Dr. Terry James, professor and chair of the Department of Leadership Studies, was honored in February as the 2012 recipient of the Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Member. The award was the highlight of the Awards Banquet at the annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators held in San Antonio, Texas.
The ATE Distinguished Member exemplifies the best of teacher education in this nation, which includes outstanding contributions to the association; outstanding contributions to teacher education; and professional, academic, and ethical standards. Annually, ATE members nominate colleagues who are members of the association to be considered for the Distinguished Member award. The ATE Honors and Awards Committee members review the nominees and determine the final selectee, then the ATE Delegate Assembly votes on the selection, reflecting the endorsement of the entire membership. This award is the only one voted upon by the Delegate Assembly.
James has been a dedicated member and leader of ATE for more than 40 years. Through his many contributions, James has engaged the membership in critical conversations addressing the challenges in education and helped orchestrate vital changes that have advanced ATE. He has served on governance committees, tasks forces, and research commissions. Plus, he has served as Chair of many conference planning committees. James has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the association. Additionally, he has served as President of both the Tennessee and Arkansas ATE state units as well as the Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators. Many new ATE members were recruited and/or mentored by Terry James reflected by the strong membership represented by UCA faculty.
James earned all of his degrees in higher education at the University of Missouri including a B.S.E. in social studies and American history, an M.Ed. in secondary education, and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction with concentrations in social studies education and school administration. He began his career in teacher education in 1969 as a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Columbia Laboratory School as a teacher and supervisor of student teachers. He joined the faculty at Westmar College in Iowa in 1973 where he taught, directed the student teaching program, and helped redesign the teacher education program. In 1977, he joined the University of Memphis as Director of Professional Laboratory Experiences and later became the Director of the Office of Student Services. In 1991, he joined the University of Central Arkansas and has served several faculty and administrative roles in the College of Education and Academic Affairs. In 2005, he became the founding chair of the Department of Leadership Studies.
James is the first ATE member from Arkansas to receive the Association of Teacher Educators Distinguished Member award.
“I am honored and humbled to be nominated and selected for this award. The Association of Teacher Educators has been my professional association of choice,” he said. “My involvement with ATE has deepened my knowledge and understanding of teacher education, given me opportunities to contribute to my chosen profession at local, state, and national levels, and allowed me to benefit from the mentoring and expertise of the nation’s most outstanding teacher education practitioners and researchers. Hopefully, I have been able to pass forward some of the lessons learned to students and colleagues who will continue to advocate for strong teacher preparation as a key to our nation’s future. I am deeply appreciative for the support and opportunities that the University of Central Arkansas has provided me for the past two decades. I am equally appreciative for the contributions of others who helped make this journey possible: my family, teachers, professors, and colleagues who always supported me.”
Founded in 1920, the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) is an individual membership organization devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education both for P-12 school-based and post secondary teacher educators. ATE members represent over 700 colleges and universities, over 500 major school systems, and the majority of state departments of education.
Shoudong Feng Makes Two Presentations and Guides Graduate Students
Shoudong Feng, associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood/Special Education, has shared his research at one regional and one UCA presentation and he guided two graduate students with their presentations during the 2011 fall semester. At the Mid-South Educational Research Association (MSERA) annual regional conference held in Oxford, TN, Feng presented a session titled, “How Do Struggling Readers Read on iPads?” His research focused on ways struggling readers behave when they read on iPads. Feng’s research revealed that struggling readers demonstrated more motivation and interest in reading, interacted more with the book, needed more monitoring in staying focused and comprehending the book.
On the UCA campus, Feng was invited to present an IDC Workshop to interested faculty titled, “Balancing Teaching, Research, and Service.” His key points were based on his experiences as tenure-track faculty at UCA and are helpful as new faculty navigate their journeys toward candidacy for tenure and promotion.
At the Arkansas Reading Association’s annual state conference held in Little Rock, AR, Feng guided the research methodologies and professional presentations of two graduate students. The graduate students conducted research in their classrooms based on their own research designs, literature reviews, data collections, data analyses, and findings summaries. One graduate student researched the impact of parental support on Kindergarten students’ early literacy achievements; the other graduate student researched the reading behaviors of students’ parents. Both graduate students have submitted their papers for possible publication.
“Making a Difference in Children’s Lives from Conway to Kitale “encapsulates a growing theme among the faculty and teacher candidates in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education. For four years, third- and fourth-grade students at Woodrow Cummins Elementary School and Conway School District were introduced to children from Kipsongo Slum, Kitale, and Kenya through photographs and stories. To help the children in Kitale, the students at Cummins Elementary School began the Chicken Dance Marathon raising $7,000 to help build a chicken coop to sustain support for an orphanage, feeding center, and school.”
Chicken Dance Marathons, held in Conway Schools, have raised a total of $34,000 to help the families in Kitale build chicken coops, purchase egg-laying chickens and broilers, and change lives in their community. Schools in England and Guy-Perkins have joined in this service learning educational strategy. Chicken Dance Marathons are spreading across the U.S. The community of Vail,Colorado, has planned a community-wide marathon in the early part of May.
Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton Department of Public Service added, “The accomplishments of this partnership are minutes away from 60 Minutes.”
The fourth annual Chicken Dance Marathon is scheduled for May for schools in Conway, England, and Guy-Perkins. This unique partnership among the Conway School District, University of Central Arkansas, Chick-fil-A, and the Chicks for Children Foundation is making a difference on the children in Kitale along with the lives of UCA teacher ECSE candidates.
“Service-Learning is a form of experiential education in which candidates engage in activities that address human and community needs at the local and/or global levels together with structured opportunities for reflection, all designed to achieve desired learning outcomes,” according to Dr. Rene Crow, assistant professor in ECSE.
Dr. Mark Cooper, professor in ECSE, states ” we are determined to prepare teacher candidates at UCA to use service-learning as a teaching strategy in public schools to help students not only learn the common core state standards but also to contribute to the health of local and global communities.”
College Well Represented at the Association of Teacher Educators Meeting
The annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) was held in February in San Antonio, Texas. The theme, “Creating a Global Community of Learners: Guiding the Future of Education,” prompted 24 teacher educators including one teacher candidate from the College of Education to share their research through a variety of professional presentations. The sessions organized by UCA faculty included:
· Jamie Alea, Debbie Barnes, Kathleen Atkins, Lisa Daniels-“The Difference Between Being There and Being Invested”
· Debbie Barnes, et al.-“Augmenting a Global Community of Learners through the Incorporation of Teacher Reflectivity”
· Debbie Barnes, et al.-“Teacher Reflectivity: Guiding the Future of Education”
· Tammy Benson, Heather Fisher, & Michael Mills: “Making a Successful Transition to University Teaching and Administration: The Future of Teacher Education”
· Tammie Benson, Chris Hogan, Jamie Alea, Nancy P. Gallavan, & Julie Spears-“Examining Year-Long Teaching Internships: Working Collaboratively to Ensure Greater Success”
· Gary Bunn, Lisa Daniels, & Donna Wake-“Cultivating Teacher Efficacy via Reflection on Dispositions”
· Nancy P. Gallavan-“Managing Classroom Assessment at the Middle Level”
· Nancy P. Gallavan & Angela Webster-Smith-“ Cultural Competence and the Recursive Nature of Conscientization”
· Nancy P. Gallavan & Angela Webster-Smith-“Enhancing Candidates’ Self-Efficacy and Cultural Competence with Effective Reflective Exercises”
· Nancy P. Gallavan & Angela Webster-Smith-“Exploring Research Relating to Self-Efficacy in Teaching, Learning, and Schooling”
· Nancy P. Gallavan & Angela Webster-Smith-“Realizing the Presence and Power of Reflecting on Defining Moments”
· Nancy P. Gallavan & Angela Webster-Smith-“Recognizing the Recursive Nature of Conscientization in Cultural Competence through Self Study”
· Terri Hebert-“Effects of a Service-Learning Environment on Middle Level Educators’ Social Responsibility ad Professional Success”
· Terri Hebert, Gary Bunn, Jeff Whittingham, & Donna Wake-“Motivating Factors, Interest, and Positive Affects in Traditional and Nontraditional Graduate Students in the Pursuance of Continuing Education and/or Initial Teacher Licensure”
· Stephanie Huffman, Wendy Rickman, & Shelly Albritton-“The Impact of Social Networking Tools on the K-12 Classroom”
· Michael Mills-“Effectively Implementing a Hybrid Social-Learning Environment as a Teacher Educator”
· Michael Mills-“Ensuring Pre-service Teachers’ Readiness to Teach Common Core Standards”
· Donna Wake, Tammy Benson, and Dee Dee Cain-“Professional Development in Preschool Literacy that IS Making a Difference”
· Cheryl Wiedmaier, Marilyn Friga, & Brenda Linn-“Preparing for the Common Core: Digital Resources to Reinforce Learning”
In addition to their many presentations, COE faculty participated in association governance and received various awards:
· Debbie Barnes-Chair of the Awards Committee, Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Recipient of the 2012 Presidential Award in Appreciation of Service
· Nancy P. Gallavan-Member of the Board of Directors, President-Elect, Chair of the Commission on Teacher Self-Efficacy, Co-Editor of the ATE Annual Yearbook of Research, and program proposal reviewer
· Terri Hebert-Program Chair of the Middle Level Special Interest Group (SIG), program proposal reviewer
· Terry James-Chair of the Task Force on the ATE Conference Structure, and Recipient of the ATE Distinguished Member Award
Annual UCA Teachers’ Fair Held Feb. 24
Teacher candidates from the College of Education had the opportunity to meet with representatives from approximately 65 public and private schools and school districts from across Arkansas as well as Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Additionally, representatives from the Arkansas Department of Education were available to talk with candidates regarding their licensure areas and professional careers. Many thanks to Dr. Cathy Rice-Clayborn, director of UCA Career Services Office, for organizing and announcing this professional connection; Sue Farris, College of Education Coordinator of Internship II, and Dr. Jamie Alea, College of Education director of field experiences, for encouraging candidates to attend.
In preparation for the Teachers’ Fair, teacher candidates were expected to dress professionally, write their résumés, assemble their portfolios, and practice effective interview techniques. Candidates reflected upon their experiences expressing their appreciation for learning how to present themselves professionally and meeting many different school and school district representatives. School and school district representatives recommended that candidates start substitute teaching in various schools to acquaint themselves with the students and schools along with honing their teaching abilities in authentic learning environments.
A notebook containing sample information from each of the participating schools and school districts is available in the College of Education, Department of Teaching and Learning. Many thanks to Chris Hogan, instructor in Teaching and Learning, along with Brittany Harris, graduate assistant in Teaching and Learning, for attending the Teachers’ Fair and assembling the notebook for candidates to reference as they continue their job searches.
Dr. Donna Wake Shares Research at Annual SITE Conference
Dr. Donna Wake, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, delivered three presentations at the annual SITE Conference held in Austin, Texas. SITE is the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education; it promotes the development and dissemination of theoretical knowledge, conceptual research and professional practice knowledge. Founded in 1990, SITE is a society of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. It is an international association of individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge related to the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development.
Wake’s first presentation, “Using Wikis with Pre-Service Teachers to Promote Collaborative Practice and Contextual Analysis,” looked at a collaborative project conducted in northern Arkansas and in Pennsylvania with a colleague from Philadelphia. The study involved elementary school teachers who implemented a digital writing project with their P-4 students. This presentation shared outcomes from the classroom where they used the wiki to compare and contrast their individual processes and experiences for teaching and learning.
The second presentation, “Digital Storytelling: Notes from the Adolescent Rural World,” explored a digital writing project that Wake led at two rural school districts in Arkansas. The students created individual digital stories about being teens in their communities. Wake analyzed their stories for themes and patterns reflective of teens in general and, more specific, to teens in rural contexts revealing both unique and shared characteristics.
The third presentation “Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of Technology Used to Support K-12 Student Literacy Development” shared findings from data collected by Wake and Dr. Jeff Whittingham, associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. This study examined a project conducted in a Master of Arts in Teaching course on content literacy where participants created screen casts showcasing an assigned technology and evaluating that technology for its potential in supporting K-12 student literacy development. This session drew a large audience of elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers seeking guidance for their own P-12 classrooms.