Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

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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February 11, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Senior Learns Research and Grad School Prep through Baylor McNair Scholars Program [02/11/2019]

Senior Olivia Moses presented her research on campus during the McNair Scholars Symposium last fall.

Many seniors feel the pressure of the unknown that inevitably comes as they anticipate life after college. For elementary education senior Olivia Moses, however, this pressure began to subside due to her involvement with the Baylor McNair Scholars Program.

Last fall, Moses was among Baylor’s first group of McNair Scholars, chosen after the program launched at Baylor. Over 150 other universities have the program, giving McNair students a broad network of resources and support.

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded program that helps low-income and first-generation undergraduates — as well as students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education — prepare for the path to doctoral degree programs through a variety of scholarly activities, including immersion in research with a mentor. The program also provides financial planning for graduate school success, summer research internships with stipends, and the opportunity to attend academic conferences.

Moses found her place in the McNair program as an elementary education major conducting research on media literacy. For her research project, Moses analyzed the animated movie Megamind with a group of students that were participants in Baylor School of Education’s Freedom School program last summer. “The basic question is, ‘What experience do 10-11-year-olds have with analyzing and pulling out themes, and making media messages?’” Moses said. Megamind proved to be an interesting movie to work with, because the main character is a villain, rather than a hero. “There are a lot of topsy-turvy moments between good and evil, so I really wanted them to tackle that.” Continue Reading →

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 →

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.

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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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