Prior to COVID, the U.S. Department of State initiated a program using comics to facilitate English Language instruction by partnering teachers from across the globe. Although COVID caused changes in how that program was executed, lessons learned from the pilot suggest that comics are a great tool for connecting with students. Our guest, Dan Ryder, is a learning Coordinator at Overman Academy, CRCS, in Skowhegan, Maine, and a key consultant on the State Department's program. Dan explains how the program unfolded amidst the pandemic as well as success stories that were observed. To learn more about this program, or to access resources on using comics when teaching, visit the American English "Teaching with Graphic Novels" resource site at https://americanenglish.state.gov/resources/teaching-comics-and-graphic-novels
Discussions of STEM topics on this program and in other outlets typically focus on middle, primary, and higher education age-level. Dr. Stephanie Ryan is the author of a children's book titled, Let's Learn about Chemistry, which offers an interactive and engaging solution for helping children in primary grades develop understanding of everyday chemistry concepts. In our discussion, Stephanie explains her approach to teaching with the book and also discusses ways in which parents or educators can extend the chemistry concepts through other applications and activities. You can learn more about Stephanie and her book at her website, http://letslearnaboutscience.com.
Jennifer Degenhardt is a Spanish teacher and author of several student-oriented books that raise cultural awareness while also helping to teach second language skills. A core premise of her books is to use character-developed storytelling to raise empathy and cultural awareness within the context of language learning. Jen discusses these issues as well as her own transition from classroom teacher to author.
In the 2018, Episode 120 of Teaching Matters, we learned about Persistence Plus, a communication platform that uses text messages to give students behavioral nudges toward academic success. Now, 3-years later, we can dive into the successes of this platform and how it has been expanded to address a variety of student needs, including those surrounding the pandemic. We are joined by Dr. Ross O'Hara, Director of Behavioral Science and Education with Persistence Plus, and Marisa Vernon White, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Lorain County Community College, which has been an institutional leader in use of the Persistence Plus technology.
Educational trauma happens for nearly every student (and teacher) in every school. Dr. Lee-Anne Gray is a forensic and clinical psychologist and author of, Educational Trauma: Examples from Testing to the School-to-Prison Pipeline. In this episode she explains how even well-intentioned behaviors can result in trauma for students, teachers, and others in the educational setting. She is a proponent of democratic education principles, design thinking, and empathy to abate such trauma.
Conrad Wolfram is the co-founder and CEO of Wolfram Research Europe and author of The Math(s) Fix: An Educational Blueprint for the AI Age (2020, Wolfram Media, Inc.). Listeners may be familiar with the popular Wolfram Alpha app created by his company. Our discussion in this episode delves into a core problem in math education: We focus far too much on calculation rather than computation. Wolfram outlines ways in which computational thinking skills can be taught and why they are essential to our modern society.
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts the census, which is then used for a variety of purposes including the nature of representation in Congress but also resources provided to schools. The Statistics in Schools program is an initiative to help teachers of all PK-12 (and Adult ESL) levels integrate lessons using census data into lessons ranging from U.S. History to English and, of course, math. Our guests in this program are Victoria Glasier, Director of the Statistics in Schools Program with the U. S. Census Bureau, and Lem Wheeles, a U.S. Government History Teacher at Diamond High School in Anchorage
A growing body of research has documented the problems associated with using conventional student course evaluations as a primary method for demonstrating teaching effectiveness for purposes of promotion and tenure, annual review, and other uses. A group of faculty and administrators at Ohio University have tackled this issue for the past year in order to make recommendations on how practices of documenting teaching effectiveness can be usefully broadened. Ohio University guests on this episode include Kamile Geist from the School of Music, Debora Marinski from the Southern Campus, Katie Hartman from the College of Business, and Mary Wurm-Schaar from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The KIPP Foundation is a network of over 240 public charter schools that emphasizes college preparedness for the 100,000+ students in its system. Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation, discusses the KIPP foundation's approach as well as information from a recently released foundation report titled, "The Promise of a Choice-Filled Life: Meeting Students' College and Career Needs, from Classrooms to Congress." The report carefully documents the opportunities and challenges facing students as they make the transition from college-prep to college. To learn more about the KIPP Foundation, visit their website: https://www.kipp.org/
Over the course of this season of Teaching Matters we have discussed a variety of topics and approaches to STEM education. Dr. John Ewing, President of Math for America (MfA), joins us in this episode to discuss how MfA creates a community for math and STEM educators to professionally develop and attain recognition for their efforts. As a veteran math educator and leader, Ewing also discusses his views on the future of math and STEM education.