The School of Education continues to astound and amaze. When I ask colleagues to tell me what’s new and cool, I am always rewarded with accounts of innovative and valuable ways that our faculty and students are engaged in teaching and learning. Take a look at a few examples.
At one elementary school, student teachers have already taken over their classrooms and given their mentor teachers time to work on technology projects.
Over the inter-session period in August, science educators conducted enrichment sessions for elementary students who might otherwise have been sitting in front of the television.
Scholars in the Elon Academy are embarking on a research project that aims to closely examine the inner workings of the college access and success program.
Undergraduates in education and health and human performance are attending conferences for national professional organizations.
Students in Elon's Young Adult Literature course are discussing novels with eighth-grade buddies.
Education students in the Elon Honors program are conducting research to examine the experiences of bilingual learners in various English-language learning programs and studying the experiences of elementary teachers who work with bilingual students.
In program news, all of the teacher licensure programs have received the highly sought-after approval by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This assures that all of our graduates will receive teaching licenses upon completion of their degree requirements at Elon. Early childhood education, the newest license area, is state-approved and ready for submission to Elon's faculty-governed Curriculum Committee, the last hurdle to overcome before opening its doors to students. The Department of Health and Human Performance's minor in coaching was recently updated and received Curriculum Committee approval.
Two exciting events are scheduled for the spring semester. On March 31, the Berenstain Bears come to Elon. Special guest and Elon parent Mike Berenstain will join us for a full day of read-aloud, workshop and lecture. In April, education research stars Lynn and Doug Fuchs of Vanderbilt University will be on campus for two days of consultation, seminars and a public lecture. Watch our website for details of these events. We hope you will take the time to join us.
David H. Cooper, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, School of Education
The School of Education had the pleasure of hosting Fulbright Scholar Kamol Jiyankhodjaev, who shared his commitment to education transformation for Uzbekistan and Central Asia. An expert in change management for education and social sector development, he shared perspectives on diversity with the Elon campus community through various lectures and presentations in the School of Education and the international studies program.
While at Elon, Jiyankhodjaev analyzed Elon's teacher education curriculum structure to gain awareness of American higher education and teacher training systems, and he worked closely with faculty members Mark Enfield and Bird Stasz to examine recent developments in American schools. When he returns to Uzbekistan, Jiyankhodjaev plans to contribute his findings to the discourse on change management, developing a training model for school and local leaders that empowers them to question their daily practice and develop new ways to improve education and social institutions.
Students and faculty featured at health and physical education conferences
Carol Smith was named Teacher of the Year at the annual conference of the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and also was elected the organization's president for 2012-13. At the conference, she also made the following presentations with Lynda Butler Storsved and several students:
Lynda Butler-Storsved and Carol A. Smith: "Move over Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl: Building general strength and flexibility"
Carol A. Smith, Meghan Deutschle '11, Morgan Bailey '12, Michelle Pullen '13, Ned Cuthbertson '12, Christ Harris '12 and Stephen Rusterholz '12: "Dance! Dance! Dance!"
Amanda Tapler and student Kirstin Seeney (pictured at left) presented a poster titled "Examining Alcohol Education Initiatives: A Correlation Case Study of Alcohol Use in NCAA Athletes" at the American Public Health Association Conference in Denver.
School invests in
early learning programs
Decades of solid research demonstrate that investing in high-quality care and education of young children pays big dividends later in life. Responding to that need, the Department of Education is proposing an early childhood education major and minor to begin in the fall semester of 2011.
An Early Childhood Design Team was established to write a program blueprint for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The plan was approved, and from that plan, the team developed curriculum proposals and new course syllabi to submit to Elon's Curriculum Committee. The program will prepare teachers who are adept at educating a range of children, including those whose native language is not English, live in poverty, exhibit early delays or are at risk for disabilities. Meaningful collaboration with families and professionals are central aspects to Elon's proposed early childhood program. The major is designed so students can study abroad for a semester in Costa Rica, helping them develop a global perspective.
For more information about Elon's proposed early childhood education major and minor, please contact Assistant Professor Mary Knight-McKenna.
Teaching Fellows alumni bring experience, wisdom to campus
In October, Elon Teaching Fellows hosted a panel discussion, "The Early Years," featuring four 2009 alumni: Susan Fetch Hahn, Emily Byrd Buchanan, Meredith McNeill and Drew Yee. Chair of the senior Teaching Fellows, Sam Jennings, served as moderator and posed questions from current Fellows regarding the difficulties and rewards of the early years of teaching. Alumni responses included remarkable stories of determination, helpful advice and praise for the excellent preparation Elon gives its alumni.
The alumni expressed authentic passion for the teaching profession and their aspirations for successful teaching careers remain strong. Dean David Cooper asked the alumni to recall something they had learned at Elon; how they implemented that in the classroom; what effect it had on students; and how did they know it worked? He summarized the answers thusly: "Everything from the pedagogically technical - differentiated instruction - to the deeply emotional - expressions of love for their students - to the profoundly personal - earning the special kind of trust in an adult that can literally keep a despairing child alive."
Teaching Fellows Director Glenda Crawford said the event was a huge success and plans to hold the event annually.
Enthusiasm reigns at
School's Homecoming events
Our second-annual Homecoming Alumni Gathering received the enthusiastic support of Elon alumni from our local, regional and national education community. Alumni had the opportunity to build new relationships, friendships and networking partnerships, as well as to connect with our current education students.
The event opened with an informal social followed by a welcome from Dean David Cooper. The featured speaker was Kebbler McGhee Williams '98, who earlier in the day received Elon's 2010 Distinguished Alumna of the Year award. She spoke eloquently about her professional pathway and inspired her audience of students, faculty and alumni committed to education. After the address, attendees were invited to attend one of two panel discussions featuring alumni. Session One focused on "The Early Years," with panelists Emily Dillard '07, Meredith Whitt '09 and Preston Williams '09. Session Two, "Teacher Leadership and Professional Opportunities," featured alumni Debra Briggs Hennelly '88, Tyronna McKoy Hooker G'09, Jennifer Russell Owen '98, Jonathan Picket '03, Elic Senter '99 and Kebbler McGhee Williams '98.
We appreciate the support of our alumni, students, faculty and staff in making this event a great success. We invite you to join us for Homecoming 2011, Oct. 21-23. Check out the School of Education Alumni Facebook page for details.