Instant Impact

News from Baylor School of Education

October 2, 2015
by Baylor Instant Impact

Carrying on Connections: From Third Grader to BU Grad Assistant [10/02/2015]


Dr. Suzanne Nesmith and graduate assistant Evan Ditmore

Baylor is a small world where everybody knows someone. But most people do not get to reunite with their elementary school teacher.

Evan Ditmore came to Baylor this fall as a graduate student and research assistant in the School of Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in language arts. He knew he would be placed with a professor. He also knew that his former third grade teacher, Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, now held a position as associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Now Ditmore and Nesmith are reunited. They flow back and forth between reminiscing about their shared third-grade past (1997-98) and working together as graduate assistant and mentor, reconnecting at Baylor after following varied paths. Continue Reading →

September 8, 2015
by Baylor Instant Impact

Summer Ride to Freedom [09/08/2015]

Lakia Scott

Dr. Lakia Scott reads to students at Fort Worth’s CDF Freedom School at Community Missionary Baptist Church

A summer sabbatical studying local and statewide trends in urban literacy sparked a new goal for Dr. Lakia Scott. As an assistant professor in the Baylor School of Education, Scott set out to examine program models that could benefit Texas elementary students who struggle in reading achievement.

“In addition to conducting research on various school districts, types of schooling, and other programs in the nation, I found that the Freedom Schools Program, sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), were widely known in some areas, but less popular in others,” she said. “So I dedicated my field research to learning from program directors, site coordinators, teachers and students from various sites in Texas.” Continue Reading →

August 11, 2015
by Baylor Instant Impact

Summer School for Faculty [08/11/2015]



Learning doesn’t stop in the summer — not for Baylor School of Education faculty. While many were teaching, researching, writing and traveling, two SOE faculty members also attended Baylor’s Summer Faculty Institute.

Dr. Brooke Blevins and Dr. Randy Wood spent five weeks in the popular program, conversing with faculty from across campus about teaching, research, service and collegiality. Continue Reading →

July 29, 2015
by Baylor Instant Impact

Baylor Civics Engagement Camp Offers Multi-faceted Learning [07/29/2015]


More than 120 fifth- through ninth-graders are learning about civics and providing a rich resource for Baylor faculty research during the annual Baylor University iEngage Summer Civics Institute. Running from Aug. 3-7, the camp is hosted by 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., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction. Their work began with research and implementation of iCivics in Midway and Waco Independent School Districts. iCivics is a free online website founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that teaches civics concepts using educational games. Read more . . . .


March 17, 2015
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE Grad Programs Ranked by U.S. News [3/17/2015]


Baylor School of Education is one of only three Texas schools in the top 100 of the newly released list of 2016 Best Graduate Schools of Education from U.S. News.

Baylor School of Education advanced to No. 83, up nine places from its last ranking in 2014. To determine the rankings, U.S. News surveyed graduate education programs at 357 schools granting doctoral degrees in fall 2014. Continue Reading →

October 17, 2014
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE Grad Wins AATC Honor for Dissertation [10/17/2014]

Meehan-MediaPictureWebStoryBaylor School of Education graduate Dr. Jessica Meehan won the 2014 John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award in Teaching from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) for her work done in the School of Education.

Meehan’s dissertation, Castañeda v. Pickard, The Struggle for an Equitable Education: One Family’s Experience with Resistance, focuses on the 1978 trial and 1981 appeal of Roy Castañeda’s case against the Raymondville Independent School District alleging racial segregation in the classroom and a lack of proper English Language Learner programs for his children to succeed in school. Continue Reading →

October 13, 2014
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE Hosts Annual GT Conference for Educators [10/13/2014]


Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska was one of the major speakers at the GT Conference.

Making small changes in the classroom for gifted learners was the focus of the annual Fall GT Conference in Gifted Education.

Baylor University School of Education’s Center for Community Learning and Enrichment hosted the conference on Saturday, Oct. 4, in the Cashion Academic Center on the Baylor campus. More than 190 educators, administrators, and students attended the event. The conference featured local and national speakers in the field of gifted education. Continue Reading →

May 5, 2014
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE “Connecting Content” Project Featured on Waco PD Website [5/05/2014]

Hillcrest-WacoPD-ThumbThe Waco Police Department is featuring a School of Education project on its website.

SOE junior Sarah Wilkins led her third-grade small group at Hillcrest PDS in Waco ISD through a curriculum called Connecting Content, and their final project got the attention of the Waco Police Department.

Through Connecting Content, students identify a social issue they want to improve, and the Baylor juniors, who are Teaching Associates (TAs) on the campuses, lead them in researching and addressing the issue.

Wilkins’ group tackled the problem of bullying, and Wilkins invited Waco police officers Sofie Martinez and Steve Dieterich to visit the class and give an anti-bullying presentation. Now the third-graders’ anti-bullying posters are featured on the Waco Police Department’s web page on “Crime Prevention Tips.”
Continue Reading →

April 8, 2014
by Baylor Instant Impact

Baylor SOE Students and Programs Receive Statewide Recognition [4/8/2014]

QuestQualityLogo-ThumbFive students and three programs in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) received statewide recognition from Quest for Quality. A collaboration between CREATE and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Quest for Quality identifies exemplary teacher candidates and exceptional practices in university-based teacher-preparation programs.

Recognitions announced this spring for Baylor SOE included five teacher candidates, a field-based instructional practice, an individual faculty practice and a K-12 partnership, covering every Quest for Quality recognition category. Nominations were sent to Quest for Quality in the fall and announced this semester. Continue Reading →

April 3, 2014
by Baylor Instant Impact

SOE Seniors Try to Solve Real-Life Teaching Problems Through Research [4/3/2014]

ActionResearch-ThumbnailWhich is better for learning — small groups or full-classroom instruction? Does individual teacher attention really improve a struggling student’s reading? How do you get rambunctious boys to behave? Those were just a few of the questions that Baylor School of Education (SOE) seniors tackled as part of the 2014 Action Research Symposium. After designing and implementing research projects in the classrooms where they are teaching as full-time interns, one hundred Baylor seniors presented their findings on April 1. The teaching interns worked with mentor teachers in their classrooms to develop and implement the research, and many of those mentors were on hand at the Symposium, along with school principals and the superintendents from area districts. Continue Reading →