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CAREI researchers present papers at MWERA conference

7CAREI_MWERA_Dretzke-Chinese-students-photo.jpgBeverly Dretzke, Sue Rickers, and Judy Meath presented their research at the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (MWERA) conference held in St. Louis in October. Dretzke is a research associate at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI). Rickers, a research assistant at CAREI, is a doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work. Meath is a doctoral student in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, and a former CAREI research fellow.

Their co-authored paper was entitled "An Investigation of a Professional Development Program for Arts Educators." The paper presented the results of an evaluation of Focus on Arts, Culture and Excellence for Teachers and Students (FACETS), a three-year professional development program implemented by the Minneapolis Public Schools district. The primary purpose of FACETS was to enhance music and visual arts teachers' knowledge and skills related to providing effective instruction for students of the ethnic/cultural backgrounds present in their classrooms, especially African American, Somali, Hmong, Latino/Hispanic, and American Indian. FACETS was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Professional Development for Arts Educators Grants Program. CAREI served as the external evaluator for FACETS.

Dretzke also presented "Why Parents Choose Chinese Immersion for Their Children." The paper described the results of a survey of parents who have enrolled their children in a Chinese immersion program offered by the Hopkins, Minnetonka, and St. Cloud school districts. Four elementary schools in these districts comprise the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC). The four schools are: Eisenhower Elementary XinXing Academy (Hopkins, MN), Excelsior Elementary (Excelsior, MN), Scenic Heights Elementary (Minnetonka, MN), and Madison Elementary Guang Ming Academy (St. Cloud, MN). The MMIC is the recipient of a five-year Foreign Language Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support instruction in Mandarin that has a content focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The evaluation of the Chinese immersion programs offered by MMIC is being conducted by CAREI.

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