Category Archives: Uncategorized

2017 UMAI Day highlights current ASD research

The University of Minnesota Autism Initiative (UMAI) welcomed an audience of 250 people for the third annual UMAI Day: Research to Practice Update. The event, held May 5 at the Masonic Children’s Hospital, featured current University of Minnesota research collaborations relating to autism.

Veronica Fleury, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, and Tami Childs, MN Autism Project coordinator, spoke on implementing evidence-based practices in school settings. ICI’s Jennifer Hall-Lande and Anab Gulaid led a presentation titled ASD Prevalence Research and Community Engagement with Somali and Immigrant Families. See complete list of speakers.

UMAI represents an interdisciplinary collective of researchers, educators, and providers focused on improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in the state of Minnesota. Their mission is to unify stakeholders toward the ultimate goals of collaborative research, excellence in education and training, and community partnerships.

C&I, CEHD alumnus Corey Bulman named 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Corey Bulman, a CEHD alumnus who received his M.Ed. and initial teaching license in English Education from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in 2006, recently won the prestigious Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. Bulman was selected from 132 candidates, 27 semifinalists, and 11 finalists to receive the 2017 award from Education Minnesota, an 86,000-member statewide educators union. Candidates include prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools.

Bulman, who has been a language arts teacher at Mound Westonka High School in Mound, MN since earning his teaching license 17 years ago, was inspired by his high school teachers to reach his potential after years as a struggling student. He wrote in his Teacher of the Year portfolio, “This educational experience taught me an important lesson: education is a gift that is renewed every time it is shared. This fact has driven me to give to others what I was so graciously given all those years ago.”

“Even after 18 years, I still remember this outstanding student,” said Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education who advised Bulman during his time in graduate school. Beach notes that Bulman is the third graduate from the English education program to receive the Teacher of the Year award.

Bulman told the Star Tribune that his students remain a constant source of inspiration. “I’m so incredibly proud to be their teacher,” he said. “They make me think every single day, they challenge me, they keep me young, they keep ideas fresh and vibrant. I’m very fortunate to be their teacher.”

A former student of Bulman’s, Sara Strother, who is finishing her M.Ed. in Arts in Education this May from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, wrote in support of Bulman’s nomination, “When I was in high school, it mattered a great deal to me how adults treated me. Corey was an adult who showed me he believed I was smart and cared about my ideas. He was honest, funny and made me believe in myself.” She adds, “Corey doesn’t just care about the people in his classroom. He cares about how to make them better people, thinkers and leaders of thoughtful lives.”

Learn more about the teacher education programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Consider supporting the teacher preparation work in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction to help us develop future teachers of the year.

C&I student, Fadumo Mohamed, wins CEHD Multicultural Recognition Award

Lori Helman, Fadumo Mohamed and her parents, Anthony Albecker, Vichet Chhuon

Fadumo Mohamed, a senior in the Elementary Education Foundations program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction received the CEHD Student Multicultural Recognition Award this year. The award is given to a candidate who has made outstanding multicultural efforts to the CEHD community in community outreach as part of their extracurricular or professional work.

Mohamed was nominated by her McNair Scholars program advisor, Lori Helman, on the strength of her many outreach activities. She worked as a literacy mentor in Pratt Community School as part of the America Reads program where she became interested in creating an effective mentoring program for Somali-American youth in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.

The existing government programs designed to support positive extracurricular activities were transforming into programs to monitor youth for potential future terrorist threats. This was creating a divisive and mistrustful atmosphere in the community, so Mohamed urged the community school to not take the government funding for these programs that offered tutoring and instead to let her provide tutors with the support of the Young Muslims Collaborative (YMC).

In support of that effort she trained almost 40 mentors over two years that were paired with unmotivated or disconnected students. By training mentors who have had similar life experiences, the students are given emotional and strategic support for setting life goals. This is in contrast to programs that attempt to see these youth as potential deviants.

“Fadumo shares the importance of knowing who you are- the values of dual identity, dual language, and works to develop a curriculum that highlights this,” says Helman. “It has been my great honor to work alongside her and learn from her as she gives her full effort toward ensuring equity and positive identity formation for Somali Americans.”

Mohamed will enter the Master of Education and Initial Teaching License program in Elementary Education in the fall where she plans to continue her work towards engaging youth and creating a curriculum that responds to the needs of multicultural student communities.

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

 

C&I student Hannah Baxter wins Fulbright Scholarship

Hannah Baxter, an M.Ed. candidate in the Initial Teaching Licensure program in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction received the prestigious Fulbright scholarship this year along with 12 other students from the University of Minnesota.

The Fulbright scholarship is meant to foster mutual understandings between people from the United States and other countries through the exchange of knowledge and skills. Baxter will use the Fulbright scholarship to spend a year in Bavaria working as an English teaching assistant with a local teacher. She is looking forward to the opportunity to experience ESL classes in Germany, improve her language skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the German culture after earning her teaching license in both German and English as a second language (ESL) this summer through her M.Ed. program.

“I hope that when I come back, I can bring these experiences with me and use them to be a better teacher for my future students,” said Baxter who plans to teach ESL or German classes in the States upon her return.

Find out more about the degree programs in second language education offered by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Sato publishes book on teacher preparation and development in China

Mistilina Sato, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, authored the recently released book, Empowered Educators in China:  How High Performing Systems Shape Teaching Quality, part of the “Empowered Educator” series published by Jossey Bass (A Wiley imprint). This work is part of a three-year policy study that produced a series of international case studies and books based on  high performing jurisdictions that examines how provincial and national policies support teaching quality from recruitment through preparation and hiring, to ongoing career development and leadership opportunities.

Sato is also co-author of the cross-case book Empowered Educators: How High-Performing Systems Shape Teaching Quality Around the World with Linda Darling-Hammond, Dion Burns, Carol Campbell, A. Lin Goodwin, Karen Hammerness, Ee-Ling Low, Ann McIntyre, and Ken Zeichner.

The national book launch will take place in Washington D.C. on June 6, 2017 hosted by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

C&I’s Marek Oziewicz quoted in Star Tribune on Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”

Marek Oziewicz, Professor of Children’s and Young Adult Literature in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction was quoted in the Star Tribune on Neil Gaiman’s book, American Gods, which is being adapted into a TV series on Starz.

Gaimain, who has roots in the Midwest, says “I couldn’t have written [the book] without living in Wisconsin, and Minneapolis and St. Paul being the nearest big cities. It just wouldn’t have worked.”

Oziewicz, who teaches several courses on children’s and adolescent literature says of Gaimain, “His ideas are absolutely unique when it comes to speculative fiction, adding “Asking me to describe him in two sentences is like asking me to describe J.R.R. Tolkien in two sentences,” Oziewicz said. Read the full article in the Star Tribune.

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

Karen Miksch wins President’s Award for Outstanding Service

Karen Miksch, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), is one of 11 people honored with the 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Minnesota.

This award recognizes exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by an active or retired faculty or staff member. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community.

Miksch’s contributions to the college and University have been extraordinary through her work and consultation on legal issues, academic freedom, student admissions, and fostering diversity and inclusion in graduate education.

She will be honored at a reception at Eastcliff on June 15, and the Board of Regents will recognize her at their meeting on May 12. See all of this year’s winners.

350-strong attend Tucker Center Women Coaches Symposium event

Coach Jill Ellis with the TC’s Nicole M. LaVoi

The Tucker Center‘s 4th Annual, 2017 Women Coaches Symposium (WCS) co-hosted by The Alliance of Women Coaches and Gopher Athletics welcomed 350+ female coaches tothe DQ Room at the TCF Bank Stadium last Friday. Jill Ellis, US Women’s National Soccer Team Head Coach, keynoted the event, with presentations by 23 other standouts in coaching and sport science research. The WCS, brainchild of Tucker Center Co-director Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is the largest professional development, networking, and community building opportunity for women coaches at all levels and all sports in the country. The goal of the WCS is to recruit and retain women in coaching, as female athletes need and deserve same-sex role models.

Red & Black article cites Tucker Center and LaVoi’s research

The Tucker Center  and co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., are cited in a Red & Black online article, “Female head women’s basketball coaches in NCAA on the decline.” The article cites several sources in noting the decline but ends with an optimistic quote from Dr. LaVoi.

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.

 

 

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.”