Baylor School of Education faculty and doctoral students in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction garnered recognition and presented research at the International Literacy Association’s annual conference in October. The International Literacy Association is a global advocacy and membership organization of more than 300,000 literacy educators, researchers, and experts across 86 countries.
Dr. Kelly Johnston, assistant professor of literacy, and Dr. Phil Nichols, assistant professor, both received recognition as finalists for the ILA’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. Baylor was the only university with two representatives recognized among the finalists.
"I believe Baylor is the best place in the country to prepare Christians for school leadership, because it has a hundred-year tradition of preparing educators."
Meet Dr. Jon Eckert, the School of Education's Copple Chair in Christian School Leadership. Eckert came to Baylor from Wheaton College with a vision for equipping leaders in K-12 education and creating networks and support for Christian leaders in schools – whether they may be public or private.
His plan for the future includes leadership development for Christians in education through new master's and PhD programs in the SOE, professional development through institutes and academies, and the creation of networks to help Christian schools grow.
Baylor School of Education faculty members Dr. Perry Glanzer, professor, and Dr. Nathan Alleman, associate professor, have teamed up for a second book, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching, which was published by Oxford University Press. The book focuses on the various challenges that Christian professors face inside the classroom when intersecting their two identities — their Christian primary identity and their teacher vocational responsibility.
In 2012 the two faculty members in the Department of Educational Leadership, along with other scholars, began conducting a large survey of Christian professors across the nation. Their initial interest was how a professor’s Christian faith, as well as their traditions, influenced a variety of factors, such as teaching. While conducting this survey, however, the data collected from one question, regarding how the professors’ Christianity affected different areas of their teaching, sparked a concept that would become the core of the professors’ recent book.
What will schools be like in 2119? Will this prediction be true:
“Books will soon be obsolete in the public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years.”
Interestingly enough, this quotation was shared six years before Baylor started educating teachers. This was the prediction of Thomas Edison in 1913. Most of the last 100 years, people were suggesting that massive changes were coming to education. Looking ahead to the next 100 years, we really have no idea what schools will be like. However, I am certain about four things that will catalyze education for the common good.
Baylor University has launched a nationwide search for Dean of the School of Education. Baylor seeks a Dean who combines academic achievements with strategic leadership ability, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, collaborative and creative energy, entrepreneurial ambition, passion for the field of education, and vision for the role of a School of Education within a 21st century Christian research university. Diversified Search has been retained by Baylor University to assist in this search process. Screening will begin in February 2020 and continue until an appointment is made.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), we sought some insights on the occasion from new faculty member Dr. Lupita Lang, who is assistant professor of bilingual education.
Lang does not typically describe herself as Hispanic or Latina, although she is both. She prefers the specificity of “Mexican,” because she was born and raised in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México, just across the Texas border. She joined the Baylor School of Education in August, after graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her PhD.
The Baylor University School of Education honored two alumni with awards in conjunction with the School’s yearlong Centennial celebration during 2019.
Current or former students, faculty, staff and SOE partners submitted nominations for the Centennial Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards, choosing educators whose work makes significant, observable changes in the lives of others and exemplifies the Christian mission and practices of the SOE. The honorees were recognized Sept. 27 at a banquet for donors and scholarship recipients.
Baylor graduate and Waco native Robert Duron, EdD ’00, received the School of Education’s Centennial Outstanding Alumni Award, and Ashley Minton, BSEd ’07, MSEd ’08, received the Centennial Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Janet Bagby, Ph.D., senior lecturer of educational psychology in the Baylor University School of Education, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Montessori Society (AMS). Board members are elected by a vote of the group’s members, which number 14,700 individuals and 1,520 schools and span 70 countries. Bagby took office in July for a term that will extend until July of 2022.
“I strongly believe in the Montessori philosophy and in the important work of AMS to support and promote quality opportunities for all children to learn,” Bagby said.
A public exhibit outlining the history of the Baylor School Education is on display through December as part of the SOE’s year-long Centennial celebration.
The exhibit is located at Baylor’s Mayborn Museum, 1300 S. University Parks Drive, in Waco, immediately to the right inside the Mayborn’s front door. The display is available for visitors to browse during regular museum hours.
Among other things, the exhibit features artifacts specific to SOE history along with items from partner Professional Development Schools in Waco and Midway ISDs. A World War I uniform from Fred M. Hale is also on display. Hale and his wife, Edith, were the first donors to make a gift of $1 million to the SOE.
Baylor University School of Education graduate Lauren Hornbeak, B.S.Ed. ’19, has been named the 2019 National Student Teacher of the Year by Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education, and the Association of Teacher Educators. Hornbeak, who is certified in Secondary Education - Life Science, is the first honoree from Baylor.
The KDP/ATE National Student Teacher of the Year award recognizes one student teacher/intern annually who has demonstrated the ability to plan and develop classroom management skills and instructional strategies that support all students; establish interpersonal relationships with students, parents, faculty and staff; and reflect powerfully on their student teaching experience. Award winners are acknowledged with a scholarship award and a speaking engagement at the KDP convention.
This is the second recent teaching award for Hornbeak. She also was named Clinical Teacher of the Year for the State of Texas by the Texas Directors of Field Experience (TDFE), the organization of faculty members within university teacher-education programs who supervise field experiences of students. TDFE chose three student teachers as awardees for 2019, and each honoree receives a scholarship. For the state award, Hornbeak is the third Baylor honoree in the last four years.
Ryan W. Erck, new Program Director for Impact Living-Learning Center (LLC), wants to make sure that students in the LLC have the kind of community experience that he missed out on when he was a college freshman. Impact LLC, which is a partner of the School of Education, is located in South Russell Hall and is home to 240 Baylor students, both male and female.
Erck said, “Impact LLC creates cohesive spaces for students to have very meaningful interactions with faculty, staff and peers. Residential learning communities embody an experience that provides many campus amenities in one place. Impact LLC reflects the larger campus culture, but on a micro-scale — encompassing things like study areas, fitness spaces, technology areas and classrooms.”
As a college freshman, Erck chose to hold down a job while attending school and didn’t take advantage of a residential community, he said. He earned his BS in Leadership and Development and his MS in Educational Human Resource Development, both from Texas A&M University. Erck is now a doctoral candidate pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Studies and Leadership in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership.
Every future teacher dreams of the day they will have their own classroom, but what’s it really like during that first year of teaching? The Baylor School of Education program in teacher education is designed to prepare graduates thoroughly for the classroom through rigorous coursework as well as intense faculty-guided field experiences. But can anything really prepare them for their first year of teaching? How did our graduates really do? Read the reflections of five of our 2018 graduates after their first year in the classroom.
Read the first-year reflections from 2018 BSEd graduates Gabby Salazar, Rebekah Tate, Jared Kloeker, Kristen Boyd, and Lauren Knapton.
With civics education largely disappearing from school curricula, in 2009, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor decided to address the issue by founding iCivics, a free online website that teaches civics concepts using educational games. The retired Justice’s vision for civics education has expanded over the years at Baylor University through the iEngage Summer Civics Institute.
From Aug. 5-9, 100 fifth- through ninth-grade students will learn about civics at the annual summer camp hosted by the Baylor School of Education through a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.
iEngage is directed by education faculty members and camp co-founders Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction, and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction.
“In an era when civics education is rarely taught in elementary schools, iEngage provides pre-service in-service teachers an opportunity to not only learn about powerful civics education curriculum, but to actually put it into practice with students. We hope the experience will increase their focus on citizenship education in their own classrooms,” Blevins said.
Education professors and students from the National University of Costa Rica (NUCR) spent three weeks at the Baylor School of Education (SOE) this summer, under the guidance of senior lecturer Rick Strot. For nearly fifteen years, Strot has led Baylor SOE students to Costa Rica to study methods of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and complete service projects.
“As a result of the Baylor in Costa Rica program, this group has taken an initiative to visit us for the first time, thanks to a year of hard work with visas, passports, and all the small details that brought them here,” Strot said. “I’m so happy they made the trip to visit our programs, tour our professional development schools, see this beautiful campus, and experience the arrangments we have for our students.”
Baylor’s inaugural Beginning Teacher Institute brought early-career teachers together to provide development and training while connecting them with other educators and friends who are in the beginning stages of their careers.
This year’s institute was open to elementary teachers who graduated from Baylor general education, special education or gifted-and-talented programs in 2016, 2017 or 2018, with a plan to expand to secondary education graduates in 2020.
Alfred Binet created an IQ test more than a century ago to prove intelligence could be DEVELOPED in children — as long as they had the right teacher (like Maria Montessori, for example). But are we’re doing it all wrong now? Check out the perspective of Baylor School of Education associate professor Dr. Rishi Sriram, published in Scientific American.
Baylor School of Education’s Mathematics Teacher Academy (MTA) gathered over 50 Texas secondary and middle school teachers on June 25-27 to talk about . . . talking about math. This year’s theme was “mathematical discourse,” the conversation about mathematics in the classroom that empowers student learning.
MTA, now in its third year, included nationally known speakers and hands-on workshops, enabling the professional educators to share discourse-based planning and instruction techniques. Dr. Trena Wilkerson and Dr. Rachelle Rogers, faculty in Baylor SOE’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction, co-chaired MTA.
Rachel Renbarger, an educational psychology doctoral student at Baylor, is in the midst of a six-month data-analysis internship in Paris with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The OECD offers many internships — 40 in education alone. However, Renbarger was the only intern selected as a data analyst for the study on social and emotional skills. “Day to day, I’ll be doing a lot of teamwork and a lot of collaboration,” Renbarger said.
During her time working on the study, the main focus is on field data – working to make sure that everything is set to run smoothly later in the study. “I think it’s going to be really great to collaborate with people who are from outside the U.S., because I haven’t done that before,” Renbarger said.
Baylor’s Mathematics for Early Learners Academy (MELA) launched its fourth summer of math intervention for struggling young students on Monday, July 1. The program has proven effective in helping pre-K and kindergarten students who were identified as below level in mathematics to achieve and exceed grade level in their mathematics skills.
Founded in 2016 by the Baylor School of Education and Sandi Cooper, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education, the program is expanding this year, with 80 students from La Vega ISD and Waco ISD — 36 who just completed pre-K and 44 who just completed kindergarten. MELA 2019 is funded by a $74,000 grant from Waco’s Cooper Foundation. The partner school districts also provide significant support, including bus transportation and para-professional staff during MELA.
Baylor University today announced the installation of Jon Eckert, Ed.D., as the inaugural holder of The Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within the School of Education. The installation was part of The Academy for Transformational Leadership, a continuing education and leadership training conference hosted by Baylor’s Center for Christian Education.
The newly established chair was made possible through a gift from Lynda and Robert Copple of Frisco. The Copples are long-time supporters of Baylor University and members of the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light, Baylor’s recently announced $1.1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Baylor’s third annual Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program has launched at Indian Spring Middle School and J.H. Hines Elementary School, both in-district charters through the Transformation Waco initiative of Waco ISD. The program will serve more than 170 students, providing quality literacy enrichment from June 12 – July 26. The program is free to students and includes field trips, special guests and meals.
Freedom Schools literacy program exposes students to culturally relevant books for maximum student engagement and the prevention of summer learning loss. Freedom Schools also offers curriculum in social action, character building and STEAM activities. Freedom Schools students, called “scholars,” will participate in community service and create a project for the National Day of Social Action focusing on gun violence and awareness.
The Baylor Center for Christian Education (CCE) will host the inaugural Academy for Transformational Leadership conference June 23-25 in Waco. The Academy is a professional development forum for leaders of preK-12 Christian schools who want to explore the philosophical, clinical and theological foundations of Christian schools and the role leadership plays within that environment.
Attendees will include more than 125 heads of public and private schools, including principals, school board members, financial managers and the directors of enrollment, marketing and spiritual life. This year’s theme is “The Essentials of Christian Educational Leadership.” During the course of three days, topics will include collaborative leadership, Christian education and its purpose, developing future leaders, managing institutional change for greater faithfulness, the primary role of the Christian school leader, effective board leadership, and development and fundraising.
More than 20 elementary classroom teachers who are recent graduates of Baylor School of Education (SOE) will be on campus June 21 – 22 for the inaugural Baylor Beginning Teacher Institute (BBTI).
The free professional development opportunity is offered as a benefit for Baylor graduates who are current elementary teachers and who earned degrees in general education, elementary education, special education, or gifted-and-talented programs in 2016, 2017, or 2018. By supporting early-career teachers, Baylor SOE hopes to improve retention in the teaching profession.
Baylor School of Education (SOE), in collaboration with the Heart of Texas Council for the Social Studies (HOTCSS), will host the Social Studies Academy (SSA) Summer Summit on June 18-20.
Launched in 2017, the three-day seminar is one of three annual events SSA hosts to bring together Central Texas social studies teachers and Baylor teacher-education faculty members. Together they share engaging curriculum from their own classrooms while developing professionalism and community involvement.
Baylor School of Education’s summer enrichment program for gifted and talented students, University for Young People (UYP), launches June 3, 2019.
Baylor UYP’s program for fourth-twelfth-grade students runs daily through June 21 on the Baylor campus. Classes are offered in three different one-week sessions, and students may sign up for two each week. Students may choose from dozens of courses, taking one class in the morning and one in the afternoon. Courses for 2019 include cooking for nutrition, water quality, robotics, art, poetry writing, improvisational acting, superhero physics, computer game design, and more.