Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

October 30, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Mission Trip Helps Costa Rican Student Enroll at Baylor [10/30/2018]

Bryan Lizano

Costa Rica freshman Bryan Lizano (second from left) is greeted at the Waco airport by Baylor faculty (l-r) Dr. Randy Wood, Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Debra Burleson.

Ten years ago, Bryan Lizano was a fifth-grade boy in Costa Rica, carefully watching a group of Baylor School of Education students completing mission work at Santa Elena School. He noticed how different these Baylor students were. It wasn’t just their accents and the slang they used. It was all the knowledge they shared about a university they loved. Lizano, a Nicaraguan refugee, liked the image of Baylor they showed by their service projects — painting the school’s walls, teaching, and developing relationships with the students.

Bryan Lizano

Bryan (back row, third from right) with the Baylor volunteers at Santa Elena School in March 2017.

As the idea of Baylor became more vivid each year the students came back, Lizano realized he wanted to become a Baylor student himself. Through support from Baylor students and professors, a dream became reality for Lizano, a freshman interested in studying computer sciences and the first graduate of his technical high school to attend a university in the U.S., with a full tuition scholarship to Baylor.

“Because we’ve know Bryan so long from the trips, he was always an active part of our activities; when he got here, it felt like he had already been a part of the Baylor family for years,” said Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor in the School of Education. “Our Costa Rica mission students helped him to understand what Baylor is and what we stand for. They saw what a tremendous young man he is.” Continue Reading →

October 29, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Civics Education Expert Comments on Sandra Day O’Connor’s Legacy, Inspiration [10/29/2018]

Brooke Blevins

Recently, the nation heard from former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, that she is officially stepping away from public life due to health reasons.

In her letter to the nation, O’Connor shared about her commitment to civics education and, specifically, the creation of iCivics – free online interactive games and curriculum designed to teach the core principles of civics to middle and high school students.

Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., serves as associate professor of social studies education and associate chair of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in Baylor’s School of Education. She and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction, conducted the first independent research study of iCivics effectiveness. Blevins and LeCompte also launched iEngage Summer Civics Institutewhich is supported by a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation. The researchers were honored by O’Connor for their research and commitment to iCivics and civics education.

READ DR. BLEVINS’ COMMENTS

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 →

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 →

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 . . . .

July 24, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Math Teachers Attend Three-Day Conference at Baylor [07/24/2018]

Keynote speaker Dr. Hiroko Kawaguchi Warshauer of Texas State

Baylor School of Education is welcoming 50 middle and secondary mathematics teachers from across Texas to the Mathematics Teacher Academy (MTA) on the Baylor campus July 24-26.

Teachers are coming from 26 schools, including districts in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas. This is the second year the SOE’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction has offered this professional development opportunity, which is co-directed by Dr. Trena Wilkerson, professor of secondary mathematics, and Dr. Rachelle Rogers, clinical associate professor of middle grades mathematics.

The theme of this year’s academy is “Supporting Students in Productive Struggle Across Mathematical Content Areas.” Continue Reading →

July 17, 2018
by cameron_bocanegra
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Follow-up Assessments Show early-intervention Program Improves Students’ early Math Skills [07/17/2018]

The Math for Early Learners Academy (MELA), now in its third year sponsored by the Baylor University School of Education, is underway through July 27 at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum, and research is showing that the summer early-intervention program serving early childhood students in Waco ISD is showing positive results.

Baylor faculty and graduate students have conducted follow-up math assessments of the students both of the previous years and found that the program is making a difference.

“After participating in MELA, students who were previously identified as being consistently below their peers in mathematics were found to be indistinguishable from their peers on a test of broad math ability,” said Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the department of curriculum and instruction and founder and director of MELA. “This suggests that participating in MELA enabled these students to not only make progress in math ability but also to close the gap between them and their peers.”

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July 12, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Welcomes Students from Valley Mills with Superhero Theme [07/12/2018]


The School of Education welcomed 50 students and seven teachers from the Valley Mills ISD (VMISD) After School Centers on Education (ACE) program to the Baylor University School of Education on Thursday, June 14. Dr. Tony L. Talbert and Dr. Sandra Talbert chose a superhero theme for the visit, inducting the students into the “Green and Gold Illuminate League” based on the students’ strong educational powers.

Katherine Argo, VMISD-ACE director, chose Baylor University as the group’s first summer field trip location and asked the Talberts to introduce her first- through sixth-grade students to the many educational opportunities they can choose for their futures.

The Talberts captured the VMISD-ACE students’ attention by telling them that they all have unique superpowers. Donning a red cape emblazoned with a golden “S,” Dr. Tony Talbert became the character of “Super Teacher” and asked the students, “How many of you can tell me your favorite superheroine and a superhero?”  Enthusiastically the students called out their favorite characters — Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Batgirl, Batman, Supergirl and Superman. Continue Reading →

July 3, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Doc Student Cara Cliburn Allen Wins Scholar Award for Food Insecurity Research [07/02/2018]

Doctoral student Cara Cliburn Allen received a Scholar Award for her work on food insecurity among college students.

Surviving on dry cereal and ramen can be typical for a surprising number of college students, even at Baylor. This realization led School of Education doctoral candidate Cara Cliburn Allen to focus her research in Higher Education Studies on food insecurity — the inability to access three nutritious meals a day.

Her passion and interest in “at-risk” student populations led to a recent $15,000 scholarship award from the P.E.O. Scholar Awards program, a merit-based award for women conducting research in a doctoral program, that she will use to further her study on how food insecurity shapes students’ identity formation. P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization), founded in 1869, is a philanthropic organization with more than 6,000 chapters dedicated to supporting higher education for women; celebrating the advancement of women; educating women through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans; and motivating women to achieve their highest aspirations. Continue Reading →