Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

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 15, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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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
by Baylor Instant Impact
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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 →

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 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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June 6, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Spring 2018 “Impact” is now Online [06/06/2018]

The Spring 2018 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs.

In this issue, you’ll find news of a prestigious national award and of a $2.5 million gift to the School, plus an inside look the SOE’s “Introduction to Teaching” class for first-year students, a faculty feature on Dr. Susan Johnsen, and news of publications in higher education studies — plus much, much more!

School of Education graduates should have received a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu. Also feel free to email us with any news that the School needs to know!

January 26, 2018
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Research Shows Impact of Human Trafficking Curriculum for High School Students [01/24/2018]


Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in Baylor School of Education, published research in the Journal of Human Trafficking showing that in-the-classroom curriculum can help ninth and tenth-graders identify human trafficking risks to themselves and to others while empowering them to advocate against trafficking.

The prevalence of human trafficking is on the rise. In Texas alone, researchers estimate that there are 313,000 human trafficking victims. As awareness campaigns increase such as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, celebrated in January, Baylor professors are studying ways educate and empower youth to address human trafficking in their communities.

Scott and SOE alumna Christina Crenshaw, Ph.D. ’13, recruited three high school social studies teachers at a Central Texas school to integrate a five-session curriculum that explores the history and development of human trafficking, challenges common perceptions of modern slavery, and shows students how they can be modern abolitionists. Scott and Crenshaw collected data through surveys and assessments of knowledge, both before and after the lessons, to determine student learning and understanding.

Read the full story HERE.

November 1, 2017
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Fall 2017 Issue of “Impact” is Online [11/01/2017]

The Fall 2017 issue of Baylor Impact is now available online. Check it out for stories about Baylor School of Education students, faculty, alumni and programs. In this issue, you’ll find statistics about the School’s outstanding faculty in the “Annual Update” section, leadership news, and important faculty accomplishments.

Don’t miss the cover story on the work of educational psychologists to improve student behavior in a local elementary school. A special web “Extra” provides a video profile of Rachel Vaughn, honored as the Texas Student Teacher of the Year. And if you enjoyed the alumni Q&A in the printed magazine, there are more exciting baseball insights on the website.

Read the issue at baylor.edu/SOE/impact.

School of Education graduates should receive a printed copy of Impact in the mail. If you are a graduate and did not receive a printed copy, please email BaylorImpact@baylor.edu.