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News from Baylor School of Education

March 7, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Faculty Member Serves as President of School Science and Mathematics Association [03/07/2019]

Suzanne Nesmith, Ph.D., is passionate about the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across the disciplines, and now she has taken that commitment to new heights. A science educator, associate professor and associate dean in the Baylor University School of Education, Nesmith is serving as president of the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA), a multi-disciplinary organization founded in 1901. Her two-year term as president runs until the fall of 2020.

SSMA brings together researchers and teachers to promote research, scholarship and practice to improve school science and mathematics and to advance the integration of school science and mathematics.

“The organization was multi-disciplinary very early in its history and is the oldest STEM organization in its addressing of more than one content area,” Nesmith said. “And that’s why it’s one of my favorite organizations and I get so much out of it, because we have individuals with expertise in different fields coming together and recognizing the value of looking at things from these different perspectives.”

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March 6, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Grad Wins Dissertation Award [03/06/2019]

Baylor School of Education graduate Dr. Neil Shanks, who will join the Baylor faculty in the fall, received the 2018 Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award from the National Council for the Social Studies. The award recognizes outstanding research completed in pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Shanks graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and in 2014 with a Master of Science in Education. He then completed his doctorate in social studies education at the University of Texas.

Previously, Shanks taught social studies at Waco High School. “My dissertation grew out of my frustrations with the way economics was presented in the Texas social studies standards and wanting to find a way for economics to be more relevant and meaningful to students,” Shanks said. This study specifically dealt with pre-service teachers – students who are getting ready to become social studies teachers – and how they felt about economics in relation to their purpose for teaching social studies. Continue Reading →

March 4, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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School Psychology for the 21st Century [03/04/2019]

By Dr. Julie Ivery
Centennial Faculty Guest Blog

Do you know what a school psychologist is? If so, you either are one, or you are friends with one. If not, don’t worry, because this is a question many people ask. We’re hoping this blog can help everyone better understand just some of the hundreds of roles a school psychologist fills!

School Psychology is a specialty of professional psychology that focuses on the science and practice of psychology with children and families, learners of all ages, and the schooling process. It also is consistently ranked as one of the best social service jobs in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.

READ MORE at Baylor.edu/SOE/100

February 12, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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National Bilingual Education Expert Dr. Maria Franquiz to Speak at Baylor [02/12/2019]

Maria Franquiz, Ph.D., a national expert on bilingual education and professor at the University of Utah College of Education, has chosen a Baylor University-related theme of “Illuminate” for her Feb. 19 campus lecture, “Illuminating the World Through the Gift of Bilingualism.”

“The theme to ‘Illuminate’ is beautiful. It allows us to see what is familiar while at the same time widening our seeing to what is unfamiliar. This broader view can offer new insights for becoming our best selves,” she said.

Franquiz will deliver the Centennial Lecture for the Baylor School of Education, co-sponsored by the Baylor Office of the Vice Provost for Research, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in Packard Auditorium (101) of the Marrs McLean Science Building, 1214 S. Fourth St., on the Baylor campus.

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January 29, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Celebrating 100 Percent — SOE Grads Ace Certification Exams Again [01/29/2019]

By Dr. Krys Goree
Centennial Faculty Guest Blog

While Baylor School of Education is celebrating 100 years, we have another important “100” to celebrate — a 100% pass rate on certification exams by Baylor School of Education graduates!

The Baylor School of Education is celebrating its Centennial year of preparing teachers to go into the field of education equipped to make a positive difference in the lives of children, communities, the nation, and our world. As we reflect on the rich history of the Baylor School of Education, we celebrate many accomplishments, and there are certainly many to celebrate. One is the amazing success of the Baylor School of Education graduates on the examinations required to become educators.

The Texas State Board of Educator Certification report for the 2017 – 2018 has recently been released. And, once again, teacher education graduates of the Baylor School of Education boast a 100% pass rate on the examinations that are required for preservice teachers to be recommended for certification – 100% for both the content and pedagogy Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) tests! This is the fifth year in a row that Baylor School of Education graduates can claim a 100% pass rate.

READ MORE at Baylor.edu/SOE/100

 

January 11, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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SOE Faculty Present Literacy Research [01/11/2019]

School of Education faculty members presented research at the 68th annual conference of the Literacy Research Association, a prominent national conference on literacy studies. The conference was held Nov. 8 – Dec. 1.

Dr. Kelly Johnston and Dr. Phil Nichols, both assistant professors in the Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction, presented several research sessions and served in other leadership roles.

Johnston served as chair of the paper session “The Power of Writing Places and Spaces.” Nichols served as organizer for two of the symposia that he presented papers in.

Nichols was also discussant for a session about integrating arts education, critical literacy and “making.” All of those session presentations were based on research from a specific arts-based workshop for teachers, and all participants were asked to read a research article that Nichols had written on the topic. Continue Reading →

January 2, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Launches Centennial Year [01/02/2019]

The year 2019 marks the 100th birthday of the Baylor School of Education as a separate academic unit at the University. During this year, numerous events and publications will celebrate the long commitment of Baylor University to K-12 as well as higher education and share a vision for the future.

To stay updated on all SOE Centennial news and learn more about our history, visit the Centennial website at baylor.edu/SOE/100 and follow the hashtag #baylorSOE100 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@baylorSOE). Continue Reading →

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 →