Instant Impact

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:

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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 21, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Impact LLC Welcomes New Program Director [08/21/2019]

Ryan W. Erck, new Program Director for Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC), wants to make sure that students in the LLC have the kind of community experience that he missed out on when he was a college freshman. Impact LLC, which is a partner of the School of Education, is located in South Russell Hall and is home to 240 Baylor students, both male and female.

Erck said, “Impact LLC creates cohesive spaces for students to have very meaningful interactions with faculty, staff and peers. Residential learning communities embody an experience that provides many campus amenities in one place. Impact LLC reflects the larger campus culture, but on a micro-scale — encompassing things like study areas, fitness spaces, technology areas and classrooms.”

As a college freshman, Erck chose to hold down a job while attending school and didn’t take advantage of a residential community, he said. He earned his BS in Leadership and Development and his MS in Educational Human Resource Development, both from Texas A&M University. Erck is now a doctoral candidate pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Studies and Leadership in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. Despite these obvious accomplishments, Erck said that his chances for success would have been better if he had lived in an intentional community during his early college experience, and he suggests that students look for this kind of experience when exploring housing options during the college application process. Continue Reading →

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.

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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.

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July 8, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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An American Intern in Paris [07/08/2019]

Rachel Renbarger, an educational psychology doctoral student at Baylor, is in the midst of a six-month data-analysis internship in Paris with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The OECD offers many internships — 40 in education alone. However, Renbarger was the only intern selected as a data analyst for the study on social and emotional skills. “Day to day, I’ll be doing a lot of teamwork and a lot of collaboration,” Renbarger said.

During her time working on the study, the main focus is on field data – working to make sure that everything is set to run smoothly later in the study. “I think it’s going to be really great to collaborate with people who are from outside the U.S., because I haven’t done that before,” Renbarger said. 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.

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June 26, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor’s Center for Christian Education Announces Inaugural Holder of Chair in Christian School Leadership [06/26/2019]

Eckert

Dr. Jon Eckert speaking at the inaugural Academy for Transformational Leadership, hosted by the Baylor Center for Christian Education

Baylor University today announced the installation of Jon Eckert, Ed.D., as the inaugural holder of The Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within the School of Education. The installation was part of The Academy for Transformational Leadership, a continuing education and leadership training conference hosted by Baylor’s Center for Christian Education.

The newly established chair was made possible through a gift from Lynda and Robert Copple of Frisco. The Copples are long-time supporters of Baylor University and members of the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light, Baylor’s recently announced $1.1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign.

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June 24, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor Freedom Schools Helping to Prevent Summer Learning Loss in Waco Students [06/24/2019]

Baylor’s third annual Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program has launched at Indian Spring Middle School and J.H. Hines Elementary School, both in-district charters through the Transformation Waco initiative of Waco ISD. The program will serve more than 170 students, providing quality literacy enrichment from June 12 – July 26. The program is free to students and includes field trips, special guests and meals.

Freedom Schools literacy program exposes students to culturally relevant books for maximum student engagement and the prevention of summer learning loss. Freedom Schools also offers curriculum in social action, character building and STEAM activities. Freedom Schools students, called “scholars,” will participate in community service and create a project for the National Day of Social Action focusing on gun violence and awareness.

Dr. Lakia Scott with Freedom School scholars

Lakia M. Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education and executive director of Baylor’s Freedom School, said the program has successfully  prevented summer learning loss in participants. For 2018 participants, who were middle school students only, 100 percent either improved (80 percent) or maintained (20 percent) in independent in-text word recognition skills. And 94 percent of scholars increased or maintained comprehension, based on independent questioning, with 77 percent increasing and 17 percent maintaining. Continue Reading →

June 18, 2019
by Baylor Instant Impact
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Baylor SOE Hosts Institute for Graduates who are Early-Career Elementary Teachers [06/18/2019]

Boe Classroom

Early-career teachers who are Baylor SOE graduates will be back on campus June 21-22 for professional development. When they share stories from their first-year teaching adventures, the alumna who set up this classroom will have a tale to tell. She had only been a teacher for seven days when her first classroom was lost to Hurricane Harvey.*

More than 20 elementary classroom teachers who are recent graduates of Baylor School of Education (SOE) will be on campus June 21 – 22 for the inaugural Baylor Beginning Teacher Institute (BBTI).

The free professional development opportunity is offered as a benefit for Baylor graduates who are current elementary teachers and who earned degrees in general education, elementary education, special education, or gifted-and-talented programs in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Only limited spots were available for the institute’s first year, and the program will expand to secondary graduates for 2020.

By supporting early-career teachers, Baylor SOE hopes to improve retention in the teaching profession, said Dr. Barbara Purdum-Cassidy, clinical professor and coordinator of the School of Education’s elementary education program, the School’s largest major. Continue Reading →