1 Fall 2008 The University of Kansas School of Education Alumni Magazine CHAPPELL STUDIOS Internships (Page 4)... Evaluating Ways to Teach Science and Math (Page 8) Assistant Professor Works to Save the Cherokee Language (Page 10) Human Performance Lab Study Focuses on Resistance Training (Page 12)
2 ABOVE: Educators from throughout the state are hosted by the School of Education at the University of Kansas on June 13 to examine the impact of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and look toward the future of education. Here, they talk together over lunch at Joseph R. Pearson Hall. FROM LEFT: Mary Cohen, secretary s regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education, detailed changes in NCLB policy. n Dean Rick Ginsberg introduced keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan. n Participants heard from a panel of teachers and administrators and attended sessions in which educators, policymakers and researchers examined ways to help teachers and schools. ON THE COVER: Maosheng Hung, left, Ph.D. recipient, and Aesook Kim., M.S.E. recipient, both from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, at the School of Education Convocation held May 17 at the Lied Center.
3 Fall 2008 OF COURSE 2 FROM THE DEAN Rick Ginsberg shares his enthusiasm about new projects and other ways the School is responding to ever-changing dynamics. 3 TEACHING EXCELLENCE Four secondary teachers, nominated by their former students, earn the Wolfe Teaching Excellence Award. 13 STAY IN TOUCH We want to keep up with you, and we want you to know what all is going on at the School of Education. 14 SERVICE SPOTLIGHT The Harvest of Hope Leadership Academy brought 30 migrant high school students to campus in June. 15 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT School of Education alumni are doing great things. 4 Internships Students in the School of Education at the University of Kansas set a course for success with valuable real-world experiences. 12 RESEARCH REPORT Worth the weight Resistance exercise is the focus of a new study in the Human Performance Lab at the Robinson Center. 8 TEACHING NOTES Science and math Improving teaching and learning in mathematics and science is at the forefront of work by two associate professors. 16 ALUMNI NEWS Check up on your former classmates. 10 Language in danger: Assistant professor of curriculum and teaching works to save the Cherokee language 13 Wal-Mart and Center for Research on Learning team to help Boys and Girls Clubs 16 In Memory 17 Remembering the Teachers Who Touched Our Lives 1
4 Greetings from the dean It s a time of change here, too Listening to the political rhetoric this summer and fall, one theme is consistent among all candidates of every political stripe it is a time for change in Washington politics. After being inundated again and again with the change mantra, I sometimes find myself humming the famous line from the old Bob Dylan song, The times they are a changing. Indeed, few would argue with the need for change given the dynamics facing our great nation. But down here on the ground in Kansas, or should I say up on the hill in Lawrence, we in the School of Education experience the need for change each and every day. Whether it be the changing nature of students in our classes, or advances in technology, or the growing Rick Ginsberg, Ph.D. shortages of properly trained educators, or the health needs confronting our culture related to obesity or increased stress due to job layoffs and financial pressures, or the need for new ways to reach K-12 students struggling with rising academic expectations, or the growing economic challenges facing our state, or any number of other issues confronting us, it clearly is true that the times they are a changing! What this means for us in the School of Education is that we need to constantly reflect upon what we do and make appropriate adjustments to meet the ever-changing dynamics. We do so in a variety of ways through assessment of our programs, consideration and introduction of new technologies, inculcating multiple forms of pedagogy into classes, producing cutting-edge research that reveals better ways to address problems and undertaking significant public service projects that expose large numbers of constituents to state-of-the-art practices. In fact, all faculty are involved in the development of a new strategic plan for the School that will guide our efforts for the foreseeable future. Just this semester our Center for Research on Learning (CRL) introduced an exciting new project called CRL Learns. Due to the need for greater sophistication in research designs for being successfully funded by federal and other agencies, CRL decided to bring in experts from KU and the nation to help guide their researchers as they plan new projects. But as a part of that, they are convening weekly sessions for faculty and staff in the School and across all the Centers associated with us to hold book readings, topical research and practice discussions, and other interactive sessions to help strengthen the learning community that characterizes all successful research and development organizations. At the same time, our Institute for Research and Public Service is developing a program to support faculty research efforts as they prepare manuscripts for publication or proposals for external dollars. Regarding teaching, some of our award-winning teachers among the faculty will be hosting discussions with colleagues about ways to improve their instructional techniques. The object for each of these efforts is clear to reflect on our current knowledge and practice and to examine new ways of approaching problems to better adjust to the evolving demands that affect our work. This issue of The Jayhawk Educator offers a number of interesting stories about the efforts of faculty, center staff and graduates of our programs, as well as reflections of some current students. I hope these stories give you a sense of the great things going on here in Lawrence. Later this year we ll publish another issue of The Jayhawk Educator wholly online. Please let us know if your information has changed so we can get that to you. Also, if you prefer receiving a hard copy of that Educator, we certainly will send you one if you contact us. It was nearly 100 years ago, in 1909, that the Board of Regents in Kansas established the School of Education. The next year, 1910, the School was officially organized. Over these 100 years we have trained thousands of students and impacted our professional fields in many ways. Next year, , we will celebrate this centennial anniversary. We anticipate events throughout the year with a culminating activity in spring Please look for information about the 100th anniversary celebration in the months ahead, and be sure to contact me if you have an interest in helping us prepare for what should prove to be an exciting year. No doubt, the events next year will underscore just how much things really have changed here on Mount Oread. 2
5 Awards for teaching excellence f o u r o u t s t a n d i n g Kansas high school teachers received the Wolfe Teaching Excellence Award during commencement weekend at the University of Kansas in May. The awards were established by the Wolfe Family Foundation to recognize excellence in secondary school teaching through nominations by KU undergraduate seniors. Dean Rick Ginsberg presented plaques to the awardees at the School of Education Convocation. Margaret Maggie Carr recently retired after teaching English at Paola High School for 37 years. She was nominated by her former student, Lisa Parr. Here are just a few quotes from Lisa s nomination. Her instruction went beyond English composition. She taught us how to critically think and how to take notes, and prepared us for the change that was about to take place.... She would frequently talk to us about going to college... without that push from her I may not have gone to college.... Literature is an art and I never really understood that until I had Maggie as an instructor. Anita Lemons teaches Spanish at Blue Valley High School. Former student Kristin Driskell nominated her for this award. Said Kristin, Despite my uncertainty (in Spanish) as a high school sophomore, I will be graduating in May with a bachelor of arts in Award-winning educators pose in the green room prior to Convocation. From left: Dean Rick Ginsberg, Russell Thiel, Tiffany Richard, Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Anita Lemons and Margaret Maggie Carr degree in Spanish and for that I owe thanks to Anita Lemons, an uplifting and determined educator at Blue Valley High School.... Anita Lemons taught me that learning a language is not like memorizing math equations or historical facts, but rather it is a journey that lasts a lifetime and she exemplifies this concept. Tiffany Richard is a science teacher at Olathe East High School. She was nominated by Alana Ryan, her former student. Alana wrote, I have yet to see a high school educator match her in effort and ambition.... Additionally she repeatedly works with troubled students and parents (no matter whether or not they are in her classes) to help create a serene environment for students at school and at home.... Even on her worst days (the day of her root canal while she had a migraine comes to mind), Tiffany easily surpasses her peers while exuding a down-to-earth humility and humble charisma that is second to none. Russell Thiel, who teaches chemistry and physics at Andover High School, was nominated by Maggie Murphy. She said, Mr. Thiel is the reason I will graduate with a degree in chemistry, but more importantly, he is the reason I know what it takes to be a good person.... She described his many other non-teaching duties at school and continued, I don t know when he had time to grade, but every assignment was handed back the next day, with careful comments and inspiring motivation included. On reflection of the time he dedicated to our students, I have come to the conclusion that he must not need to sleep. The recipients also received a cash award of $3,000, and their respective high schools received $1,000. 3
6 Our readers all know that teacher education students will have plenty of real-world experiences while they re at KU including, of course, student teaching and internships. But do you know that internships are a feature of many other School of Education programs as well? Undergrads in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences complete an internship the semester before they graduate. Athletic training students have a practicum every semester. Students completing a master s degree in higher education through the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies work in a university or college for a semester as interns. Students in the Department of Psychology and Research in Education s counseling psychology program are placed in a variety of clinical settings university counseling centers, Veterans Administration medical centers, community mental health clinics, state mental hospitals, and private and public psychiatric facilities to complete required experiences. Our graduate students in the Department of Special Education have multiple, field-based practica within their programs. We asked students from each of the five departments within the School of Education to reflect on their experiences. We re pleased to share them here. Ashley Osbern, Department of Curriculum and Teaching Before beginning the fall semester and the student internship experience I was frightened, worried, confused and excited. First, I was frightened because I was going to be in a 5th grade classroom. Fifth grade! Never could I have imagined teaching 5th graders. Ashley Osbern I wanted and expected to work with younger students. I was worried and confused because I questioned whether or not I would make a good teacher. Being a teacher is not the typical nine-to-five job. A teacher is responsible for so many things in their students lives. I was excited because I wanted to be in the classroom and learn from my cooperating teachers those things that cannot be learned by reading a textbook. My first day alleviated my worries and doubts. At first I sat in the back taking it all in. Within the first hour I was interacting with the students and already attempting to learn each student s name. The day was filled with read-alouds, spelling games, guided reading, writing, lunch, recess, math investigations and a lesson about butterflies. My mind was on overload with all of it, especially the constant activity. At the end of the day I was exhausted but went home smiling because I knew that teaching was what I truly wanted to do. The next eight weeks flew by, but I was able to experience parent-teacher conferences, monitoring a field trip and having to send a student to the principal s office. Even though I thought I did not want to teach the older students my eyes were opened. I knew I could be comfortable at any grade level. I never should have been closed-minded in the first place. After those first eight weeks in 5th grade I made the drastic change to 2nd grade. I had become so used to the older students that it was a true shock. I had to adjust to the different noise level and, of course, the attention span of the students. This time around I learned much more about classroom management of 20 students. There were students who truly challenged me in this classroom. I learned that I could be more patient than I ever believed I could be. Again, I experienced parentteacher conferences, but this time I was translating in Spanish. The majority of the students were Hispanic and half of their parents were not fluent in English. It gave me the opportunity to get to know the parents on a better level. Plus, the students thought it was cool I could speak Spanish, too. Over the course of the semester it was great to see how much these students grew academically and I was proud to be a part of that. We focused on reading, writing, Dr. Seuss s life, ladybugs, weather and two-digit addition. My last day was a day of both relief and sadness. I was glad to be finished with college, but I was sad to have to leave my students. Next year I will be teaching a 1st grade classroom at T.A. Edison in the Internships Students set sail on 4 istockphoto.com Luis Bellagamba
7 Kansas City, Kan., school district. I am looking forward to the challenges and excitement of my first classroom. I know there are new things I am going to have to adjust to. It seems that being a teacher is going to be a job where you are constantly learning about yourself and the people around you. Elizabeth Allen, Department of Special Education My summer internship is a blast! The students have been fabulous, my cooperating teacher was sent from heaven and the classroom paraeducator is remarkable. From the get-go I was fully immersed in collaboration and co-teaching and given independent teaching responsibilities as well. There were several occasions over the course of my internship when I had Oh my gosh! What do I do? moments. My third day on the job, out of the blue, one of my students stands up and walks out of the classroom, down the hallway and out through the double doors into the parking lot. I m following him with my thoughts racing: Where is he going? What do I do to stop him? How did I not notice his behavior escalate? Why is he upset? Where is the SRO officer? I could barely finish my thoughts when I realized that he was headed for the street. Now, this is a 17-year-old teenager and there is no stopping him. The only thing I could think to say was, Oh, I can t leave school grounds while I m still clocked in. I need to go in. The SRO officer will come pick you up, see you later! as I turned around and slowly walked back toward the building. This threw him off guard, and he didn t know what to do. He just stopped and stared at me while I walked away. At that point, I looked back and said, Don t just stand there, come on, let s go back in, and, just like that, he followed me back into the building. Keeping students motivated in special education classrooms can often be challenging with students who have emotional behavior disorders. During the first two weeks of my internship, I was struggling to motivate my students. Analyzing the environment and the classroom management that existed, it dawned on me that class-wide positive behavior support was non-existent. So that same day I created, printed and laminated caught you being good Elizabeth Allen cards, found edible and fun reinforcers the students could earn with the cards, and implemented the intervention the very next day. I found out that positive behavior supports do work. It took a day for me to figure out what the students would work for, and I set up intermittent cash-in times throughout the day. Successfully implementing this class-wide positive behavior support can be considered my greatest achievement of the term. After it was imple- 5
8 6 mented, the students worked very hard on their projects, and my favorite memory of the summer is remembering how tall and proud each one of them stood while giving their presentations, showing off their artistic talents and creative ideas. Over the course of my internship, the most life-changing experience for me was realizing what a profound impact teachers have on their students. It is up to us, as educators, to decide whether this impact is going to be positive or negative. For many of my students, the only structure they ever have is at school; school is the only place where they feel safe. You are their role model and the constant in their life. You give them stability. The memories a teacher creates are memories each student will remember for life. Summer Eglinski, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Before applying for a master s degree in higher education administration, I never realized that I could get a degree that would prepare me to be a university registrar, a director of admissions or a student leadership coordinator. Each graduate student in the higher education administration program holds an internship in an administrative office at a college or university. Currently, I work as a graduate assistant and admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions and Scholarships at the University of Kansas. The best part about working as an admissions counselor is that I get to talk to people and work with families. I have the opportunity to shape a family s first impressions of KU and help them get the information they need to make an informed decision about college. The personal moments mean the most to me. Summer Eglinski in Rome, where she participated in a study abroad program which focused on study abroad programs this summer Late last fall, I was contacted by a high school student who desperately wanted to attend KU after visiting the campus. The only problem was that her father felt uncomfortable with the idea of her traveling so far away from home, especially when they had a university in their hometown. I worked with her to find a time when she and her father could visit the campus together so we could sit down and I could answer any questions they had about the University. When this family finally arrived, I had gathered all sorts of materials to give them brochures about housing, dining, academic departments, sports, learning communities, public safety and transportation. We sat down for over an hour and discussed each area as well as any other questions that surfaced. A week later, after the family had returned home, I received s from both the father and daughter expressing how much they had enjoyed our meeting. The student s enthusiasm was palpable but perhaps the most gratifying moment was when the father told me that he now felt comfortable with the idea of his daughter attending KU. About a month after that, the student ed me again to tell me that she had confirmed her admission and was officially a Jayhawk! She even sent me photographs of her dogs playing with a stuffed Jayhawk. I am delighted to have a special folder just for correspondence with families such as this. When I need a break, or when I just need something to smile about, I can always go to this folder and be reminded of the special moments that make what I do so enjoyable. My ultimate goal is to take the valuable experience that I am developing and apply those lessons to a career within a study abroad program. Hopefully, my experience with recruitment, presentations and admission processes will allow me to build a career helping students to travel abroad, learn and become global citizens. Brenna E. Shortridge-Pearce, M.S., Department of Psychology and Research in Education When I made the decision six years ago to begin my graduate work in counseling psychology, I had no idea the number of times I would hear the question, Why are you in the School of Education? At the time, I had no good answer, except for the knowledge that some people with counseling degrees ended up being guidance counselors in school systems. I knew I didn t want to be a guidance counselor. I didn t even want to work with children. I wanted to work with mental illness, with adults, in a hospital or private practice. It made little sense to me that my route to a Ph.D. in psychology was taking me through education. I have since learned that the philosophy of counseling psychology has historically been strongly linked with education, thus accounting for the field s home in such a counterintuitive place. I can say, however, that what I do at work each day couldn t be further from the traditional teacher aspects of education.
9 I have had the privilege over the past year to be a psychology intern at a Veterans Administration medical center. During this experience I have had the opportunity to function much like a staff psychologist, while being closely supervised by caring and supportive staff. I have seen all forms of mental illness ranging from adjustment and relationship issues to the most severe forms of schizophrenia. While there has not been one most influential component of my internship, I have had the opportunity throughout the year to work with many returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan which I have found to be particularly significant given current events. I have worked in a variety of areas within the hospital including the acute inpatient psychiatry unit and the outpatient mental health clinic. This section of the hospital is like the ER for mental health. They see everything and then have to make a decision about what happens next. I participated on the treatment teams, interacting with psychiatrists, social workers, other psychologists and nurses. I learned about psychiatric medication, clinical interviewing and how to be a good consultant. A significant portion of my time was spent administering, scoring and interpreting psychological assessment instruments typically requested by the treatment team to help clarify diagnostic questions. I also spent time working on an inpatient unit that specializes in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and related psychiatric problems. There, I co-facilitated therapy groups, taught classes on optimism and resilience, and was part of the unit treatment team where decisions about patient care were made on a daily basis. I am currently on my final rotation in the neuropsychology clinic. Neuropsychology is a specialty area which focuses on determining A day in the life of an intern Martha Riggs, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences 7:05 a.m. The piercing sound of my alarm echoes in my mind as I have exactly 30 minutes to prepare myself for today s events. 7:35 a.m. The smell of Starbucks permeates my car as I sit waiting patiently in traffic. I switch channels on the radio and realize there is nothing good to listen to. I come to terms that I must digest the silence because I know once I get into my office the phone will not stop ringing. 8:30 a.m. Arrowhead Stadium in bright red letters faces me as I find a parking space farther away than I would like. Finally, I am at the stadium! I gallantly walk a while until I finally reach my office. 9:45 a.m. Ring! Ring! Ring! The phone never stops around here. Martha Riggs One of the main things that I have on my daily agenda is to answer the phone usually people calling for player appearance requests. 10 a.m. Chuck, my boss, knocks on my door wearing a smile and holding a Vault bottle in his other hand. He hands me a list of player appearances and asks me to call the players to pitch upcoming events to them. 11 a.m. I call Kansas City Chiefs player Bobby Sippio and asked him to come to the Lee s Summit West High School to present awards to students for outstanding academics. He always has a very genuine attitude and graciously accepts the chance to help the community. noon Subway, here I come! Only two food places are close to the stadium: Taco Bell and Subway. I always manage to go to the latter of the two. 1 p.m. I have an appearance with Chiefs player Jackie Battle to promote junior player development, a program to help middle school kids learn fundamentals needed for high school football. Jackie does an excellent job motivating kids to stay away from drugs and to get good grades. He tells the students stories about his own experiences when he was their age. Should I mention that even the girls thought he is something to swoon over? 3 p.m. Heading back to the stadium! 3:30 p.m. I check s and return phone messages. There are always so many s pertaining to the Herm Edwards Football Camp. I have been in charge of organizing an orientation meeting for the 150 volunteer coaches for Herm s camp. What a nightmare in s and messages! Lesson learned: patience. 5 p.m. Time to go home. I always say goodbye to Brenda, the director of community relations; Janet, the administrative assistant; and Chuck, the community relations manager. They are the support system that allows the Kansas City Chiefs to prosper throughout the community. 5:30 p.m. Stuck in traffic again, and thinking of what the next day s events will be. degree of cognitive functioning. This is accomplished by administering a series of tests designed to assess the areas of functioning in question. In this clinic, I have administered these assessments to individuals ranging in age from early 20s to late 80s, and have helped answer questions related to a variety of concerns, including head injuries and dementia. This is one example of an internship experience in the field of psychology. All internships look very different, but the primary focus of most sites is to provide a capstone for the clinical aspects of doctoral level psychology training. It is also an example of some of the graduate work that is different from the traditional teacher aspects of education taking place at the School of Education at KU, as well as many other universities across the country. 7
10 T E A C H I N G N O T E S Science Math & Improving teaching and learning in science and mathematics is an extremely important, but complex, undertaking. Two associate professors from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching believe that a collaborative approach not only benefits the teachers, the students in the classroom and the school itself but also provides valuable insights and education to graduate students. Read a summary of Doug Huffman and Kelli Thomas s interesting work. Kelli Thomas, Ph.D., and Doug Huffman, Ph.D. The Collaborative Evaluation Communities in Urban School Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, involves K-12th grade teachers, mathematics and science educators, and graduate students in a joint effort to improve evaluation of science and math teaching. The project, which began in 2005 and will run through 2009, provides a unique structure to help teachers in urban schools build assessment and evaluation capacity through long-term inquiry all related to curriculum, instruction and student learning in mathematics and science. It also provides excellent opportunities for faculty and graduate students. One of the challenges in creating collaborative evaluation communities (CEC) is organization. There is a wide variety of participants, and all should be successfully involved in significant and worthwhile evaluation activities. 8
11 Additionally, key to a CEC s staying power is designing it in such a way that it not only serves the everyday teaching and learning needs of science and mathematics teachers, but that it also has built-in evaluation tools so that larger issues can be addressed down the road. Creating a CEC Forming teams of participants (teachers, school administrators, district personnel, graduate students and university evaluators) is central to the project s collaborative nature. The CEC project uses an inquiry model developed by the National Research Council to involve participants in the ongoing process of evaluation. MONITOR RESULTS DEVELOP PLAN OF ACTION EXPLORE DISTRICT, STATE AND NATIONAL DATA ANALYZE DATA COLLECT DATA CONSIDER IMPLICATIONS FOR DISTRICT FIND FOCUS FOR EVALUATION The cycle begins with an indepth look at student achievement data at the national, state and local levels. Input is obtained from university evaluators and K-12th grade personnel, as well as graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Participants then consider how this data might drive the evaluation of mathematics and science programs within their school district. Next, participants establish a focus for an initial evaluation of broad issues related to student achievement in math and science. They reflect on the issues then create evaluation questions for their upcoming investigations. They develop an initial evaluation plan to guide data collection and analysis. The team then is immersed in data collection and analysis, using instruments and data analysis procedures to answer the evaluation questions in their plan. The procedures help the teams begin to establish the infrastructures necessary for ongoing inquiry and evaluation in schools. Based upon what is learned from the initial data collection and analysis, communities develop specific action plans to address the problems they identified. These action plans require continuous monitoring, more data collection and analysis. This, in turn, typically leads to more questions, more data collection and more analysis. As a result, it helps establish a continuous improvement process, one that helps the CEC use evaluation as a tool to create change and empower teachers to become leaders in their schools. The inquiry model we have described includes aspects of the evaluative inquiry process promoted by Parsons (2002) and reflects the working definition of evaluation capacity (EBC) building provided by Stockdill, Baizerman and Compton (2002), emphasizing the importance of the ongoing, open-ended and emergent nature of EBC work sustaining evaluation and its uses. Initial results of the project The CEC project has been an effective way to help schools improve teacher involvement in evaluating math and science programs. The inquiry model offers strengths in terms of involving teachers in data-based decision making and in providing the support necessary to address schoolbased problems. The model can also help develop structures to support the use of evaluation within the school. By analyzing data gathered during the process, the evaluation and assessment capacity building efforts helped teachers better understand the links between curriculum, instruction and student learning. Teachers reported increased attention to the use of assessments to monitor student learning, as well as an enhanced awareness of the math and science programs across grade levels. Overall, the CEC project provides a unique way to advance school-based knowledge and understanding of evaluation. The project continues to enhance the infrastructure for evaluation in an urban school district, one in need of teachers who can be engaged with evaluation and assessment data and use the information to make decisions. Huffman, D. & Thomas, K. (in press). Collaborative inquiry and data-based decision making. In T. Kowlaski & T. Lasley (Eds.) Handbook on data-based decision making in education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Huffman, D., Lawrenz, F., Thomas, K. & Clarkson, L. (2006). Collaborative Evaluation Communities in Urban Schools: A Model of Evaluation Capacity Building for STEM Education. New Directions for Evaluation, 109,
12 Language in danger KU faculty work to revitalize endangered tongues Tracy Hirata-Edds, lecturer at the Applied English Center, left, and Lizette Peter, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching, work with Cherokee language documents in Peter s office. Both work to help maintain endangered languages and are former students of Akira Yamamoto, professor emeritus of anthropology and linguistics, a widely respected expert in the field. by Mike Krings 10 Many of today s Native American community members remember the stories of their grandparents attending government boarding schools and having their mouths washed out with soap when they spoke their native tongue. Generations later, the threat of the soap punishment is gone, but several hundred native languages vanished with it. Worldwide, thousands of languages are in danger of disappearing. A number of KU faculty members and graduate students have been working for years to help communities save their endangered languages before they die completely, taking with them history, culture and entire ways of life. The job can be difficult when the last competent speakers of an indigenous language are elderly. Even if they do find willing, young students it s not enough. Able, knowledgeable teachers who will invest the countless hours necessary to teach the language must be recruited. Why save it? Lizette Peter, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching, began her career on the other side of the linguistic spectrum. She began teaching English and training English teachers overseas through the Peace Corps. Through her volunteer work she saw how English and other major European languages were forcing out many smaller languages around the world. It seemed to me that learning English wasn t necessarily the key to achieving economic sustainability, Peter says. She enrolled at KU to study anthropology at the graduate level. She landed in an endangered languages courses and hasn t looked back. The course was taught by Akira Yamamoto, professor emeritus of anthropology and linguistics, who came to KU in 1974 to teach. For nearly 40 years, he has worked with a number of endangered language communities. Peter now works with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, the Eastern Band Cherokee in North Carolina and the Indigenous Language Institute in New Mexico to help preserve the language. Before that task can be accomplished, the fact the language is endangered had to be acknowledged. I ve heard Native Americans say, What s the point? This language never served us well in the White man s world. English is the only way we can compete in the world, Peter says. Over the years, the Cherokee community has fully embraced the benefit of saving their language, Peter says, but their work is nowhere near completion.
13 Learning to teach Even when capable teachers and willing students are enthusiastic about giving life to a language, the job of those teachers is nothing like that of educating students in English. There are relatively few books written in Cherokee for children to use in school. Simple things, such as nursery rhymes, songs and games to help children learn, haven t existed until now. One of the main parts of Peter s work with Cherokee learners is developing a curriculum where none has ever existed. You don t know anything going into it, Peter says of the curriculum development. There s no documentation of what works and what doesn t, because it s never been done before. That makes it difficult to establish reasonable expectations about how much language children can learn. Fortunately, Cherokee speakers have one successful model to study. Hawai i has been largely successful in saving its native language. When the islands were made a state, the teaching of the native language in schools was made illegal. When Hawaiians realized their language was in danger of dying, they started fighting to save it. By opening private education centers where the language could be taught, aggressively documenting the language and educating young people, they have kept it alive. The effort has taken more than 20 years. Peter has worked with the Cherokee Nation to develop a similar curriculum. They started with preschool. They have added a new grade to the curriculum each year, and are now to second grade. Like the Hawaiians, they hope to develop curriculum through the college level. Political pressure While learning a new language is difficult enough, many indigenous communities face political challenges as well. Changes in tribal leadership and efforts among state legislatures to make English the official language are just a few potential dangers on the horizon. Peter says many families she works with are concerned that, after studying Cherokee intensely for years, their children might not be able to succeed in an English-only school. These parents are taking a huge leap of faith with this program. Fortunately, they realize that while it s not too late for Cherokee, there s not much time left, and are willing to work to save it now, she says. Economic pressures have convinced some that English is necessary for indigenous communities to remain viable. The major European languages are spreading to every corner of every reservation and town, Yamamoto adds. Our challenge is to work to strengthen language so it goes beyond the emotional level. We need to show that being bilingual is advantageous. Academic pressure Early in his career, Yamamoto encountered strong distrust of academics among indigenous communities. Scholars had a reputation of coming to a community, studying a language, then taking their findings to their far-off campuses and giving nothing back. Those attitudes are less prevalent now, he says, thanks to scholars who have worked to help save languages in their native communities and educate those who want to save it. The scholars have benefited as well. This has been a mutually respectful relationship, Peter says of her work with the Cherokee. Together we ve developed a curriculum with their teachers to educate the children, and they ve allowed us to do research on saving languages with them. Saving languages has not always been accepted as a legitimate academic pursuit. With the Linguistics Society of America, Yamamoto has worked for years to encourage academic departments and universities to accept language revitalization as work that satisfies academic responsibilities. Peter says she has received support from her department and colleagues, as well as the communities she works with, which has encouraged her to carry on. I feel very committed to this, she says. As long as they want me there I ll continue. This is probably a lifelong commitment. Mike Krings is editor of Oread Magazine. The original article was published April 21, 2008 (Vol. 32, No. 15). 11
14 R E S E A R C H R E P O R T Ever wondered how different types of resistance exercise affect muscle cells? The Human Performance Laboratories in the Robinson Center will be the site of an upcoming research project examining the question this year. The research reflects one evolving focus of the laboratory the role of resistance exercise in a wide range of individuals, including athletes performing at a high level, people training for general health and fitness, and those who have lower performance levels due to disease or aging. Skeletal muscle in humans is a very adaptable tissue that readily responds to physical exercise. Part of this adaptation process involves cellular signaling pathways. These signaling paths are at least partially responsible for some of the cellular and molecular modifications of the exercised muscle. Although the physiological responses to various forms of exercise are currently being studied, no studies have been performed to date that examine resistance exercise that produces high levels of muscular power. These exercises are exemplified by moderately heavy loads and relatively fast muscle contractions. This type of exercise has recently been proposed as beneficial not only for athletes, but also for certain populations with disease and for older individuals. However, it has not been determined if the cellular and molecular adaptations correspond with the functional demands of these individuals. In order to better understand the physiological mechanisms responsible for muscle growth and adaptation to an exercise stimulus, the purpose of this study will be to determine the responses of an important family of signaling pathways to high power resistance exercise. Starting this fall semester, healthy weight-trained subjects will participate in several weight-training sessions. On three occasions, the subjects will perform a weight training session that emphasizes one of the following: high power, high loads or high velocity. Before and after each session, small samples of thigh muscle will be obtained to determine activity levels of the cellular pathways. It is known that a single exercise session can produce increased activation of these pathways in some individuals. What is not known is how an altered power stimulus will affect the muscle cell response. It is anticipated that valuable information may be obtained concerning the optimal resistance exercise program for various populations. The data then would be able to determine if Worth Weight Human Performance Lab study focuses on resistance exercise the by Andy Fry 12
15 high power resistance exercise would be an appropriate training approach for the desired cellular and genetic responses. Future work in the Human Performance Laboratories is planned to expand this type of research on resistance exercise. Andy Fry, chair of the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, will be principal investigator; doctoral student Becky Kudrna, and assistant professors Phil Gallagher and Matt Schrager will also be part of the study. It is often not recognized that resistance exercise comes in many forms and variations, Fry explains. This research may help shed light on how different types of training can produce markedly different results. Much previous research on resistance exercise has focused on how performance or muscle size is affected, but this project will examine some of the contributing cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for these adaptations. Andrew Andy Fry, Ph.D., is chair of and professor in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences. STAY IN TOUCH...Sign up for our electronic newsletter!...check out our upcoming centennial year celebrations!...attend our alumni mixers! Visit: Call: Wal-Mart/CRL team to help Boys and Girls Clubs Kelvin Lynch, left, Wal-Mart regional general manager, presents a symbolic check to Don Deshler, director of the Center for Research on Learning, and Governor Kathleen Sebelius. t h e u n i v e r s i t y of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (CRL) received a $700,000 donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation to develop a tutoring curriculum to be implemented nationwide at Boys and Girls Clubs of America. It is the largest donation the Wal-Mart Foundation has given within the state of Kansas. The donation was announced on May 28 at an event at the Wal-Mart store in Lawrence. The CRL will use the money to help Boys and Girls Clubs staff and volunteers adopt a new model of tutoring that helps students complete homework assignments and build literacy skills. The project will build upon the Boys and Girls Clubs proven tutorial program, Power Hour. We are excited by this opportunity to extend the success we have had working with struggling adolescent learners to support the efforts of Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country, says Don Deshler, director of the Center for Research on Learning and professor of special education. High-quality after-school programs, such as Power Hour, are critical to bridging the gap between students academic skills and the expectations they face in the classroom. Kelvin Lynch, Wal-Mart s regional general manager, adds, We are honored to make this donation to the University of Kansas to support Boys and Girls Clubs of America s free, after-school reading and tutoring programs in more than 4,000 communities across America. This donation will enhance an already powerful program that enriches the lives and learning experience of young people across the country. The Center for Research on Learning, established in 1978, has developed methods to help students especially adolescents who struggle in school to become successful learners. An internationally recognized research and development organization with more than $160 million in grant funding to develop products and programs that assist struggling learners, the center is best known for its Strategic Instruction Model now used in more than more than 3,500 school districts nationwide. To date 10 states, from California to Florida, have implemented the model. 13
16 S E R V I C E S P O T L I G H T A Harvest of Hope t h i s p a s t June, the first annual Harvest of Hope Leadership Academy (HHLA) brought 30 migrant high school students from across Kansas to live and learn at KU during a three-week academic and leadership enhancement program. During the week, students attended classes in math, science, language arts, civics and college preparation. On evenings and weekends, they enjoyed recreational activities including museums, theater, rock-climbing and the KU Adams Challenge Course. Students gained confidence in their academic abilities, in part, through working with Latino staff, faculty and KU students who could serve as role models. One student comments, when I feel like I want to quit school, I m going to say you can do it, and remember everything I learned in HHLA. The Harvest of Hope Leadership Academy is an Educational Opportunity Program, housed within the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service and funded by the KSDE Migrant Education Program. 14 Clockwise from top: Students congregate at the HHLA dance; the students making a splash on the KU campus; posing with Baby Jay; learning in the classroom
17 A L U M N I S P O T L I G H T c o n g r at u l at i o n s t o these School of Education graduates on their recent achievements: Tiffany Bode (B.S.E., 2004) was one of 160 U.S. educators who participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program in June. Bode, an English teacher from Piper High School in Kansas, was selected from a national pool of more than 1,700 applicants by a panel of educators to earn this honor. This program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between the two nations. The educators began their visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation on Japanese life and culture and meetings with Japanese government officials and educators. They traveled in groups of 16 to selected host cities where they had direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools as well as a teachers college. They also visited cultural sites and local industries in addition to a brief homestay with a Japanese family. I'm so grateful to the Japanese government for the amazing opportunity, Bode says. After our time in Tokyo, I was fortunate to be hosted by Shimotskue City in the Tochigi prefecture, which allowed me to see a more rural side of Japan. I was continually amazed at the hospitality and politeness of the Japanese people. Being in Japan was as close as I ll ever come to experiencing illiteracy; if it wouldn t have been for the kindness of strangers I would have been seriously lost or gone hungry on more than one occasion. Teachers in Japan are held in a much higher regard than they are in the United States, and it was refreshing to be treated with such respect. It was interesting to learn that the Japanese schools are dealing with many of the same problems we are, such as bullying, apathy and lack of attendance. However, I was amazed by the amount of responsibility and discipline the Japanese students possess even at the elementary school level. Sue Elliott (M.M.E., 1991), principal at Hazel Grove Elementary School in the Kansas City, Kan., Public School district, has been named 2008 Kansas PTA Outstanding Educator of the Year. The recognition is made annually to honor a teacher, principal, para-educator, administrator or superintendent who has made outstanding contributions in the field of education. I feel very honored by this recognition, Elliott says. I have a PTA and staff that support me beyond belief. Elliott has been principal at Hazel Grove for seven years and has been an educator in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools for 29 years. The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the PTA. David Gullatt (Ph.D., 1980) was appointed dean of the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University. Before serving as a professor and department head, Gullatt was an associate professor at Tech and also an assistant professor and area coordinator at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. James Blasingame, Jr. (Ph.D., 2000) received the International Reading Association (IRA) Arbuthnot Award at the IRA Convention in Atlanta, Ga., this May. The award honors an outstanding college or university teacher of children s and young adults literature. Blasingame, currently an associate professor of English at Arizona State University, is the author of several books, more than 60 interviews with authors of adolescent literature and more than 100 book reviews. He was a high school English teacher and administrator for 21 years, in Iowa, Utah and Kansas before completing his doctorate. He has been at ASU for eight years and teaches courses in adolescent literature and methods of teaching writing, as well as supervising student teachers. Jenny Sands, a science teacher at Antioch Middle School for more than 20 years, was named the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science Outstanding Teacher of One of Sands innovative lessons features a forensics lab designed to capture the imagination of students interested in forensics TV shows. During this lab, students look at their fingerprints through a microscope and hand lens. They learn how to identify a person through the loops in the prints. Sands even brings in forensics specialists to talk about their field and help students see how all of the scientific evidence comes together to identify the criminal. Editor s note: Jenny Sands is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. Her advisor is Jim Ellis. 15
18 A L U M N I N E W S What have you been doing since you left KU? We want to know! Please complete the white 1980s 2000s 1960s 1990s 1970s
19 Remembering the teachers who touched our lives by Allan R. Miller Luckily, I had many good teachers who loved kids and their central Kansas community of McPherson. However, had it not been for a husband-and-wife teaching team who were hired about the time I hit intermediate school (later called junior high and now middle school), I might well be locked behind bars at some institution, blaming everyone else but myself for my failures. Early adolescence is a tough time for all of us and I have often thought it takes very special teachers to deal with the rambunctious kids whose sap is running through them like cottonwood trees in early spring. I was no different. I began intermediate school full of spit and vinegar. Before long, most of us boys (and a few girls) had figured out how to get under the skin of every teacher in the school and how to foil the principal at every turn. Then along came the McAuleys! They were different. They seemed to understand us. Me especially. I had Marilee McAuley for music. It was not just a cutesy hour of singing dumb songs in the seventh grade songbook it was more like a challenging college course ranging from music theory to performance. Mrs. McAuley s expectations for every single one of her students was certainly not limited by a bunch of well-intentioned, but rather minimal, behavioral objectives prescribed by some textbook or state committee. She not only believed that each kid could learn, but that in her class, each kid would learn a lot. What s more, it was fun. I finally learned to read music after several brave attempts by my piano teacher. In her class, we explored every kind of music. I remember learning folk dances in her music class. I remember studying classical music and opera from funky little newsletters somewhat like Weekly Readers. When it was Easter time and the Lindsborg Oratorio Society practiced Handel s Messiah, we studied it with enthusiasm. Mrs. McAuley, along with many McPherson citizens (even my mom) traveled faithfully to Lindsborg each week for practice a roundtrip of 30 miles. As a conclusion to our year, we performed Gilbert and Sullivan s H.M.S. Pinafore. And we were good! To this day, because I was exposed to so much music and stimulated to learn it well, I consider myself a kind of amateur authority on Gilbert and Sullivan (and classic rock, of course). The other half of the team, Max McAuley, was my 8th grade English teacher. He was one of my first male teachers. Along with my dad, he became a strong male role model for me at a critical stage in my life. I will never forget him or what he taught me. First, I loved him for teaching us grammar back in the 1950s. He also got on my case very hard about the types of books I chose for book reports all easy ones. He selected the next book for me, one on about the 12th-grade level. It had an excessive number of pages and no pictures. Didn t he know I was trying hard to be a C student and one of the gang? I wanted no part of this scholarly stuff. The thing I liked best about Mr. McAuley was his wonderful soothing voice. He talked to us as equals never condescendingly. He was a master teacher in his second year of teaching. I followed the careers of the McAuleys. They moved to Nebraska, got master s degrees and pursued their profes sional goals. Max took a job as an elementary school principal in Omaha s Westside Community Schools. In my senior year of college, he even interviewed me for a teaching position in his district. He told me that he had completed his doctorate in education and that he would probably leave the district for superintendency. Shortly after that, he was appointed superintendent of schools for the Shawnee Mission School District in Johnson County, Kan. Later that same summer, while working at a resort in Wisconsin, I remember the tragic news in a letter from my mother. It began, Max McAuley is dead. Dr. McAuley was killed in a car accident. His wife, Marilee, was injured for life. I am better off for having both of them as my teachers. Marilee recently retired from a long and distinguished career as an English teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School. We stay in touch. One never knows how long life will be or how long a teacher s influence lasts. In my case, the influence of these two great teachers has served me well over a lifetime in education. Indeed, good teachers are life itself! Allan Miller, right, from his 1960 yearbook. Allan R. Miller, project coordinator with the School of Education s Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, is working on a newly funded grant to collaborate with teachers in Garden City, Kan., to develop innovative ways to teach American history. He adds that Marilee McAuley Coffman, who has remarried, lives in Olathe, Kan. They are still in touch with each other. 17
20 The Jayhawk Educator is published once each year Thinking about returning to college? by The University of Kansas School of Education for the School s more than 24,000 alumni. Live in the Kansas City area? Dean Rick Ginsberg, Ph.D. Editor Design Paula Naughtin Robin Ward The Write Design Thanks to KU University Relations, KU Endowment Association, Chris Barritt, Mike Krings, Megan Lewis, David McKinney, Stacy Mendez, Belinda Reynolds, Amy Rousselo and Julie Tollefson. Alumni updates and requests for more information may be sent to: KU School of Education Attn: The Jayhawk Educator Joseph R. Pearson Hall 1122 West Campus Road, Room 212 Lawrence, KS For more information, call (785) or The School of Education offers several graduate degrees in their entirety at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. We can help you further your KU education without the commute. Education programs offered in their entirety at KU Edwards Campus: Curriculum and Instruction (Reading, Math and Sciences, Language Arts, Social Studies, Gifted Education, ESL) Educational Administration Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) Special Education (Adaptive, Autism/Aspergers) For more information, contact: Kim Huggett, School of Education Edwards Campus advisor, (913) or State dollars were not used to pay for any part of this publication.