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News from Baylor School of Education

October 10, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Insights into Hispanic Heritage Month from our Bilingual Education Faculty [10/10/2019]

Dr. Lupita Lang is pictured in her office with a wall hanging of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo! Lang appreciates Kahlo because of her intensity. “Frida poured passion into what she wrote, what she painted, how she lived, and her relationships with others. I think of her as someone who burned the candle at both ends,” Lang said.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we sought some insights on the occasion from new faculty member Dr. Lupita Lang, who is assistant professor of bilingual education.

Lang does not typically describe herself as Hispanic or Latina, although she is both. She prefers the specificity of “Mexican,” because she was born and raised in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México, just across the Texas border. She joined the Baylor School of Education in August, after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her PhD.

Five commonly misunderstood facts about Hispanic Heritage:

Continue Reading →

October 3, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Two Alumni Honored by Baylor School of Education with Centennial Awards [10/03/2019]

Dr. Robert Duron and Ashley Minton were honored with Centennial Awards.

The Baylor University School of Education honored two alumni with awards in conjunction with the School’s yearlong Centennial celebration during 2019.

Current or former students, faculty, staff and SOE partners submitted nominations for the Centennial Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards, choosing educators whose work makes significant, observable changes in the lives of others and exemplifies the Christian mission and practices of the SOE. The honorees were recognized Sept. 27 at a banquet for donors and scholarship recipients.

Baylor graduate and Waco native Robert Duron, EdD ’00, received the School of Education’s Centennial Outstanding Alumni Award, and Ashley Minton, BSEd ’07, MSEd ’08, received the Centennial Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Duron has 32 years of public education experience and has held significant leadership roles. He is currently the Associate Executive Director of Governance Services for the Texas Association of School Boards, which provides training, consulting services, productivity tools, research, and direct support to school districts and school board members. Previously, Duron served as superintendent of the San Antonio and Socorro (El Paso) Independent School Districts and then as Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration for the Texas Education Agency.

Minton, a native of Jacksonville, Texas, is the new principal of Canyon Ranch Elementary School in Coppell ISD, which opened its doors August 14, 2019. She earned her BSEd in Elementary Education with a specialization in Gifted and Talented education. After graduation, she immediately began work on her master’s in Educational Psychology, also at Baylor, graduating in 2008. Continue Reading →

September 19, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Dr. Janet Bagby Elected to American Montessori Society Board of Directors [09/19/2019]

Janet Bagby, Ph.D., senior lecturer of educational psychology in the Baylor University School of Education, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Montessori Society (AMS). Board members are elected by a vote of the group’s members, which number 14,700 individuals and 1,520 schools and span 70 countries. Bagby took office in July for a term that will extend until July of 2022.

“I strongly believe in the Montessori philosophy and in the important work of AMS to support and promote quality opportunities for all children to learn,” Bagby said.

READ MORE on the Baylor Media site.

September 17, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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School of Education History Exhibit Open at Mayborn [09/17/2019]

SOE Centennial Exhibit at the Mayborn Museum

A public exhibit outlining the history of the Baylor School Education is on display through December as part of the SOE’s year-long Centennial celebration.

The exhibit is located at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, in Waco, immediately to the right inside the Mayborn’s front door. The display is available for visitors to browse during regular museum hours.

“I really enjoyed diving into the rich history of the School of Education,” said Museum Studies and Curriculum & Instruction graduate student Meg Tucker, who curated the exhibit. “I am impressed by the School’s resilience and continued dedication to excellence. It was an exciting challenge to use my background in education and museum studies to help curate this exhibit. It was powerful to read about and see pictures of education students and professors working at Baylor more than one hundred years ago.”

Among other things, the exhibit features artifacts specific to SOE history along with items from partner Professional Development Schools in Waco and Midway ISDs. A World War I uniform from Fred M. Hale is also on display. Hale and his wife, Edith, were the first donors to make a gift of $1 million to the SOE.

The exhibit also features vintage photographs, including some by famed Waco photographer Fred Gildersleeve, which outline the evolution of the SOE from its creation in 1919 to where it is today. More current exhibited items include research from SOE faculty members and displays that speak to the SOE’s commitment to research, community service, study abroad, and faith. Continue Reading →

August 8, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Fun Facts About the Number 100 [08/08/2019]

By Dr. Trena Wilkerson, Dr. Rachelle Rogers and Dr. Sandi Cooper (l-r)
Centennial Faculty Guest Blog

If you want to explore the many meanings of the number 100 as we celebrate our Centennial, whom better to ask than Baylor SOE’s mathematics educators? They explore some well-known and not-so-well-known facts about 100. Enjoy the number fun and see if you can think of even more facts about the number 100!


Mathematics educators see mathematics in everything they do and everywhere they go! This may seem strange, but if you look for it, you can have your own “mathematical encounters” in most everything you do! As we celebrate 100 years of the School of Education, we pause to think about the number 100 and would like to share some fun facts.

There are some well-known facts about 100:

  • There are 100 years in a century.
  • On the Celsius scale, 100 degrees is the boiling temperature of water.
  • The United States Senate has 100 Senators.
  • There are 100 yards in an American football field.
  • 100 is a perfect square number and its square root is 10.
  • 100 is the basis of percentages (“per cent” meaning “per hundred” in Latin), with 100 percent being a full amount.
  • There are 100 pennies in one dollar.

Did you know these facts about 100?

  • “C” is the Roman numeral for 100. “C” comes from the word Latin word centrum.
  • A person who lives to be 100 is called a centenarian.
  • The sum of the first nine (9) prime numbers is 100.
  • The sum of the first 10 odd numbers equals 100.
  • There are 100 letter tiles in a Scrabble game.
    . . .

KEEP READING at baylor.edu/SOE/100

August 2, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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iEngage Civics Camp Builds Students’ Civic Knowledge [08/02/2019]

Students work on their civics project, guided by an iEngage counselor.

With civics education largely disappearing from school curricula, in 2009, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor decided to address the issue by founding iCivics, a free online website that teaches civics concepts using educational games. The retired Justice’s vision for civics education has expanded over the years at Baylor University through the iEngage Summer Civics Institute.

From Aug. 5-9, 100 fifth- through ninth-grade students will learn about civics at the annual summer camp hosted by the Baylor School of Education through a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

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

READ MORE . . .

July 29, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Educators from Costa Rica Visit Baylor [07/29/2019]

Teacher education students from Costa Rica visited the Baylor MELA (Mathematics for Early Learners Academy) program to observe teaching methods.

Education professors and students from the National University of Costa Rica (NUCR) spent three weeks at the Baylor School of Education (SOE) this summer, under the guidance of senior lecturer Rick Strot. For nearly fifteen years, Strot has led Baylor SOE students to Costa Rica to study methods of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and complete service projects.

“As a result of the Baylor in Costa Rica program, this group has taken an initiative to visit us for the first time, thanks to a year of hard work with visas, passports, and all the small details that brought them here,” Strot said. “I’m so happy they made the trip to visit our programs, tour our professional development schools, see this beautiful campus, and experience the arrangments we have for our students.” Continue Reading →

July 23, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Beginning Teacher Institute Provides Professional Development, Creates Community [07/22/2019]

Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy, clinical assistant professor and director of the Beginning Teacher Institute, greets the graduates.

Second-grade teacher Katelyn Hamilton described her first year of teaching as a “complete whirlwind.”

“When you work with kids there are no dull moments, and being a new teacher is like dodging 100 baseballs at once while being blindfolded,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s avoiding someone’s puke or bathroom accident, comforting a crying student during your class yearbook photo or chasing a rogue child around the school in your favorite pair of shoes, each day is an adventure. But for every challenging moment I encountered, it was all worth it for the spontaneous hugs, the strange knock-knock jokes, the handmade cards and the ‘aha’ moments that all teachers love. For every hard moment, there was a moment of clarity.”

Baylor School of Education’s inaugural Beginning Teacher Institute brought early-career teachers like Hamilton together for two days in June to provide development and training while connecting them with other educators and friends who are in the beginning stages of their careers.

READ MORE . . .

July 15, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Let’s Talk About Math: 2019 Mathematics Teacher Academy Focused on Mathematical Discourse in the Classroom [07/15/2019]

2019 Mathematics Teacher Academy

Baylor School of Education’s Mathematics Teacher Academy (MTA) gathered over 50 Texas secondary and middle school teachers on June 25-27 to talk about . . . talking about math. This year’s theme was “mathematical discourse,” the conversation about mathematics in the classroom that empowers student learning.

MTA, now in its third year, included nationally known speakers and hands-on workshops, enabling the professional educators to share discourse-based planning and instruction techniques. Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Rachelle Rogers, faculty in Baylor SOE’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, co-chaired MTA. Continue Reading →

July 3, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Research-proven Early-intervention Math Program Launches for 2019 [07/03/2019]

Dr. Sandi Cooper, professor and MELA director, with students

Baylor’s Mathematics for Early Learners Academy (MELA) launched its fourth summer of math intervention for struggling young students on Monday, July 1. The program has proven effective in helping pre-K and kindergarten students who were identified as below level in mathematics to achieve and exceed grade level in their mathematics skills.

Founded in 2016 by the Baylor School of Education and Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education, the program is expanding this year, with 80 students from La Vega ISD and Waco ISD — 36 who just completed pre-K and 44 who just completed kindergarten. MELA 2019 is funded by a $74,000 grant from Waco’s Cooper Foundation. The partner school districts also provide significant support, including bus transportation and para-professional staff during MELA.

READ MORE . . .