from Maria Asp of the Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges Program. Asp led the group through a critical literacy activity that allowed participants to examine a story from different perspective. After the keynote over 60 C&I students presented their work through paper, roundtable, and poster presentations. The day culminated with an ice cream social in the C&I Children’s Literature Library.

Special thanks to the organizers, Tracy Leitl, Sara Sterner, Lana Peterson, Dan Bordwell, Jeanna Wieselmann, Jeff Henning-Smith, and Ryan Oto, who serve as CIGSA leadership. To see highlights from the event search#ciesc17 on twitter.

C&I students are encouraged to get involved by serving on the planning committee for next year by emailing cigsa@umn.edu.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors Megan Gunnar

Megan Gunnar

Megan Gunnar, director of the Institute of Child Development in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), has been elected to the 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is one of three University of Minnesota professors and 228 national and international scholars, artists, philanthropists, and business leaders elected this year.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. This is the 237th class of members elected. It includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize, MacArthur Fellows, Fields Medalists, Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients, and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award winners.

Gunnar is one of the nation’s leading researchers in child development and developmental psychobiology. Her work focuses on understanding how stress early in life “gets under the skin” to shape the body’s stress response systems and neurobehavioral development.

“Professor Gunnar is an exceptional faculty member whose research and leadership in her field has improved the lives of many children,” said Jean Quam, CEHD dean. “The University of Minnesota and the College of Education and Human Development are extremely proud of her accomplishments.”

Gunnar holds the University’s highest faculty honors as both a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Education and has been honored with lifetime achievement awards by the American Psychological Association, Division 7 Developmental Psychology, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Association for Psychological Science. Gunnar has a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

The 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, MA.

LaVoi and colleagues publish chapter in Sex Integration in Sport and Physical Culture

Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., and colleagues Janet S. Fink (U Mass Amherst) and Kristine E. Newhall (Smith College) have published a chapter entitled “Challenging the Gender Binary? Male Basketball Practice Players’ Views of Female Athletes and Women’s Sports” in the edited book, Sex Integration in Sport and Physical Culture: Promises and Pitfalls, (Alex Channon, Katherine Dashper, Thomas Fletcher, and Robert J. Lake, editors) from Routledge.

 

 

Sport Management Senior Seminar students collaborate with NSC on projects

Young Ho Kim (third from right) and students at NSC

Young Ho Kim, Kinesiology doctoral candidate and graduate assistant, and his students in SMGT 3881W Senior Seminar in Sport Management, took a tour of the National Sport Center (NSC) in Blaine recently. This semester, Kim and his students have been collaborating with the NSC on three projects.

For the first, “Multi-National Corporations Based in Minnesota as Sponsors of USA CUP,” students are researching and preparing a recommendation regarding sponsorship for the NSC premier soccer tournament, USA CUP, with the assistance of Steve Olson, CEO of NSC. For the second, “Indigenous/Native American Sports Tournaments and Events,” two groups are researching and preparing a recommendation regarding development activities for The Star of the North Games (an Olympic-style, multi-sport event), focusing on adding events and Native populations, with the assistance of George Ellis, NSC’s Director of Sports Development. The third project is “Hosting a Girl’s and Women’s Wellness & Sports Expo at the NSC.” Students are researching and preparing a recommendation for NSC to host the expo, focusing on sponsors and a topic series, with the assistance of Todd Johnson, Executive Director.

Kim is co-advised by Kinesiology professor Michael Wade, Ph.D., and Rayla Allison, J.D.

C&I graduate, Jennifer Eik, receives 2017 Rising Alumni award

Jennifer Eik (left) and her collaborator, Jenna Cushing-Leubner.

Jennifer Eik, a graduate from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Second Language Education was selected for the prestigious Rising Alumni Award for 2017. The award is presented by the CEHD Alumni Society to a CEHD alum who has achieved early distinction in their career (15 years or less since graduation), demonstrated outstanding leadership or shown exceptional volunteer services in their community.

Eik is a Spanish teacher at Roosevelt High School where she has pioneered a new curriculum teaching Spanish as a heritage language, along with Ph.D. candidate in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Jenna Cushing-Leubner. Their work has been profiled in the MinnPost and has made a huge impact for students who speak Spanish at home or come from Spanish-speaking households. Eik’s Spanish Heritage curriculum spends the first year teaching students Spanish with a different historical perspective — one that delves into Latino ancestry, culture, and historical figures – and identity exploration.

“Students of color are yearning for curriculum that they can connect to,” Eik says, noting that it helps students to think of themselves in a more positive light when they hear stories of historical accomplishment and contribution from their communities and ancestry.

Cushing-Leubner believes that Eik’s contribution to the field of teaching Spanish as a heritage language, for both pre-service and practicing teachers, is “remarkable and certainly deserving of recognition. I’m sure Minneapolis Public Schools and Roosevelt High School are very proud of the tireless efforts and powerful impacts that she, her students, and her teacher candidates/mentees are making in the area of justice-oriented language education.”

Learn more about the teacher education programs in the area of Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

 

KSTP cites Tucker Center’s LaVoi on hockey boycott

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is quoted in a recent piece from KSTP, “Former Gopher Speaks Out on U.S. Women’s Hockey Team’s New Agreement,” saying “What this boycott was about was getting the resources that [female hockey players] deserved.”

KARE11 video interview with Tucker Center’s Nicole LaVoi on USA Hockey boycott

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., was interviewed in a KARE-11 video piece, “The Team USA Women’s Hockey boycott is winning for a few reasons” in which Dr. LaVoi spoke to the various reasons the boycott has been successful.

New York Times quotes Tucker Center’s Mary Jo Kane on women’s hockey deal

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in a New York Times article, “U.S. Women’s Team Strikes a Deal With U.S.A. Hockey,” noting the deal to be “an iconic moment in women’s sports.”

LaVoi is guest speaker at Haverford Group’s spring meeting

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., was a guest speaker at this year’s Haverford Group spring meeting held March 25-27 at Macalester College in St. Paul.

LaVoi spoke on the topic, “Women in Coaching and Team Culture.”

The Haverford Group was created in the mid-1980s to bring together an influential group of academic institutions concerned with the positive influence, thinking and direction of NCAA Division III athletics. Members include Amherst College, Austin College, Bridgewater College, Bryn Mawr College, Centre College, Clark University, DePauw University, Grinnell College, Haverford College, Lewis & Clark College, Macalester College, Occidental College, Pomona-Pitzer College, Skidmore College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Washington & Lee University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Whitman College and The College of Wooster.

 

 

 

M.S.W. graduate named 2017 Bush Fellow

Brenda Hartman (M.S.W. ’89), a St. Paul therapist who provides counseling to adolescents, adults, and couples, was named a 2017 Bush Fellow this week.

She and 23 other people were selected from nearly 650 applications for the fellowships. Applicants described their leadership vision and how a Bush Fellowship would both help them achieve their goals and make their community better. Each Fellow will receive up to $100,000 to pursue the education and experiences they believe will help them become more effective leaders.

With her Bush Fellowship, Hartman will study end-of-life practices from different cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions, and grow her leadership skills through coursework and consultation.

She has lived nearly three decades longer than expected after receiving a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Over those years, she has devoted herself to addressing the social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the cancer experience. She sees a strong need to promote a cultural shift in society’s response to death. She wants to introduce a narrative that counters fear and denial with a view of death as a healing process. She seeks new ways to incorporate end-of-life planning into training for healthcare professionals.

More information about Hartman and her therapy practice. (link this line to http://www.healingthroughlife.com/index.php

More information on the Bush Fellowship.  (link to https://www.bushfoundation.org/fellowships/bush-fellowship)

 

CEHD’s top rankings reflect innovative programs, district partnerships

The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is ranked 12th among public professional schools of education, 21st among all schools, in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate schools. CEHD maintains a #8 ranking in special education and moves up to #9 in educational psychology. CEHD’s developmental psychology program (Institute of Child Development) is #1 in the country.

CEHD is a world leader in developing innovative programs to address opportunity gaps in child development, teaching, and learning. Consider its outstanding partnership programs with school districts in Minnesota that apply evidence-based teaching methodologies to strengthen schools. Note also the impact of recent groundbreaking research on autism, which has uncovered new patterns of brain development in infants. CEHD’s productivity last year included $44.3 million of externally funded research.

“Our college continues to reach new heights of excellence in graduate teaching, research, and outreach,” said Dean Jean K. Quam. “We are focused on improving the lives of students across Minnesota, the nation, and the world.”

Learn more about CEHD’s top-rated master’s and doctoral programs.

Rankings methodology: U.S. News surveyed 379 schools granting education doctoral degrees. It calculates rankings based on quality assessments from peer institutions and school superintendents nationwide, student selectivity, and faculty research and resources, which includes student/faculty ratio and faculty awards as well as support for research.

Abdi’s research finds critical link between public school and immigrant student experience

“Public schools are the de facto experience for immigrant children to be part of this country, both to learn about and participate in the nation,” says Nimo Abdi, a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, noting that public schools are the first place where immigrant children contact mainstream culture and learn ways to integrate.

Abdi’s research focuses on the intersectionality, or interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, as they apply to the immigrant student. She is interested in how context shapes the identities of students. And what she has found is that the impact of schooling cannot but understated for students that are new to this country.

Preconceptions Hurt Immigrant Students

Abdi is studying the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio which is very similar to the one here in the Twin Cities. She sees Somali students face the obstacle of preconceived notions based on their background in the Columbus public schools. “Teachers and school administrators and students have certain concepts of what it means to be a Somali,” Abdi says.

As a science teacher in Columbus, Abdi noticed that students were treated differently based on their appearance. Russian immigrant students were mainstreamed into regular classes even if they needed the help of an ESL class. However, second-generation Somali students were still being placed in ESL classes even if they were proficient.

“Those things tend to mark and label students in a certain way—being visible, being black and Muslim, and also being Somali,” Abdi finds in her experience and research.

Caught Between Two Cultures

Somalis students deal with the dual pressure of having to fit into their schools and into their home communities by changing their identities in different contexts. “In urban settings, some Somali students appropriate hip-hop culture to be part of the black youth culture,” says Abdi, noting that they are not necessarily accepted completely not do they see themselves as such.

“One boy told me that sometimes he identified as Somali, sometimes as African-American. It all depends on the context. “

Trying to fit into the school and home community is especially difficult for girls. “Girls come to school completely covered, and in literally less than ten minutes they take everything off and look completely different,” Abdi says that “the tricky thing about the whole notion of dress code is it could have completely different meanings in different settings. Covering is appreciated in the Somali context as a show of modesty but it has the opposite effect in mainstream culture. It’s a very difficult for young children to navigate that.”

Creating Spaces for Immigrant Students

In order to help immigrant students thrive in the educational system, Abdi believes that schools need to create spaces for all children, by educating students about different religions and offering options for students who don’t conform to the majority religion. She believes that a culturally responsive pedagogy could go a long way towards helping to integrate immigrant children and their communities.

“Social categories have real-life consequences in people’s lives. Being labelled in a certain way, has real meaning for children and how they see themselves,” Abdi reveals the main finding of her research: “The context of our education shapes who we are and how we see the world.”

Find about more about teacher education programs designed to support immigrant students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Rec Admin students develop report for Three Rivers Park District on barriers to underrepresented groups

Sara Hansen and Tyler Tegtmeier, both Recreation Administration students in the School of Kinesiology, have developed a report for the Three Rivers Park District to research recreation opportunities for underrepresented populations in the district’s public parks. The 27-page report of their findings provides recommendations to reduce barriers to parks and recreation facilities by underrepresented groups. The report was presented to the organizations involved in the study for their consideration and determination of next steps.

Hansen and Tegtmeier proceeded with the report under the guidance of Recreation Administration Director Connie Magnuson, Ph.D., along with Alex McKinney, Recreation Supervisor at Three Rivers Park District.

Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women quotes Tucker Center’s Mary Jo Kane

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in the Women’s Sports & the Media and Legislative Update Newsletter from the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women. In an analysis of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s sports section’s percentage of men’s  vs. women’s article, Kane’s comments help interpret the data regarding media coverage.