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August 10, 2011

Professor McConnell appointed to governor's Early Learning Council

Scott McConnellScott McConnell, professor of Educational Psychology and director of community engagement in the Center for Early Education and Development, is one of 22 appointees who will serve on Governor Dayton's Early Learning Council. The council "will be responsible for advising the Governor, the Children's Cabinet, and the legislature on how to increase access to high quality state and federal early childhood care and education programs for all Minnesota learners -- including those who are part of underrepresented and special programs," according to an August 10 press release from the governor's office,

"Minnesota's future success depends upon building an education system that gives every child a chance to succeed," said Governor Dayton. "By starting early we can lay a strong foundation to ensure every learner has the tools to excel in the classroom, in our communities, and in life."

Read the full press release.

July 29, 2011

Study on corporal punishment shows damage to kids' cognitive functions

CarlsonS-Pref.jpgA new study by researchers at the University of Minnesota, University of Toronto, and McGill University in Montreal indicates that children in schools that use corporal punishment perform worse in tasks involving executive functioning than those in schools relying on milder forms of discipline. Associate Professor Stephanie Carlson, one of the study's authors, followed 63 children in kindergarten or first grade at two West African private schools.

In one school, discipline in the form of beating with a stick, slapping of the head, and pinching was administered publicly and routinely for offenses ranging from forgetting a pencil to being disruptive in class. In the other school, children were disciplined for similar offenses with the use of time-outs and verbal reprimands. While overall performance on executive-functioning tasks--planning, abstract thinking, delayed gratification--was similar in the younger children from both schools, the 1st grade children in the non-punitive school scored significantly higher that those in the punitive school.

Carlson, from the Institute of Child Development, believes the research suggests that a harshly punitive environment may have long-term detrimental effects on kids' verbal intelligence and their executive functioning ability. She also thinks the findings have widespread relevance for education in the United States.

"In the U.S., 19 states still allow corporal punishment in schools, although more of them are now asking for parent permission to use it," she said. "With this new evidence that the practice might actually undermine children's cognitive skills needed for self-control and learning, parents and policymakers can be better informed."

The study is published in the journal Social Development. For more information, see the University news release.

July 22, 2011

Transparency International appoints Chapman to expert panel for Global Corruption Report on Education

David ChapmanTransparency International has appointed David Chapman, Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, to its Expert Advisory Panel for the Global Corruption Report on Education. Best known for its annual Corruption Perception Index, Transparency International is a highly acclaimed international organization devoted to promoting transparency in elections, public administration, procurement, and business. Working through its global network of more than 90 national chapters, it undertakes advocacy campaigns to lobby governments to implement anti-corruption reforms.

July 7, 2011

Hodne receives CCE's Distinguished Educator Award

Barbara HodneBarb Hodne, senior teaching specialist in Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, has been chosen as the 2011 recipient of the College of Continuing Education's Distinguished Educator Award. This award recognizes outstanding impact on education that honors CCE's mission of extending access and providing excellent educational opportunities across a range of domains including the classroom, workshops, and programming designed to provide professional development for educators.

June 29, 2011

Social Work professor recognized worldwide for peacemaking efforts

Mark UmbreitSchool of Social Work Professor Mark Umbreit is profiled in a University feature story on his life's work and commitment to teaching peace. Umbreit, the founding director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, is an internationally recognized scholar with more than 40 years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and researcher who has spread his knowledge and training to address conflict in more than 25 countries. He has also written eight books and hundreds of articles on restorative justice, mediation, and peacemaking.

See the feature story for an in-depth look at the teaching, research, and professional collaborations of Umbreit locally, nationally, and abroad.

June 22, 2011

Literacy researchers create innovative program for Mpls. Public Schools

Jennifer McComasSix Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) have been selected as locations for Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS), a comprehensive approach to early literacy developed by Minnesota Center for Reading Research co-directors Lori Helman and Matthew Burns and educational psychology professor Jennifer McComas. The Target Foundation is donating $6 million to fund PRESS and other district literacy programs over the next three years. The selected schools are Marcy Open School, Anishinabe Academy, Anne Sullivan Communication Center, Pillsbury Elementary, Harvest Preparatory School and Best Academy.

Aimed at preparing all Minneapolis students to read by the third grade, PRESS expands upon research-based strategies developed via the Minnesota Reading First model, which improved student vocabulary, comprehension, word recognition, and fluency. Helman, Burns, and McComas, in partnership with The Minnesota Reading Corps, helped develop instructional strategies for students of all skill levels in kindergarten through third grade, including expanded support for English Language Learners.

Lori Helman"PRESS integrates the research on what is essential for student success in reading, the instructional practices that help learners advance, and the school-wide structures that ensure a continuous focus on data," said Helman, associate professor in curriculum and instruction. "There is evidence that each of these areas is critical to improved outcomes in student performance."

Through PRESS, the selected schools will benefit from four key elements:
• A focus on quality core instruction with a schedule that allows a literacy block of 90 minutes for instruction plus 30 additional minutes for supplemental intervention or enrichment in literacy;
• Professional development that allows teachers to continuously improve and share their learning as well as monitor the progress of each student;
• A systematic process for data collection and prescriptive data analyses; and
• Tiered interventions and support for students who are not making adequate progress toward reading proficiency.
Matthew Burns
"What makes PRESS unique is: A, the melding of different research-based components, the likes of which has not been done before, and B, the addressing of core principles and practices, rather than implementing of programs," said Burns, professor in educational psychology.

Through an ongoing partnership that includes the Minnesota Reading Corps, University faculty and graduate students will provide coaching and support over the next three years.

Helman explains that the long-term goals of the project extend far beyond the initial six sites. "We will learn a lot in our collaboration with the individual school sites, the MPS district and the charter school leadership teams. PRESS project leaders will document our challenges and solutions as we engage together to meet our goals. Based on the work in Minneapolis, we hope to extend the model to other schools across the country in years to come."

June 20, 2011

Ngo and Sato receive promotion

Bic NgoBic NgoBic Ngo (culture and teaching, C&I) and Misty Sato (science education, C&I) were both promoted from Assistant to Associate Professors, effective in fall 2011. Please congratulate them on their accomplishment.

June 10, 2011

Reynolds leads long-term study supporting importance of early childhood programs

Arthur ReynoldsHigh-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Institute of Child Development professor Arthur Reynolds. The study is the longest follow-up ever of an established large-scale early childhood program.

In "School-based Early Childhood Education and Age 28 Well-Being: Effects by Timing, Dosage, and Subgroups," published in the journal Science, Reynolds and his colleagues report on more than 1,400 individuals whose well-being has been tracked for as much as 25 years. Those who had participated in an early childhood program beginning at age 3 showed higher levels of educational attainment, socioeconomic status, job skills, and health insurance coverage as well as lower rates of substance abuse, felony arrest, and incarceration than those who received the usual early childhood services.

The research focused on participants in the Child-Parent Center Education Program, a publicly funded early childhood development program that begins in preschool and provides up to six years of service in the Chicago public schools. Through the Chicago Longitudinal Study, Reynolds and colleagues have studied the educational and social development of a same-age cohort of low-income, minority children (93 percent African American) who participated in this program.

It is one of the most extensive and comprehensive studies ever undertaken of young children's learning. Reynolds and colleagues have reported on the Chicago individuals starting in preschool, then annually through the school-age years, and periodically through early adulthood.

Reynolds, who is co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative, led the study with Judy Temple, a professor in the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

See the University's home page feature story and the UMNews press release for more information. Also see the story in the National Institutes of Health Research Matters.

June 7, 2011

Bigelow collaborates with English educators in Vietnam

BigelowM_180_2011.jpgMartha Bigelow, associate professor in the second languages and cultures program (Department of Curriculum and Instruction), was invited to Hanoi, Vietnam recently by the U.S. State Department and Hanoi University to work with six teams of English teacher educators on developing new courses for their undergraduate teacher education program.

For more information and photos, see the University of Languages and International Studies' blog story.

May 26, 2011

S. Varma paper explains why some struggle to learn math

A paper co-authored by educational psychology assistant professor Sashank Varma and British colleagues in the journal Science documents a neurocognitive disorder that inhibits the acquisition of basic numerical and arithmetic concepts. Called developmental dyscalculia, the disorder affects roughly the same number of people as dyslexia but has received much less attention (and research funding).

VarmaS-2011.jpgThe paper, "Dyscalculia, From Brain to Education," documents how scientists across the world have used magnetic resonance imaging to map the neural network that supports arithmetic. Through this process, they have discovered abnormalities in this network among learners with dyscalculia.

These findings have the potential to lead to evidence-based interventions for dyscalculia, Varma says. "Knowledge about what parts of the brain we use while learning mathematics is spurring the design of new computer learning environments that can strengthen simple number and arithmetic concepts," he explains. The paper envisions future research where neuroscientists, psychologists, and educational researchers collaborate to offer a productive way forward on the important question of why some children struggle with learning mathematics.

Varma co-authored the paper with lead author Professor Brian Butterworth of the University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Diana Laurillard, a member of the Institute of Education at the University of London.

For more information, see the UMNews release, listen to the Minnesota Public Radio interview with Varma below, and view the Fox 9 story below:

U of M Researchers Investigate Math Dyslexia:

May 23, 2011

Jehangir shares expertise at national institute on learning communities

Rashne JehangirRashné Jehangir, assistant professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, has been invited to serve as an expert resource faculty member at the 2011 National Summer Institute on Learning Communities at the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education at Evergreen State College. Teams from around the country apply to earn a spot at this institute, which provides focused time for campus teams of faculty, student affairs professionals, and administrators to develop action plans for launching or strengthening learning community programs, for developing a proven strategy for increasing student engagement, for helping academically under-prepared students succeed, and for invigorating undergraduate education.

May 19, 2011

Profs Burns, Christ most productive school psychology faculty in U.S.

Theodore ChristMatthew BurnsIn a recent study by B.L.Taylor and Cynthia Riccio at Texas A&M University, professors Matthew Burns and Ted Christ, faculty in the Educational Psychology's School Psychology Program, were found to be among the top five of the most frequently published researchers in school psychology journals over the past five years. Burns ranked number one, publishing more articles in school psychology journals than anyone else in the country; Christ was the fifth most published researcher. They were the only duo from one university in the top five.

May 18, 2011

O'Brien delivers keynote address

David O'BrienDavid O'Brien, professor of literacy education (in the department of Curriculum and Instruction), presented the Keynote address at the International Reading Association's Technology in Literacy Special Interest Group meeting, May 9, 2011, in Orlando, FL. The talk, "Bridging Traditional and Digital Literacies: From Apprehension to Affordances," was based on a synthesis of O'Brien's research over the last 15 years focusing on the literacy engagement of adolescents, bridging traditional print literacy practices with digital literacies using media and multimodal texts.

Professor O'Brien was also the 2010 recipient of the Computers in Reading Research Award from IRA's Technology in Literacy Special Interest Group.

The International Reading Association is a nonprofit, global network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy since 1956. More than 70,000 members strong, the Association supports literacy professionals through a wide range of resources, advocacy efforts, volunteerism, and professional development activities. Members promote high levels of literacy for all by:

  • Improving the quality of reading instruction
  • Disseminating research and information about reading
  • Encouraging the lifetime reading habit

Galda receives Arbuthnot Award

Lee GaldaLee Galda, professor of literacy education, received the Arbuthnot Award for outstanding university teaching of children's and young adults' literature from the International Reading Association (IRA).

The IRA is a nonprofit, global network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy since 1956. More than 70,000 members strong, the association supports literacy professionals through a wide range of resources, advocacy efforts, volunteerism, and professional development activities. Members promote high levels of literacy for all by:

  • Improving the quality of reading instruction
  • Disseminating research and information about reading
  • Encouraging the lifetime reading habit

Galda has written 11 books and many book chapters, including the first chapter on children's literature in the Handbook of Reading Research (3rd edition), as well as articles in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, and The New Advocate. She was children's books department editor for The Reading Teacher, coauthored the Professional Resources column for The New Advocate, was a contributing editor for The Riverbank Review, and a member of the 2003 Newbery Award Selection Committee. She also has served on selection committees for the Minnesota Book Awards. Her textbook, Literature and the Child, is now in its 7th edition.

May 11, 2011

Yussen awarded grant to study alternative teacher licensure

Steve YussenSteve Yussen, professor in the Institute of Child Development, has received a Faculty Interactive Research Program grant to assess the impact of alternative teacher licensure in Minnesota. The grant, from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), will allow Yussen and his colleagues to study the new Minnesota alternative teacher licensure provision during the first 18 months it is implemented in relation to several key intended outcomes.

Through the grant program, CURA encourages University faculty members to conduct research that involves a significant urban-related public policy issue for the state or its communities and that includes active engagement with groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota involved with the issue.

Ngo receives William T. Grant Foundation award

Bic NgoBic Ngo, assistant professor of culture and teaching in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is one of five exceptional early-career researchers recently selected as a William T. Grant Scholar. The Scholars Program supports promising early-career researchers from diverse disciplines, who have demonstrated success in conducting high-quality research and are seeking to further develop and broaden their expertise. Ngo will receive $350,000 distributed over a five-year period for her new research study, "Innovating Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Insights from Arts Programs Serving Immigrant Youth."

May 5, 2011

Sato addresses teacher preparation and retention on KARE 11 news

Mistilina SatoA KARE 11 news story on the Bush Foundation's partnership with the University of Minnesota and 13 other educational institutions to promote statewide improvements in teacher recruitment, training, and support included comments by Misty Sato (assistant professor, curriculum and instruction), an expert on teacher development. Sato's comments indicated that better teacher preparation can help first-year teachers be more like career teachers, which may reduce the number of teachers who leave the field within their first four years.

The College of Education and Human Development, working closely with Minnesota school-district partners, is streamlining its teacher education curriculum based on current, high-quality research that ensures effective teaching, includes intensive field experiences under supervision of expert teachers, establishes mastery of state standards for content knowledge and teaching practice, and includes a three-to five-year induction process involving the support of college faculty and staff.

See the KARE 11 video clip below:

C&I faculty and students featured in CEHD's Connect magazine

Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are featured in CEHD's spring 2011 issue of Connect magazine. An article on educational reform for world stability highlighted Kendall King's (second languages and cultures) research on the preservation of endangered languages and into policies and practices for English language learners (ELL).

An article on climate change highlighted an Earthducation project and January visit by faculty members Charles Miller and Aaron Doering (learning technologies), with Romeric Zongo (PhD student in learning technologies), and LT media lab media specialist Justin Evidon.

Download the Spring 2011 issues of Connect magazine (PDF).

Buturian and Solheim awarded Global Program and Strategy Alliance grant

The University's Global Program and Strategy Alliance awarded Linda Buturian (Senior Teaching Specialist, Postsecondary Teaching and Learning) and colleague Catherine Solheim (Associate Professor, Family Social Science) travel grants to fund their Mekong Initiative. Linda and Cathy will travel to northern Thailand in August and interview villagers and NGOs along the Mekong River to create digital stories about the impact of development of the Mekong on the villagers' culture and daily living. Buturian and Solheim will also develop contacts for and plan a new integrated course and a future Learning Abroad program centered on northern Thailand. They also received CEHD International Engagement grants for the Mekong Initiative.

May 4, 2011

College in the Schools algebra students test wind turbine designs

Susan StaatsHigh school algebra students enrolled in PsTL 1006 Mathematical Modeling and Prediction visited campus recently to test their wind turbine designs. About 100 students participated in this College in the Schools Field Day, organized by faculty coordinator Sue Staats (associate professor, Postsecondary Teaching and Learning), with assistance from Selcen Guzey (Stem Education Center) and Tamara Moore (Curriculum and Instruction). Participating high schools were El Colegio Charter School, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Le Center High School, Community of Peace Academy, and North High School of North St. Paul, whose 8-volt-producing design won them the Titanium Turbine trophy.

May 3, 2011

Distinguished researcher named chair in urban and regional affairs

Ann MastenAnn Masten, Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Institute of Child Development, was named the 2011-12 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs. The resources provided by this appointment will allow Masten and her colleagues to initiate a new phase of community-based collaborative work focused on promoting school readiness and success among homeless and highly mobile children through interventions to build executive function skills, which are increasingly recognized as critical to educational success.

The overall goal of Masten's work is to build capacity and strategies for addressing the striking disparities that she and her colleagues have documented in the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) related to poverty, homeless, and highly mobile status. For more information, see this press release.

May 2, 2011

Faculty research undergirds new Minneapolis/Target literacy program

Matthew BurnsUniversity of Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR) Co-Directors Lori Helman and Matthew Burns and Educational Psychology Professor Jennifer McComas have developed the comprehensive Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) that will be implemented in Minneapolis Public Schools. Aimed at preparing all Minneapolis students to read by the third grade, PRESS is based on a research-based approach to literacy. The district announced its partnership with Target Foundation, which is donating $6 million to district literacy programs over the next three years, in a press conference May 2.

Lori Helman Helman, Burns, and McComas, in partnership with The Minnesota Reading Corps, helped develop data-driven instructional strategies and interventions for students of all skill levels in grades K through 3 to assure each student receives needed teaching and interventions. This includes expanded support for English Language Learners. The partners have also established a professional development program to support literacy teachers as they make this systemic change.

Jennifer McComasThrough the ongoing partnership with The Minnesota Reading Corps, MCRR faculty and graduate students will provide ongoing coaching and support over the next three years of PRESS. University researchers will also investigate the effectiveness of these strategies to influence literacy objectives nationwide.

Target will fund the expansion of one to three additional tutors in all Minneapolis K-3 schools. Through a competitive application process, other select schools will receive intensive PRESS intervention strategies. These schools will be announced at a later date.

Read the Minneapolis Public Schools' official announcement.

April 29, 2011

Innovative program builds parenting skills of returning soldiers' families

GewirtzA-2007.jpgFamily social science professor Abi Gewirtz is leading a first of its kind parenting study with Minnesota National Guard families to strengthen parenting skills of returning soldiers and their families. Funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the five-year study is designed to help people parent effectively despite the difficulties of deployment.

ADAPT (After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools) will recruit 400 families with kids between the ages of 5 and 12 to test the program's effectiveness over time. ADAPT is based on the Oregon Parent Management Training program. "It's a parenting intervention that has been shown to be very, very effective at supporting parenting in other contexts, so our test is to see whether it works at promoting children's resilience in this context," said Gewirtz in a recent Minnesota Public Radio story.

Research has shown that the period when soldiers return from combat is often the most stressful for military families, which is when families will be enrolled in the study. "The effects of deployment on kids are not ... just about combat stress symptoms that the soldier might be experiencing, but they are about the fact that the parent was gone for a year in the child's life," said Gewirtz on MPR.

Gewirtz and college researchers will be recruiting the first 100 families for the program beginning this spring.

Listen to the MPR story:

April 18, 2011

Jensen's CIS anatomy students show public health expertise

How can teens become advocates for healthy living? Students in a University of Minnesota, Twin Cities College in the Schools (CIS) Anatomy and Physiology course have produced videos and designed multimedia displays that can be used to educate their friends, families, and communities about healthy eating, obesity reduction, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. More than 400 students representing 15 high schools across Minnesota gathered April 18 at the U of M to compete for the most engaging and educational kiosk. The winners will take home the coveted Golden Femur award.

Murray Jensen"Our goal for the kiosks is to put the students' knowledge into action, to show that there is more to anatomy and physiology than learning the names of bones and muscles," says Murray Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. "Many of these CIS students will become health care leaders who will be interacting with the public, helping people stay healthy. The kiosks give students an opportunity to be health care advocates."

The kiosk competition is the culmination of the yearlong Smart and Healthy Students, Smart and Healthy Families program, funded by the UCare Fund. Using concepts from Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food, high school students learned about healthy eating and also studied the digestive system, obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

This fall, the students produced videos that feature an interview with an elder (preferably a grandparent) about their diet at age 18, compared with what 18-year-olds eat today. The videos are an integral part of the student kiosks and can spur conversations about healthy diets, the importance of exercise and diseases associated with obesity. The kiosks may be used at school events such as parent-teacher conferences, athletic competitions and even in the school lunchroom.

Jensen developed the Smart and Healthy Students, Smart and Healthy Families program as faculty coordinator for the U of M course "Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology" offered through CIS.

College in the Schools at the University of Minnesota develops partnerships between the University of Minnesota and high school teachers and administrators. Students get firsthand experience with a faster pace of study and increased academic rigor while earning university credits.

This year students produced exceptional kiosks about disease, lifestyle, exercise, eating right, and the connections among them. Competition was stiff, but when all the votes were cast the 2011 winners were Wabasha-Kellogg, Bronze Ulna; Eagan, Silver Scapula; and St. Clair, the Golden Femur (see St. Clair group photo below).


April 12, 2011

Edleson named to national academy on social work

Jeffrey EdlesonSchool of Social Work Professor Jeffrey Edleson, Ph.D., has been named a fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Edleson is one of 11 scholars who will be inducted into the academy at a ceremony on May 6, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

Edleson is the school's director of research and is director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. He is one of the world's leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence and has published more than 120 articles and 12 books on domestic violence, group work, and program evaluation.

The academy is an honorific society of distinguished scholars and practitioners dedicated to achieving excellence in the field of social work and social welfare through high impact work that advances social good. It aims to serve as a frontline source of information in the national debate on issues critical to social work and social welfare.

April 8, 2011

Gewirtz gives tips on talking with children about disasters

Abigail Gewirtz, associate professor of Family Social Science, joined the morning show hosts on KARE 11 to share tips about talking with children about disasters, both natural and man-made.

"It's hard to switch yourself off from all of the media coming [to us]," Gewirtz said, "It's hard to cut it off." She stressed the importance of simply listening to children, and letting them talk about their concerns or worries instead of trying to guess how they are feeling.

Reassuring them with time and with affirmations that they are loved are also important.

">Watch more tips from Gewirtz or visit the KARE 11 site.

April 6, 2011

Cicchetti receives major award for scientific work in child development

Dante CicchettiDante Cicchetti, McKnight Presidential Chair and William Harris Professor of Child Development and Psychiatry in the Institute of Child Development, has received the Society for Research in Child Development award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development in recognition of his major lifetime contributions to the field of child development. He received his award officially at the SRCD Biennial Meeting on March 31, in Montreal, Canada.

April 2, 2011

Covington Clarkson receives Josie R. Johnson Award

Lesa ClarksonLesa Covington Clarkson (associate professor of mathematics education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction) is the faculty/staff recipient of the 2011 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award. The award recognizes individuals who are passionately engaged in social justice, human rights, equity, and diversity, and through their principles and practices, exemplify Dr. Johnson's standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments.

March 31, 2011

Higbee receives Horace T. Morse Award for undergraduate education

Jeanne HigbeeJeanne Higbee, professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, has been awarded the Horace T. Morse - University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. She will be honored for her exemplary teaching, research, and service as an undergraduate educator at the Distinguished Teaching Awards Ceremony on campus April 25.

"Dr. H is the Michael Jordan of teaching," said one student in Higbee's nomination materials. She also received enthusiastic support from many others inside and outside the University, including James Banks, director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, and John N. Gardner, executive director of the Policy Center on the First Year of College.

This statement from her nomination letter sums up the respect Higbee has earned: "Jeanne's legacy, evident in her teaching, research, and educational leadership, is to demonstrate to faculty that their obligation extends beyond access to success, to ensuring that the environments students enter enable them to achieve their full potential. She provides leadership and a vision for equity and access in higher education."

Congratulations, Jeanne!

March 29, 2011

Literacy professors Dillon, O'Brien recognized for influential research

David O'BrienDeborah DillonReading researchers Deborah Dillon and David O'Brien (professors of literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction) were noted for their "highly influential research in the field of literacy" by David Reinking (Eugene T. Moore Professor of Teacher Education, Clemson University) in his recent presidential address to members of the Literacy Research Association (LRA). Reinking stated in his address that an article by Dillon, O'Brien, and Elizabeth Heilman (Michigan State University) in the millennial issue of RRQ (Reading Research Quarterly) "should be required reading for all literacy researchers or those who wish to become one."

Reinking's address, along with the article, was included on a flash drive provided to the members of the association. Also included was a copy of Dillon's paper, delivered when she served as president of the organization (published in 2003). View Reinking's presidential address.

The Literacy Research Association is a community of scholars dedicated to promoting research that enriches the knowledge, understanding, and development of lifespan literacies in a multicultural and multilingual world. LRA is committed to ethical research that is rigorous, methodologically diverse, and socially responsible. LRA is dedicated to disseminating such research broadly so as to promote generative theories, informed practices and sound policies. Central to its mission, LRA mentors and supports future generations of literacy scholars.

March 22, 2011

Cynthia Lewis presents at the Assembly for Research of the National Council of Teachers of English conference

Cynthia LewisCynthia Lewis, Professor of critical literacy and english education (department of Curriculum and Instruction), presented a featured session at the Assembly for Research of the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Madison, Wisconsin on February 19th. Also presenting in the session entitled "Digital Media as Activism and Academics in an Urban High School: The DigMe Program" were English teacher and DigMe co-developer, Delainia Haug and David Cruz Nava, a graduate of Roosevelt High School who showed videos he created while a student in Haug's English classes and discussed his films as activism related to immigration reform. The session provided an overview of the digital media curriculum and the findings of a study on students' critical engagement in the class.

Eight graduate students from literacy education also attended the conference. Three students presented papers: Candance Doerr-Stevens presented "Forging Space for New Identities and Literacy Practices through Digital Media Consumption of Radio Documentaries"; Heidi Jones presented "Oscillating Identities: Utlizing and Online Role Play in a Writing Methods Course"; and Rachel Hatten presented 21st Century Skills, the Push for Blended Classrooms, and the View from the Trenches."

March 14, 2011

Ngo recognized for early career contributions in education research

Bic NgoThe American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Committee on Scholars of Color in Education (CSCE) has named Bic Ngo, assistant professor of culture and teaching (Department of Curriculum and Instruction), as a recipient of the 2011 Early Career Contribution Award. This award recognizes early career scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect ethnic and social minority populations through rigorous scholarship and research. The award will be presented during AERA's annual meeting in New Orleans, April 8-10, 2011.

March 9, 2011

Learning technologies' faculty receive award for best research paper

Learning technologies' faculty--Aaron Doering, Charles Miller, and Cassie Scharber--received an award for the best research paper at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference in Nashville, TN. The paper, "Designing with and for Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The Evolution of GeoThentic," describes how a technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework informed the authors' design for GeoThentic, an online teaching and learning environment that focuses on engaging teachers and learners in solving real-world geography problems through use of geospatial technologies. The paper also discusses a set of assessment models within GeoThentic that can be used to assess teachers' TPACK.

Aaron DoeringCharles MillerCassie Scharber

March 4, 2011

Hyland and African American Read-In honored by Timberwolves

Ezra HylandOn February 23 Ezra Hyland, Teaching Specialist in Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, and the African American Read-In were honored as a community hero by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The African American Read-In is a literacy initiative addressing the attainment of reading and writing skills in African American students and encouraging reading and writing across the curriculum. Dean Quam and Ezra Hyland were escorted to half court during half time where they were recognized before the packed house.

African American Read-in at Timberwolves game 2.jpg

March 2, 2011

Educational psychology profs receive multicultural research awards

Michael GohLeah McGuireEducational psychology professors Leah McGuire and Michael Goh have been awarded 2011 Multicultural Research Awards by the University's Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA). The grants encourage and support research by faculty of color, and promote research on issues related to communities of color in the United States.

McGuire's proposal, "Investigating Differential Context Effects in Statistics Assessments," aims to discover features of contexts that can predict differential difficulty in assessment items. Specifically, her project takes an Explanatory Item Response Modeling approach to model group differences related to item context. The results will then be used to discuss the impact of certain contexts on student scores as well as to suggest guidelines for writing fair contexts.

Goh's proposal, "Decoding and Encoding Culturally Competent Mental Health Practices: A Community-based Participatory Action Research Project," involves multiple agencies, including the Center for Excellence in Children's Mental Health, Minnesota Cultural Providers Network, Minnesota Department of Human Services, as well as clinicians from various disciplines -- counseling and clinical psychology, school psychology, school counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy.

February 17, 2011

Faculty present at Focusing on the First Year Conference

Multiple faculty from the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, along with research assistants and colleagues, presented at the Focusing on the First Year conference held on campus Wednesday, February 16. The presentations included "Mapping the Academic and Social Engagement of First-Year Undergraduate Students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities," "Engaging Students in the First Year: A Multidisciplinary Approach," and "Excellence for All: Student Learning and Development." The Focusing on the First Year conference is a bi-annual event that brings faculty, staff, and administrators together to discuss academic and development issues relating to first-year students.

Multicultural instruction for undergrad mathematical thinking courses

Irene DuranczykIrene Duranczyk, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, gave a poster presentation at the CERME7 (Conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education) recently held in Rzezow, Poland. Her presentation, "Critical multicultural instruction for undergraduate mathematical thinking courses," gives the theoretical foundation and preliminary results of her research in teaching mathematical thinking through an introductory statistics course. Duranczyk also participated in the workgroup on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, along with Bill Barton, the president of the International Congress for Mathematics Education (ICEM), and Barbara Jaworski, co-director of the University's Centre for Mathematics Education Research (CMER) at the University of Oxford.

February 16, 2011

Thom Swiss co-organizes mobile internet conference

Thom SwissThom Swiss, professor of culture and teaching (CI), was co-organizer of the Materialities and Imaginaries of the Mobile Internet Conference held Feb 11-13 at Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. The objective of the conference was to bring together an international group of scholars to develop a set of theoretical and methodological approaches to the interdisciplinary concept of "mobilities." Swiss's article on the topic of highly mobile students and the homeless, "Zombies. Children of Zombies!," is the lead article in the current issue of the Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies.

February 8, 2011

PsTL instructors present on technology and learning outcomes at first-year experience conference

PeterG_2010.jpgMurray JensenAssociate Professor Murray Jensen and Senior Teaching Specialist Gary Peter, from the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, presented at the 30th Annual First-Year Experience Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Their first session, titled "Evaluating Group Video Projects in Relation to University of Minnesota Student Learning Outcomes," described a group capstone assignment involving the production of a short video on healthy eating and provided evidence on the effectiveness of that assignment in relation to student learning outcomes. Jensen also delivered a second presentation, titled "iPads for All: Innovation and Application in a Learning Community," which provided a preliminary report on the use of iPads and students' responses to them in a learning community featuring a public speaking class and a general biology course.

February 3, 2011

Arendale receives outstanding research/publication award

David ArendaleCongratulations to David Arendale, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, who received the Hunter R. Boylan Outstanding Research/Publication Award for 2011 from the National Association for Developmental Education. The award from NADE was for his recent book, Access at the Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Education, published by Jossey-Bass. The award will be received at the NADE national conference in Washington, DC, later in February.

January 25, 2011

Undergrads learn youth studies practice in the field

Social work professor Michael Baizerman, students in the youth studies program, and youth workers in the St. Paul Recreation Centers have been working collaboratively to support youth on the East Side. Baizerman partners with youth workers--including many who came up in the communities--on professional development who then mentor University students on youth practice.

Find out more about such rich field experiences for undergraduate students in the Winter 2011 issue of Connect.

Eli (second from right) and colleagues at Arlington Rec. Center, including DeAnthony, Raeshon, and Isaac, learn from one another's youth work practices. | | Comments (0)

January 14, 2011

Burns publishes book to help school psychologists with struggling learners

Matthew BurnsEducational psychologyprofessor Matthew Burns co-authored a book, "Transforming School Psychology in the RTI Era: A Guide for Administrators and School Psychologists" (LPR Publications), with Clayton Cook (University of Washington), Diana Browning Wright (private consultant), and Frank Gresham (Louisiana State University).

The book provides a roadmap to understand the changing field of school psychology to ensure practices are consistent with a Response to Intervention (RTI) model of service delivery. The authors discuss why school psychologists need to adapt their beliefs, knowledge, skills, and procedures -- and how to do it.

January 6, 2011

Learning technologies' team sets out for African expedition

earthducation.jpgOn January 7, Earthducation team members, consisting of learning technologies' faculty, staff, and graduate students, embark on their next expedition to Burkina Faso, in west Africa. The team, led by professors Aaron Doering and Charles Miller (Curriculum and Instruction), will visit schools, explore cultural and physical geography, and interview local people on their thoughts on education and sustainability.

The Earthducation research project is funded in part by a Discovery Grant from the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota. The grant will help support the learning technologies faculty in their research pursuits.

The mission behind Earthducation is to collaborate with cultures from around the globe to develop an ecological narrative based on two fundamental questions:

1. What is education to you?

2. Can education advance sustainability?

For more information on the Earthducation expedition, please read the recent UMNews article. See also the KARE11 story and the video below.

Follow the Earthducation expedition on Twitter and for updates.

December 17, 2010

Jeanne Higbee presents on instructional design

Jeanne HigbeeJeanne Higbee, professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, presented a workshop on "Promoting Inclusion and Retention through Integrated Multicultural Instructional Design (PIRIMID)" at the annual conference of the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) in Salt Lake City in November. On December 10 Higbee was also interviewed by Nancy Shapiro of the Maryland Legislative Task Force on Universal Design for Learning. The task force was appointed by the governor and is making recommendations for teacher preparation related to Universal Design.

December 15, 2010

McMaster receives Early Career Research Award

Kristen McMasterDepartment of Educational Psychology associate professor Kristen McMaster is a recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Early Career Research Award from the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions in basic or applied research in special education within the first 10 years after receiving the doctoral degree. The award, cosponsored by the Donald D. Hammill Foundation, includes $1,000 to be presented at the Division for Research reception at the 2011 CEC Annual Convention and an invited presentation at the CEC convention the following year.

McMaster has contributed to the field with her research focusing on reading and writing difficulties of children with special needs. She has over 35 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences. Her work in the areas of peer-assisted learning and progress monitoring is particularly noteworthy. She has been awarded federal funding to support this important work.

"It is the nature of Kristen's research -- the systematic progression from 'laboratory' to applied settings -- that sets her work apart," said Professor Chris Espin, University of Leiden (formerly of the University of Minnesota).

McMaster is active in professional organizations, collaborates with numerous colleagues, and has mentored and advised numerous doctoral students. Professor Rollanda O'Connor, University of California-Riverside, noted, "For this stage in her career, she has been extraordinarily productive."

December 13, 2010

Research suggests factors for preventing child abuse

Arthur ReynoldsProfessor Arthur Reynolds's research is having a significant impact on the development of programs for preventing child abuse, according to a recent story in Miller-McCune, a national online magazine that focuses on current academic research applied to pressing social concerns. The story, "A Cure for Child Abuse," describes how the Center for Study of Social Policy is using the work of Reynolds and others to investigate the roots of child abuse and help families build "protective factors" for prevention.

The ground-breaking research by Reynolds, from the Institute of Child Development, involves his longitudinal study for 30 years of children enrolled in the Chicago Child-Parent Centers, an innovative public school program for low-income children and their parents. In tracking the long-term effects of the program on the children's later academic success and adult outcomes, Reynolds has discovered that for every dollar invested in the program, more than seven dollars of economic return for society has resulted from reduced dropout rates, fewer special education needs, less strain on the juvenile justice system, and increased earnings capacity. But his study also discovered a 51 percent reduction in the rate of substantiated child abuse among participants, compared to a similar group not in the program.

"We weren't expecting originally that there would be big effects on the reduction of child maltreatment, but I guess it's not that surprising," says Reynolds in the article. He goes on to suggest that heavy parent involvement and the program's emphasis on developing a support network likely contributed to this positive outcome.

November 19, 2010

Miksch presents at the Association for the Study of Higher Education

Karen MikschKaren Miksch, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, gave two presentations at the Association for the Study of Higher Education's annual meeting. On November 17, Karen was part of a symposium on "How should law and policy align to promote shared governance in a time of budget cuts?" which was the opening event for the Public Policy Forum. She discussed the definition of financial exigency, the American Association of University Professor's Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, as well as the role of faculty.

On November 18, she presented a paper, "Affirmative Action and the Media: A Mixed Method Analysis of News Coverage of U.S. Supreme Court Cases." Presenting with Mark Pedelty, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she discussed The Chronicle of Higher Education's coverage of Michigan affirmative action cases. They found that the news stories continued to cover affirmative action as a highly contentious debate, even after the court decision. Coupled with earlier research that shows many administrators in higher education rely on The Chronicle for legal information, this may explain, says Miksch, why after the Michigan cases were decided, many race-conscious programs were closed out of fear of negative publicity or a legal challenge.

November 18, 2010

Jensen presents Golden Femur Award

Murray JensenMurray Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, hosted the 2nd annual Golden Femur competition. The Golden Femur Awards were held November 17 at the Mayo Memorial Auditorium as part of Jensen's College in the Schools Human Anatomy and Physiology Program. Prizes were awarded for the best group video productions.

This year's theme was "talking to your grandparents about food," which is related to the notion that people were generally healthier in the 1940s and 1950s than they are today. This year's winners were Eagan High School - Golden Femur, Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts - Silver Scapula, and Richfield High School - Bronze Ulna. To view the top student videos from 2009 and the three winners from 2010 go to

Jehangir publishes book on first-generation students in college

Rashne JehangirRashne Jehangir, assistant professor in Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, has had her book Higher Education and First-Generation Students: Cultivating Community, Voice, and Place for the New Majority published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. The book offers a rich understanding of the experience of students who are first in their family to attend college. It contends that first-generation students are isolated and marginalized on many large college campuses and considers learning communities and critical multicultural pedagogies as vehicles to cultivate community, voice, and place for this new majority of students.

The book is a theoretically informed study of the lived experience of first generation students and draws on their voices to demonstrate how their insights interface with what educators think they know about them. What can they learn from these students? How might students' insights inform and shape the learning spaces educators create for them?

November 17, 2010

J.B. Mayo receives social justice award

J B MayoJ.B. Mayo, Jr., assistant professor in social studies education (Curriculum and Instruction), was recently awarded the Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland Social Justice Award at the annual meeting of the College University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Mayo was recognized for his conference paper entitled "Native Americans' Acceptance of Diversity: Lessons Learned from the Two Spirit Tradition." In this paper, Mayo calls upon social studies educators and K-12 teachers to encourage more inclusive perspectives/conversations on gender expression, and greater understanding of gender variance among their students. This more nuanced form of social learning may impact a variety of present-day social ills, including the incidence of teen suicide caused by homophobia.

The award is named after the late Dr. Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland, an educator, researcher, and spoken word artist. Dr. Kirkland was an inspiration and role model who strove to meet the needs of underserved and marginalized populations, especially through his work and activism.

November 3, 2010

Gewirtz receives $3.2 million grant from National Institute on Drug Abuse

Abigail Gewirtz
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA received a $3.2 million grant award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop and test a web-enhanced parenting program for families with parents returning from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

The program, "After Deployment, Adaptive Parenting Tools/ADAPT" is based on Oregon Parent Management Training, a well-validated parenting intervention. Over the 5-year grant period, researchers will work closely with MN Army National Guard (MNARNG) personnel, to develop and test the parenting program among 400 MNARNG families in which at least one parent has been deployed. Earlier research led by one of the project's co-investigators, Dr. Melissa Polusny, showed that worries about family were an important predictor of soldier wellbeing during deployment, and that effective parenting during the period of reintegration was diminished among soldiers suffering from symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Abigail Gewirtz, assistant professor of Family Social Science and the project's Principal Investigator notes that, "This program builds on the considerable strengths of military families, the success of prior research among our investigative team, and our strong collaboration with the MN ARNG and its nationally recognized Beyond the Yellow Ribbon reintegration campaign. This is the first National Institutes of Health-funded study that we know of to specifically address deployment-related parenting challenges and child resilience among National Guard families. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work to support the families of our nation's military."

October 20, 2010

FYI students make 2,000 sandwiches to feed the hungry

Jill TritesKristin CoryStudents in Jill Trites and Kris Cory's section of PsTL 1525W: First Year Inquiry (FYI) class made 2,000 sandwiches to feed the hungry on Oct. 20. In FYI, students focus on the question "How can one person make a difference?" The 2,000 sandwiches were donated to 363, a grass roots organization created by Allan Law, with the mission of feeding 2,000 homeless people in Minneapolis every day.

Law, a retired Minneapolis school teacher, spoke to the class about the level of poverty and homelessness faced in Minneapolis and his lifelong commitment to helping those in need. His message is: Treat people well, don't worry about what you can't control, and there are no excuses for not getting your work done.

October 14, 2010

Earthducation receives University Discovery Grant

Aaron DoeringEarthducation, a research project started by Aaron Doering, Charles Miller, and Cassie Scharber (learning technologies faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction), received a Discovery Grant from the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. The grant will help support the learning technologies faculty in their research pursuits.

The mission behind Earthducation is to collaborate with cultures from around the globe to develop an ecological narrative based on two fundamental questions:

  1. What is education to you?

  2. Can education advance sustainability?

The new Discovery Grants cut across numerous campus units and involve many different departments, colleges and outside partners. The projects were selected through a rigorous review process involving outside national experts as well as internal strategic reviews

October 8, 2010

Assistant professor elected to serve on CUFA Board of the National Council for the Social Studies

J B MayoJ.B. Mayo, Jr. assistant professor in social studies education (Curriculum and Instruction), was elected to serve a two-year term on the College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) Board of the National Council for the Social Studies.

The purpose of the assembly is to promote the common interest of social studies educators in research, teaching, and other scholarly activities.

September 24, 2010

Math education professor receives NSF Career Award

Tamara Moore

Tamara J. Moore (assistant professor of mathematics education, curriculum and instruction, and co-director of the STEM Education Center) has received a $400,109 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), to research implementing K-12 engineering standards through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) integration.

The award is one of NSF's highest honors for early-career faculty whose research builds a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. The grant will begin October 1, 2010, and will continue for five years.

September 13, 2010

Staats receives the Cynthia Peterson Article of the Year award

Susan StaatsDr. Susan Staats, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, is the recipient of the Cynthia Peterson Article of the Year award presented by the "Journal of College Reading and Learning". Staats received the award for her article "Context in an interdisciplinary algebra writing assignment" published in fall 2009. The article was co-authored by Chris Batteen, a graduate student in linguistics.

Staats and Batten analyzed responses to an interdisciplinary writing assignment to investigate the relationship between students' written portrayal of the context of a mathematics application and their mathematical argumentation. Writing about details of the application context--international funding for malaria reduction--was associated with the use of multiple data sources and with the mathematical support of an argument.

The citation for the article is:
S. Staats & C. Batteen. (2009). Context in an interdisciplinary algebra writing assignment. Journal of College Reading and Learning 40(1), 35-50.

September 7, 2010

Ready for the classroom

Philip ZelazoStephanie CarlsonBefore a child can learn to their potential, he or she must be able to sit still, listen, and follow instructions. Those skills require executive function--the self-conscious exercise of will and self-control. Philip Zelazo and Stephanie Carlson, both faculty in the Institute of Child Development, each lead research into the cognitive development of executive function among young children. Their discoveries are helping identify which children might need extra support getting ready for the classroom and how executive function might be trained.

Find out more in "Ready, set, learn," found in the Summer 2010 issue of Connect.

Madyun is guest editor for special issue of Urban Education

Naim MadyunNa'im Madyun, assistant professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learing (PsTL), was a guest editor for a special issue of Urban Education, "Bringing the Neighborhood into the Classroom". Included in the issue is an article by Rashné Jehangir, assistant professor in PsTL, on the lived experiences of first generation college students and a free podcast with three of the authors (Brian Barrett, SUNY Cortland, Sheneka Williams, University of Georgia and Rashné Jehangir) discussing the role of cultural capital in American public schools.

September 3, 2010

Miksch speaks at University's New Student Convocation

Karen MikschKaren Miksch, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, was the faculty speaker at the University's New Student Convocation on September 2. Miksch spoke to the University's incoming freshman class, including the 450 new CEHD undergraduates.

Miksch's research focuses on access to higher education and legal gatekeepers impeding college access and success. During her convocation speech, she talked to the students about the transformative power of a university education, stating, "I firmly believe the most important civil rights work takes place in a classroom." Miksch also noted that CEHD's First Year Inquiry question (How can one person make a difference?) resonates with her because she believes education should be an empowering experience in which all participants "discover new solutions to inequity and injustice."

August 31, 2010

Duranczyk receives Multicultural Teaching and Learning Fellowship

Irene DuranczykIrene Duranczyk, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, is a recipient of the University's Multicultural Teaching and Learning Fellowship, sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning. The title of Duranczyk's project is "SocioCultural Mathematics Literacy through Statistics: The story behind the numbers, the numbers behind the story."

The Multicultural Teaching and Learning Fellowships aim to support a wide range of multicultural teaching and learning projects -- from those in incubation stages (thinking, researching, talking, reflecting) to those with ideas, materials, and analyses nearly ready to be shared with a range of academic and community groups.

This project will explore ways to increase mathematical literacy through statistics by using student reflections, class assignments, group projects, and focus groups for statistical power. The purpose of this classroom-based research work will be to expand understanding and practice of teaching and learning in a multicultural context. Students will not have to leave prior knowledge or their cultural identity at the classroom door but will build on their experience and knowledge.

August 29, 2010

Reading researchers speak at World Congress on Reading

Deborah DillonDavid O'BrienProfessors David O'Brien and Deborah Dillon (Curriculum and Instruction) traveled to Auckland, New Zealand to present at the World Congress Meeting of the International Reading Association, July 13, 2010. "Building Infrastructures to Foster Literacy Leadership and Change," featured the research of Dillon, O'Brien, Houck, and Boehm on the creation of Minnesota Board of Teaching Reading Standards and policy issues impacting reading initiatives in the state of Minnesota. Their research will be used by members of the New Zealand Ministry of Education in their efforts to implement student and teacher reading standards in New Zealand. View image of O'Brien and Dillon with their daughter in NZ.

Professors Dillon and O'Brien were each awarded University of Minnesota International Travel Grants to offset a portion of the conference expenses. Deborah Dillon holds the Guy Bond Chair in Reading.

July 20, 2010

Large national study strongly links educational leadership to student achievement

SeashoreKarenW.jpgWahlstrom.jpgA new study released today, the largest of its kind, offers important new evidence affirming the strong connection between what school leaders do and student achievement -- and sheds new light on what effective leadership involves.

The conclusions in the report, Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning, by researchers Kyla Wahlstrom and Karen Seashore Louis from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development) and Kenneth Leithwood and Stephen Anderson from the University of Toronto, have broad implications for the understanding of how leadership affects learning across the United States.

"The rubber hits the road in the classroom; that's where the learning happens," said Wahlstrom. "Leadership is important because it sets the conditions and the expectations in the school that there will be excellent instruction and there will be a culture of ongoing learning for the educators and for the students in the school."

The study demonstrates a strong, positive link between educational leaders -- particularly principals -- and student learning outcomes. As the topic of student achievement and test scores dominates policy discussions at the local, state, and national levels, schools and districts face mounting pressure to improve student outcomes. The report provides vital information for policymakers and educational leaders to help students succeed.

Researchers of the $3.5 million study, funded by The Wallace Foundation and conducted over six years, conducted more than 1,000 interviews, surveyed more than 8,000 teachers and administrators, and observed in more than 350 classrooms at all grade levels.

The rich set of findings in Learning from Leadership can help educators, policymakers, and other thought leaders understand how student achievement is linked to leadership at all levels of the education system, from the classroom to the state capital. The report's implications are vast, but one message is clear: "Schools and districts that don't have good leaders will struggle," said Wahlstrom. "So leadership absolutely makes a difference. I can't say that strongly enough: Good leadership is critical to good education."

See the University's news release for more information, including a summary of the report's key findings. The full report is available for free from or, which also includes video commentary by Wahlstrom. See also the University's podcast interview with Wahlstrom below.

July 12, 2010

College researchers launch 'Parenting 2.0' project

WalkerS-pref1.jpgJodi DworkinCEHD researchers have launched a new online research project to help understand how and why parents use technology. Called "Parenting 2.0," the project findings will be used to develop University of Minnesota Extension and other outreach programs for parents and families.

Parents who use the Internet and are willing to share their experiences are encouraged to visit the survey website. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Jodi Dworkin, associate professor in the Department of Family Social Science is co-directing the research with Susan Walker, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

"We hope to determine some of the processes and outcomes around parent technology use, such as how parents use the Internet for seeking advice and information about parenting," said Dworkin. "Additionally, we'd like to know how parents use the Internet for family-oriented communications, such as monitoring children's online behavior and participating in social networking themselves."

Listen to the University podcast in which Dworkin discusses the research and project goals.

June 16, 2010

Seashore named Regents Professor

Seashore1.jpgKaren Seashore, the Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education, has been named Regents Professor by the University Board of Regents. Established in 1965, the Regents Professor designation is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the University. Seashore is one of only three University faculty awarded this honor in 2010.

"Year after year, Regents Professors represent the best and brightest in their fields, and this year's selections are no exception," said University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. "Their bold discoveries and commitment to excellence across a wide range of disciplines embody the mission and aspirations of a world-class research and land-grant university."

The addition of Seashore, from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), along with professors William Iacono (College of Liberal Arts, psychology) and Horace Loh (Medical School, pharmacology) increases the total number of current Regents Professorships at the University to 30.

Seashore is an internationally acclaimed scholar whose research is grounded in social science theory and who is considered to be the most important methodologist in the field of school improvement and school leadership in the last quarter century. Her work on entrepreneurial science is said to have changed the understanding of science and research and is considered to be the gold standard on the subject. She has published 13 books, 17 major monographs, 73 peer-reviewed articles, and 52 chapters.

"I am thrilled that Karen has been named a Regents Professor," said Jean Quam, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. "It is so well deserved. She has won many awards and accolades for her work because she does not back away from difficult issues on teaching children more effectively and understanding the complexity of our educational systems.

"She became a grandmother this week as well as a Regents professor--both of which are significant accomplishments," added Quam on a personal note. "We are very proud of the recognition she brings to her own work as well as to the department and the college."

Seashore has served on many editorial boards and review panels including the National Science Foundation's sections on Sociology and on Ethics and Values in Science and Technology, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Spencer Foundation. In addition to serving on numerous university-level committees such as the Faculty Consultative Committee, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, the Senate Committee on Finance and Planning, and as vice chair of the University Senate, she has served as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education, as director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Administration, and as director of undergraduate studies in OLPD.

June 7, 2010

Herting Wahl receives Counselor Educator of the Year award

The American School Counselor Association has named Kay WahlEducational Psychology associate professor Kay Herting Wahl its 2010 Counselor Educator of the Year. The national award recognizes a counselor educator for outstanding service and achievement that has had an impact on the school counseling profession. This is a tremendous honor from the world's largest school counseling association.

May 26, 2010

School of Social Work's Lee named Fesler-Lampert Chair in Aging Studies

Hee LeeHee Yun Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Work, has been named the 2010-2011 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Aging Studies at the University of Minnesota Center on Aging.

The endowed chair funds researchers and scholars who want to pursue projects that will further knowledge and understanding about aging and its effects on people. Dr. Lee has been studying aging for more than 20 years, focusing on the quality of life and care among elderly immigrants and refugees. Holding the chair will give her the opportunity to pursue a community-based participatory research project that will examine health literacy—specifically cancer literacy and pertinent screening behaviors—among elders in the Hmong community in the Twin Cities area.

The long-term goal of the project is to create effective, culturally competent, and community-based interventions that increase cancer screening and ultimately improve the health and well-being of elder Hmong refugees. The chair was created in 1999 by the Center on Aging with support from the University of Minnesota Graduate School and the generosity of David and Elizabeth Fesler.

May 20, 2010

Gunnar's research on stress in child care settings receives national attention

GunnarM-0000.jpgRecent research led by Regents Professor Megan Gunnar, Institute of Child Development, has attracted national media attention. Her study of preschoolers attending full-day, licensed child care showed that their levels of the stress hormone cortisol exceeded their cortisol levels when they were at home. The study, published in the journal Child Development, found children's cortisol levels highest in settings with intrusive or over-controlling care providers, where children were frequently moved between activities, had relatively little free play time, and spent long periods of time in structured activities led by the providers.

Researchers studied about 150 three-and four-year-olds in 110 different family child care homes, observing both the children's behavior and the behavior of their care providers. They sampled saliva to measure the children's cortisol levels.

"These findings indicate that the behavior of the care provider is associated with both how well children function at child care and how much their cortisol is elevated," said Gunnar. "They add to our understanding of how children process stressors in child care, highlighting differences between boys and girls in how they express being more physiologically stressed."

The University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, and the Oregon Social Learning Center collaborated on the study. See a sample of the media coverage at the UPI and Medical News Today Web sites.

STEM Center featured on KARE 11

MooreT-t06.jpgTamara Moore, co-director of the STEM Education Center, and the center's project with a local school are the subject of a KARE 11 Sunrise segment, "What's Cool in Our School." The STEM Center has partnered with Central Middle School in Columbia Heights to create a pilot program integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts in a new engineering class at the school.

Students in the class are learning to combine these concepts through the hands-on tasks of designing and making a cardboard chair that can support 200 pounds. Moore, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, discusses the real-world applications of STEM with the students and describes how important it is to integrate STEM in teacher training and student learning.

April 26, 2010

Entry to the University facilitated by new program

Barbara HodneBarbara Hodne, Ph.D., Senior Teaching Specialist is actively involved with Entry Point Project, a new initiative of College in the Schools, a national program in which the University of Minnesota participates. This program allows high school students to receive high school and university credit concurrently for the classes they take.

For seven years, Hodne, whose background is in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and American Literature, has coached high school instructors as they teach a college-level writing class through the College in the Schools program. Recently, she has been involved in the initiative Entry Point Project, launched in fall 2009 to expand College in the Schools' offerings to high school students in the academic middle, or in the 50%-80% range of their classes.

The idea for Entry Point began with Susan Henderson, director of the College in the Schools program at the University. She and Hodne had both noted the gap in college preparation classes provided to high school English language learners and other prospective first generation university students in the schools. The Entry Point Project courses now include Writing Studio, Speech, Physics by Inquiry, and Mathematical Modeling and Prediction.

April 22, 2010

Rising Star Faculty Award goes to Bic Ngo

Bic NgoCEHD's Women's Philanthropic Leadership Circle has named Bic Ngo (assistant professor of culture and teaching in Curriculum and Instruction) as this year's recipient of the Rising Star Faculty Award given to a pre-tenure female faculty member. The Circle's annual awards celebration will be on Tuesday, June 15, 9-11 a.m., at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul. An email invitation to the college community will be sent in May. Congratulations Bic!

April 20, 2010

America Reads program fosters community within and beyond the University

Annie Hansen
In 1998, Rosemary Miller, Director of the Literacy Initiative and America Reads literacy tutoring program, established the university-wide tutoring program, which is housed in CEHD. The Literacy Initiative coordinators, collaborating with coordinators from the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and the University YMCA, train and place 350 undergraduate student tutors annually at 37 sites across St. Paul and Minneapolis. Partnering schools and community centers in the Twin Cities have come to heavily rely on these highly qualified University tutors in schools and after-school programs where children come for help with reading and homework.

Presently, the America Reads program receives $700,000 of federal work-study funding designated for community engagement. This money supports the 150 students hired by the Literacy Initiative, as well as the tutors in the other chapters. These tutors come from colleges across the University and are supervised and mentored as literacy tutors by America Reads coordinators Jennifer Kohler and Ashley Bedard.

Beginning last fall, a one-credit course on tutoring, literacy, and social justice taught by Miller, Kohler, and Bedard became a prerequisite for America Reads tutors. Thus far, the course has been well received by students. It prepares and supports them as they work in challenging environments and guides them in a reflective process that supports the tutoring which they do. Additionally, the course counts toward the service learning credit necessary for students to receive distinction as community engagement scholars.

According to Miller, involvement in the America Reads program gives students hands-on application of what they are learning in their courses. It is encouraging for Miller, Kohler, and Bedard to see University students develop a sense of community through their participation in this program and commit to long-term involvement in community service work. Kohler and Bedard also organize monthly service learning projects for America Reads tutors in order to give them experience in other areas of community engagement within the Twin Cities non-profit service sector. Students who finish their studies often go on to work with Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps.

April 14, 2010

Professor champions bill to support couples considering divorce alternatives

DohertyB2002.jpgProfessor Bill Doherty, Department of Family Social Science, is championing a legislative bill that would provide better counseling support to couples considering divorce. Minnesota Public Radio interviewed Doherty about his support for the Couples on the Brink bill.

The bill would add a $5 tax to marriage licenses in Minnesota, and use the money to provide better training to marriage counselors and clergy who assist couples, especially those wavering between divorce and reconciliation.

Doherty's research, which surveyed over 2,400 divorcing parents in 2008 and 2009, is cited, showing that in about one third of the cases, one party was unsure about proceeding with the divorce.

Open for some

Nicola AlexanderMinnesota's system of open enrollment, which policymakers established to allow the education system to self-regulate, has created a dynamic in which schools and districts must compete for students. Nicola Alexander, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, has researched how competing for students influences the dueling pressures of finances and measures of student achievement for 55 Twin Cities metro school districts.

Discover more about her findings regarding the financial stability of local districts, as well as their competitiveness, in "Colloquium: Open enrollment's losers." It's available in the Winter/Spring 2010 Connect.

April 13, 2010

Connecting statistics educators on a local and international level

Joan GarfieldJoan Garfield, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Educational Psychology has been a catalyst in the local and international community of statistics education. In collaboration with other educators, she has founded journals, international forums, and local professional networking opportunities for educators with the aim of reducing the isolation that statistics educators often experience in their work and research.

One of Garfield's local community engagements is with Stat Chat , a monthly gathering she and two professors from Macalester and St. Olaf College established five years ago for prospective and current teachers of college-level statistics in high schools and technical and two-year colleges in the greater Twin Cities. At each meeting, participants build a sense of community while raising their awareness of key issues and guidelines in teaching statistics.

In addition to this involvement, Garfield has co-chaired the International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL) for the past decade. SRTL is an international forum of statisticians who focus on how people reason and think about statistics. Every two years, SRTL participants meet in a different country for a week to share their research at greater length and give and receive peer feedback. The forum is limited to approximately 24 participants, a mix of senior and new researchers. It is a self-supporting gathering, funded through the publication of their conference proceedings. According to Garfield these meetings have been tremendously generative and she is hopeful that they will continue to connect educators often segregated within their different professional communities.

April 9, 2010

Exploring unresolved identities of urban immigrant youth

Bic NgoUnresolved Identities: Discourse, Ambivalence, and Urban Immigrant Students, by Bic Ngo, assistant professor of culture and teaching in curriculum and instruction, was recently published by SUNY Press. In her ethnographic study of Lao American students at an urban, public high school, Ngo shows how simplistic accounts of these students smooth over unfinished, precarious identities and contested social relations. Exploring the ways that immigrant youth identities are shaped by dominant discourses that simplify and confine their experiences within binary categories of good/bad, traditional/modern, and success/failure, she unmasks and examines the stories we tell about them, and unsettles the hegemony of discourses that frame identities within discrete dualisms.

Rather than being cohesive, the identity negotiations of Lao American students are responses that modify, resist, or echo these discourses. Ngo argues that while Lao American students are changing what it means to be "urban" and "immigrant" youth, most people are unable to read them as doing so, and instead see the youth as confused, backward, and problematic. By illuminating the discursive practices of identity, this study underscores the need to conceptualize urban, immigrant identities as contradictory, fractured, and unresolved.

April 8, 2010

Roehrig honored as outstanding faculty member by the Council of Graduate Students

Gillian Roehrig, associate professor of science education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is one of 12 faculty members across the University selected by the Council of Graduate Students as outstanding faculty who go above and beyond expectations to ensure the success of graduate students, both as students and as the next generation of scholars and researchers. Roehrig and the other 11 faculty selected to receive this award were chosen from among 60 faculty nominated by graduate students for consideration for this award.

Each faculty nominee was nominated by a minimum of two graduate students. This is the first year that the Council of Graduate Students has provided this award. Recipients of the award will be recognized at a reception on April 19.

April 7, 2010

ICD faculty Sroufe, Egeland featured in college magazine

Egeland-Sroufe for Web.jpgByron Egeland and Alan Sroufe have spent their careers studying the factors that influence how people function. Despite retiring this year--Egeland in January and Sroufe come May--they remain dedicated to research in child development.

As part of that commitment, they are continuing their landmark Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The 35-year, world-renowned study has followed its research subjects from infancy through adulthood, examining social relationships, risk factors, and other significant influences on development.

At its core, the study examines how attachment between a parent and child develops and how this can affect long-term development. Among their findings: attachment influences dropout rates, academic achievement, and other key educational measures.

Read more about Egeland and Sroufe's work in the Winter/Spring '10 issue of Connect.

March 30, 2010

Integral role given to participatory education

This semester, Robert Shumer, Ph.D., lecturer in the department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development is teaching a seminar titled Youth Participatory Evaluation for the Youth Development Leadership program. In this class, he focuses on youth-led evaluation as a function of youth development, specifically participatory evaluation.

For Shumer, civic engagement is not an unfamiliar topic. Since 1969, when he began teaching, he has been blending theory and the practice of youth leadership. His teaching is based on the conviction that service should be a central feature of democratic institutions.

Starting as a high school teacher and continuing on as a vocational education instructor, Shumer developed curriculum aimed to connect students with their communities through service and career interest. Over the years, he came to recognize the need for training of youth leaders and the role youth participatory evaluation played in producing high quality service and educational programs.

When Shumer arrived at the University in 1992, he was one of the individuals involved in the establishment of the Youth Development Leadership program and the University's National Service-Learning Cooperative Clearinghouse which he directed from 1994-2001.

In recent years, Shumer has become more involved internationally. In Singapore, he delivered keynote addresses on youth development at two national conferences, conducted an evaluation of a teacher education program, and has since been working on the development of a partnership between the University of Minnesota and Singapore's National Institute of Education at Nanyang University.

Roger T. Johnson honored as 2010 AERA Fellow

Professor Roger T. Johnson (Curriculum and Instruction) has been named a 2010 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. His nomination was advanced to the Fellows Committee by his peers and colleagues in the field in recognition of his exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. He is one of 67 Fellows who will be inducted on Saturday, May 1, 2010, during AERA's 91st Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Fellows serve as models and mentors to the next generation of scholars of educational research. Johnson's research has focused on the development and dissemination of cooperative learning techniques for the classroom.

March 26, 2010

Rayla Allison sums up Mauer's salary on WCCO's "Good Question"

<a href=Rayla Allison, J.D., sport management lecturer in Kinesiology and director of the Sport Business Institute, was interviewed last night on WCCO-TV's 10 p.m. news about Joe Mauer's salary. With his agent's cut and annual taxes and fees, the Twins catcher won't take home quite as much as his multimillion contract might suggest--only $14 million a year. Read the whole story here:

March 24, 2010

Allies for equity: supporting youth in the GLBT community

Annie HansenAnnie Hansen, Ph.D., lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology, is using data to inform practice. Building on the research she did as a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, Hansen continues to search for a deeper understanding of local GLBT youth communities through her involvement with Out for Equity. Part of Saint Paul Public School's Office of Educational Equity, Out for Equity is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students, staff, and families.

Hansen discovered Out for Equity as a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota five years ago and completed a practicum there under the supervision of program coordinator, Alan Horowitz. Together, Hansen and Horowitz have presented some of their findings related to school climate change, drawing on Horowitz's deep understanding of GLBT issues and Hansen's background in educational psychology and research.

Using questions that come out of the classes she teaches now at the University, Hansen continues her research on school climate change and the development of GLBT allies, defined by Hansen as people who stand up for those who are oppressed. She and some of her University of Minnesota students volunteer at An Evening Out, a weekly event for GLBT high school students and allies promoted by Out for Equity at the Hancock Recreation Center in Saint Paul. Students come to the center to play basketball, foosball, and bingo, make art, hang out, and watch movies together.

Hansen and two of her graduate students are also conducting a study of local students who have identified themselves as allies. They recognize that this group of students is not necessarily representative of students across the state. Nevertheless, they seek to understand who these particular kids are and why they are standing up for others. Hansen would like to bring the results of the ally research back to the high school students with whom she volunteers in order to help them to build more allies and address problems related to school bullying.

Check out Out for Equity.

March 2, 2010

Care connection: providing support for those dealing with dementia

Cynthia MeyerFollowing the unexpected passing of Wayne Caron, Ph.D. assistant professor in the Department of Family Social Science in 2007, faculty scrambled to keep a vibrant program he had established in 1999 functioning. Cynthia Meyer, Ph.D. and Liz Wieling, Ph.D., both from the Family Social Science Department have helped maintain the Family Caregiving Center that now bears Caron's name.

The Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center supports people with dementia and those who care for them. According to Meyer, there is nothing like it in the Twin Cities. Most of those served by the center are referred by University of Minnesota Physicians, Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic, the Alzheimer's Association, local therapists, or through word-of-mouth.

One of the primary services offered by the Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center is a free Saturday morning group support group. On average, 20 to 30 people attend each week. Some have dementia and others are their caregivers. The first hour of the Saturday group is instructive and is typically led by graduate students from Family Social Science. These students as well as interns and undergraduate students volunteer under supervision of Meyer and others. While Meyer had worked with caregivers in the past, she says she has developed a new found passion for issues faced by families dealing with dementia as a result of her work with this program.

Learn more about services provided by Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center.

February 22, 2010

Gunnar discusses the effects of stress on infant brain development on "Good Enough Moms" show

Megan GunnarMegan Gunnar, PhD, professor in the Institute of Child Development (ICD), was the featured guest on Good Enough MomsTM, a weekly talk show hosted by Marti Erickson, PhD, a former Adjunct Professor in ICD who retired from the U of M in 2008, and her daughter, Erin Erickson, MPH. Megan discussed the effects of stress on the brain development of infants and young children and the importance of sensitive, responsive relationships with parents and other caregivers as a buffer against stress. A podcast of the show will be available beginning February 22 at Good Enough MomsTM is distributed through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education and the nonprofit Working Family Resource Center.

February 13, 2010

Event taps education leaders' expertise on teacher quality

On Feb. 5, more than 200 of Minnesota's top education leaders and policymakers met at the University of Minnesota to discuss how to develop, measure, and support teacher effectiveness and quality. Hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development and moderated by Karen Seashore, the Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education, a panel of state and national experts shared perspectives from across the spectrum of the education industry. Panel members included Misty Sato, who holds the new Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair in Education; Bush Foundation President Peter Hutchinson; St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva, Teach for America President Matthew Kramer; and Garnet Franklin, education issues specialist for Education Minnesota.

Sato focused on the teaching profession as a cycle, from recruitment and preparation, early career support and ongoing professional development. The ultimate goal, she said, is for the most effective, experienced teachers to become master teachers who can help those who are new to the profession.

Sato also highlighted a number of teacher effectiveness initiatives nationwide, including two at the college. The Teacher Support Partnership--a collaboration between CEHD, the Minnesota Department of Education, Education Minnesota, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities--has developed guidelines for supporting early career teachers. The college's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI) is building partnerships with the schools where graduates of the teacher preparation program will teach. As part of TERI, the college is also the lead institution among state teacher preparation programs working with the Minnesota Department of Education on a national pilot assessment for pre-service teachers.

The panel members followed with their perspectives on teacher quality, based in their individual experiences in education. Hutchinson reiterated the call for ongoing partnerships between pre-K-12 schools and districts and colleges of education. The foundation has funded TERI with a $4.5 million grant--part of a $40 million overall investment in seven regional higher education partners over the next 10 years.

Panelists also addressed a number of issues posed by Seashore related to attracting and retaining high quality teachers and specific policy recommendations to meet those challenges. Though some disagreed on controversial topics such as tenure and alternative teacher preparation, they all expressed their commitment and urgency towards solving the complex challenges of an educational system that does not work for all students. They also repeated the vitality of cooperation across higher education, pre-K-12 and state systems.

Read the media release about the event. A complete synopsis and video recording of the event are posted on the event Web site.

February 4, 2010

Mistilina Sato named to Campbell Endowed Chair in Education

Mistilina SatoMistilina Sato has been named the inaugural holder of the Carmen Starkson Campbell Endowed Chair in Education in the College of Education and Human Development. One of few such chairs in the country, the Campbell Chair focuses on scholarly activities that prepare and support new teachers and improve effectiveness and retention of teachers, especially as advocates for at-risk students. The chair also encourages partnerships with schools and districts, with emphasis on those facing significant challenges in achieving student success.

Carmen and Jim Campbell established the Campbell Chair and an accompanying graduate fellowship in honor of Carmen's own experiences as a teacher for 11 years in the Minneapolis Public Schools and her concern and caring for K-12 teachers and the profession. Carmen earned a B.S. degree from the college in 1964, and Jim holds a B.S. degree from the Carlson School of Management. Jim retired as chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota after a 38-year banking career.

Sato, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is co-principal investigator and director of the college's Teacher Education Redesign Initiative (TERI). "As the Campbell Chair holder, Sato will continue her outstanding leadership in reaching TERI's goal of transforming teacher education," said the college's dean Jean Quam. "As a former teacher and an expert on teacher quality and development, she is uniquely qualified to carry forward the vision of the Campbell Chair."

Sato holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in curriculum and teacher education, with a specialty in science education, and a B.A. degree from Princeton University in geological sciences. While at Stanford, she developed and directed a regional professional development program for practicing teachers pursuing National Board Certification in the San Francisco Bay area. She began her teaching career as a middle school teacher in Plainsboro, N.J., and as an instructional team leader with the Merck Institute for Science Education in Rahway, N.J., in the earth and space sciences.

Sato's research focuses on teacher development and the use of formative assessment in science classrooms. She is completing a study of cultural relevance in science pedagogy (CRISP) through a Minnesota teacher action research network and the Science Museum of Minnesota. As a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Research Fellow, she is working with a Twin Cities high school science teacher action research group on enacting formative assessment in their everyday practice.

Sato has been awarded the 2008 Young Scholars Research Fellowship, the Women's Philanthropic Leadership Rising Star Award, and the 2007 Kappa Delta Pi Early Research Award.

DigMe digital media program featured on Kare 11's "Cool in School"

Cynthia LewisThe DigMe program, a partnership between the University of Minnesota and Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, was featured in the February 4th news on Kare 11, "Cool in School: Roosevelt High School's Digital Media studies." Reporter Kim Insley visited the media studies classroom of English teacher Molly McCarthy, a 2009 graduate of the CEHD initial licensure program in English Education, to film students receiving peer feedback on digital projects that culminated a unit on food and globalization. McCarthy and Cynthia Lewis, (professor, literacy and English education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction) were interviewed for the video segment below.

DigMe is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the innovative use of emerging technologies to enhance student learning. Cynthia Lewis and Cassie Scharber (assistant professor, learning technologies, Department of Curriculum and Instruction) lead the partnership with Roosevelt High School and are conducting research on engagement in learning as shaped by a Web 2.0 project-based curriculum.

January 29, 2010

Child development research featured on University site

attachment.jpgSince 1975, professors Byron Egeland and Alan Sroufe have traced the importance of childhood attachment. Their field-defining research, conducted along with professor Andrew Collins, is featured on the University of Minnesota home page.

Sroufe and Egeland have followed the same group of subjects for 35 years, from childhood through their adult family relationships. Now, Collins is researching how early attachments affect adult social relationships.

The article includes insights on how a responsive caregiver can influence confidence, social relationships--even IQ--for a lifetime.

January 22, 2010

Weiss gives keynote at Girls on the Run summit

Maureen WeissMaureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, gave a keynote presentation at the Girls on the Run Summit in Austin, Texas on January 19, 2010. The title of her presentation was, "Promoting life skills and healthy outcomes in girls: Benefits of a physically active lifestyle." Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program for girls 8-13 years old, in which running and other physical activities are the medium for "educating and preparing girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living." More information on this unique program can be found at

January 21, 2010

Literacy researchers' proposal wins National Reading Conference award

Cassandra ScharberDavid O'BrienDeborah Dillon

Area Chairs of the National Reading Conference selected a proposal by literacy researchers Deborah Dillon, David O'Brien, Cassandra Scharber (faculty), and Brad Biggs, Catherine Kelly, and Megan Mahowald (graduate students/instructors) in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction as an award winner for the 2009 annual program in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The award recognizes the quality and importance of the research team's work. Reviewers gave it uniformly high ratings for having a well developed and highly refined proposal on an important topic in literacy research.

January 11, 2010

Danes: Families focusing on what they have, not what they don't

danes-web-09.jpgSharon Danes, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Family Social Science, was quoted in a Parade magazine article "Live Well With What You Have." She noted that as American families have struggled in the economic downturn, they have had to reassess spending habits. More people have chosen to appreciate what they have, instead of wanting more. Read the article.

Chapman and Fry receive Award for Global Engagement

Gerry FryDavid ChapmanDavid Chapman, Ph.D., and Gerry Fry, Ph.D., professors in the Department of
Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD)
, have been selected
as recipients of the 2009 Award for Global Engagement, a prestigious honor
by the Office of International Programs at the University of Minnesota. Both have contributed in numerous ways to support global education and international programs at the University of Minnesota and in the context of OLPD's graduate programs, and in particular in Comparative and International
Development Education
. Information about the award ceremony will be

December 2, 2009

Bart publishes new book on chess cognition

William BartWilliam Bart, Educational Psychology professor, has published a new book: Atherton, M., & Bart, W. (2009). Cognitive transfer in chess playing: A study of chess cognition. Saarbruecken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller.

The book describes cognitive research on the topic of transfer in chess, a complex game played by over 500 million individuals worldwide that requires integrated usage of all higher thinking skills, including problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, creativity, and planning.

November 6, 2009

Reinardy named representative at Social Work Congress

Reinardy-Jim.jpgJames Reinardy, Ph.D., director of the School of Social Work, has been selected as one of 10 deans/directors to represent the National Association of Deans and Directors at the April 2010 Social Work Congress in Washington D.C. Congress participants represent major professional and educational social work organizations as well as constituent organizations. About 400 participants are selected for the congress, which has the goal of advancing the profession of social work and setting an agenda of imperatives for the future.