Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

October 18, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor TAIR Conference Hosted Almost 900 Teachers [10/18/2018]

Baylor TAIR Conference co-directors Margaret Thomson (left) and Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy

Baylor School of Education hosted educators from dozens of school districts for the annual Baylor TAIR (Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading) Regional Conference on Oct. 1 and 2. Almost 900 educators gathered at the Region 12 Education Service Center for three different grade-level based conferences. Attendees shared knowledge and skills with each other while gaining unique insight from a variety of national speakers.

TAIR President Margaret Thomson, senior lecturer in the School of Education, says her favorite part of being involved with this conference has been getting to know educators from all over the region that have the same interests as she does. “Every year you can get new ideas and get re-energized,” Thomson said. “This conference is for educators all across the board, because I think the best teachers keep getting professional development — they keep updating their skills.” Continue Reading →

October 15, 2018
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EnAbled Grant Renewed by AT&T Foundation [10/16/2018]

AT&T Foundation

Pictured at the presentation of the grant award are student mentors with AT&T Foundation and Baylor representatives. Front L-R: Dr. Tamara Hodges, Becca Waits, Deborah Keel of the AT&T Foundation, Stephanie Fritz, Chris Krause of Baylor Development. Back L-R: Kelsey McCarty, Brenda Davis, Ally Yturralde, Felicity Frost

Baylor School of Education’s EnAbled for College project recently received a $75,000 renewal grant from the AT&T Foundation. The mentoring program increases marginalized high school students’ likeliness of choosing higher education by covering topics ranging from completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to how to talk to a professor.

The program began with graduate students from the Department of Educational Psychology mentoring 52 disabled, at-risk or low socioeconomic status high school students through the process of reaching higher education. Since 2014, the program has served more than 150 students in McLennan County in Central Texas. Of those students, 71 percent were from low socioeconomic homes, 48 percent had a disability, and 74 percent were first generation students. With the help of the EnAbled program, 97 percent of the participants were accepted into college. Continue Reading →

October 2, 2018
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Dissertation Project Will Immerse Students in a VR Experience [10/02/2018]

School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner at Armstrong-Browning Library

Imagine, for just a moment, that you are sitting at the desk of your favorite author, walking through the halls of her home, gazing out of the same windows. You can begin to understand who she was as an individual and the circumstances that made her who she was. That deep level of understanding and appreciation of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning is the goal for Baylor School of Education doctoral student Amanda Gardner’s interactive video dissertation project.

“Location and zeitgeist help us understand what we’re reading and what we’re experiencing,” Gardner said. “I can’t take a class of students to those unique places, but I can bring a 360 experience to them.”

360-degree film creates a final product in which the viewer can see the entire room in 360 degrees. GoPro’s Odyssey was used for this film.

After learning about 360º film technology, known as Cinematic Virtual Reality (CVR) in a Baylor Film and Digital Media course, Gardner became interested in its implications for high school English classroom learning. Dr. Gretchen Schwarz, her dissertation chair and an authority in media literacy, supported Gardner in combining her new interest in CVR technology with her passion for English to study the impact of the new and potentially appealing platform.

“I think Amanda is very creative,” Schwarz said. “What’s amazing is that this is just the beginning of her study, and hopefully it will be an engaging way for students to interact with the author and with the literature.” Continue Reading →

September 24, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE’s Dr. Lakia Scott Receives Diversity Award

Ms. Haynes, Dr. Scott

Dr. Lakia Scott (right) receives the Baylor Diversity Enhancement Award from Eloisa Haynes, chair of the Campus Diversity Committee.

Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, received the 2018 Baylor Diversity Enhancement Award, presented at a reception in the President’s Suite of McLane Stadium on Sept. 6.

In presenting the award, Eloisa Haynes, assistant director of advancement services and chair of the Campus Diversity Committee, said the award “recognizes the efforts of one individual within the Baylor community who actively strengthens and promotes respect for diversity through innovative leadership and service or through practices and programs designed to enhance a climate of understanding and respect throughout the campus community.”

She said the committee singled out Scott for her efforts in promoting the recruitment and retention of first-generation college students; serving as advisor to the multicultural student organization ROOTS; mentoring young women of color; establishing a reputation for being empathetic and supportive of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds; and focusing her research on multicultural awareness, diversity practices and urban literacy.” Continue Reading →

September 17, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Faculty Searches Underway [09/17/2018]

Baylor School of Education has launched searches for five faculty positions within all three departments of the School for tenured and clinical positions that will begin in August of 2019.

Baylor’s School of Education, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. With 50 full-time faculty members, the School’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring.

All faculty searches are listed here: 2019 Faculty Positions
Continue Reading →

August 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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LRC Hosts Grand Re-Opening to Showcase Grant-funded Upgrades [08/29/2018]

Students use the new collaboration space with interactive display and white boards.

Baylor School of Education’s Learning Resources Center (LRC) underwent a renovation this summer and is hosting a grand re-opening Thursday, Sept. 6, from 3-4 p.m. The LRC has changed a lot, thanks to a grant of $100,000 from an anonymous donor. During the grand re-opening, the LRC and Media Center will showcase the renovations, give away door prizes, and provide refreshments in the LRC.

A survey last year found that School of Education students needed more resources for collaboration and conference-style studying. When Pam Voyles, Librarian and Director of the Learning Resources Center, joined the SOE team in March of 2018, she jumped wholeheartedly into the makeover to ensure students have a modern and comfortable space to work.

“Over the past six months, we’ve touched every book in the library,” Voyles said. “We’re weeding out what we don’t need, ordering what we do, and logging everything online so students can find exactly what they need,” Voyles said. “We’ve also upgraded the details like installing bright lettering, so students can find the right areas they need quickly, and making sure there are enough electrical outlets in the tables for laptops.” Continue Reading →

August 13, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor to Host September Showing of Public Education Documentary BACKPACK FULL OF CASH [08/13/2018]

Baylor University School of Education and Baylor Movie Mondays, a program of Baylor’s Department of Student Activities, will host a showing of the documentary BACKPACK FULL OF CASH, narrated by Matt Damon and billed as “a film exploring the real cost of privatizing America’s public schools.”

The movie will show at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, in the SBC Theatre of the Mayborn Museum Complex. It is free and open to the public.

After the film, an expert panel of education leaders will discuss the film and how the issues explored in it apply to Waco-area schools.

Panelists include:

  • Marcus Nelson, superintendentWaco ISD
  • Bonnie Lesley, co-founder, Texas Kids Can’t Wait
  • Matthew Polk, executive director, Prosper Waco
  • Alexis Neumann, superintendent, Rapoport Academy Public School
  • Erin Wolfe, director of communication, Harmony Public Schools

For those unable to attend on Monday, a second showing will be offered on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in Packard Auditorium (Room 101) of Marrs McLean Science Building on the Baylor campus. Following the Tuesday showing, Talbert will facilitate a discussion of the issues and their impact for educators and preK-12 students. Continue Reading →

August 9, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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First-Year Teacher Reflections: How Did our 2017 Grads Do? [08/09/2018]

The Baylor School of Education prepares graduates for the classroom through rigorous coursework as well as intense faculty-guided field experiences. But how did the 2017 grads really do in their own classrooms? Read the reflections of five graduates after their first year of teaching. (BTW, job placement for our May 2017 BSEd graduates seeking teaching positions was 100 percent!)

Trevor Taylor, BSEd ’17
High School English
Wagner High School, Judson ISD

“A week (literally seven days) after crossing the stage and becoming a Baylor alum, I was offered my dream job of being a high school English teacher at Wagner High School in San Antonio. Many of us hope to make a difference in the world around us. We strive to leave a legacy. We desire to leave the world a better place than the way we found it. I felt called to pursue this mission in the community that raised me, so there was no better place for me to begin my career as a world changer than in the exact same halls that I walked as a high school student.” Continue Reading →

August 8, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Center for Christian Education Welcomes Executive Director [08/08/2018]

Dr. Matt Thomas joined the Baylor School of Education (SOE) on Aug. 1 as executive director of the SOE’s Center for Christian Education. Founded in 1985, the CCE is dedicated to advancing evidence-based approaches to educational improvement and values-driven leadership through a range of programming and resources.

SOE Interim Dean Dr. Terrill Saxon said the center will undergo an expansion as the result of a significant gift to the SOE from Lynda, BSEd ’79 (MA ’85 in education from Texas Wesleyan College), and Robert, BBA ’80, MPA ’81, Copple of Frisco, and this appointment is an important first step in realizing an ambitious agenda for the center’s future.

“Matt’s background in Christian education and his commitment to the training of strong Christian leaders make him a perfect fit for the expanded role of the SOE’s Center for Christian Education,” Saxon said. “His expertise will launch a new era for the center and help shape its future.”

Thomas comes to Baylor from a position in California, where he served as executive director of a national radio ministry broadcasting on more than 600 stations. For more than 20 years, he has served in various roles within Christian schools, seminaries and Christian higher education institutions. His experience includes a stint as head principal of a diverse Christian school in Southern California. Continue Reading →

July 27, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Annual iEngage Civics Education Camp will Focus on Civil Engagement & Building Consensus [07/27/2018]

Rep. Bill Flores talks to iEngage summer campers.

One hundred fifth- through ninth-graders will learn about civics and how to be engaged, active citizens during the annual Baylor University iEngage Summer Civics Institute July 30-Aug. 3 on the Baylor campus. The camp, in its sixth year, is hosted by Baylor School of Education through a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

The iEngage camp’s curriculum teaches children about civic action and political participation, as they meet local civic leaders and elected officials before developing an action plan for civic change. During the weeklong camp, they learn about the structure of government and other civic-related topics by playing digital games on www.iCivics.org, a free online website founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that teaches civics concepts using educational games.

iEngage is directed by education faculty members and camp co-founders Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction, and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

This year’s iEngage will focus on civil discourse and engagement as a means to build consensus, the co-founders said. Students will divide into groups, and each student will advocate for the community issue that they would like the group to address. Then the group must come to a consensus.

READ MORE . . . .