Webinar: Innovations in Education: Wednesday, August 17

f4d58-bondieDr. Rhonda Bondie will be a panelist for an Innovation in Education webinar on Wednesday, August 17th from 4-5pm EST.

Learn from leading experts about innovations in education. The webinar will include guidance and advice from five panelists, as well as ample opportunity to ask the speakers questions.

Gain insight about educational needs, solutions, and innovations. What are the best strategies for early childhood education? How can schools best inspire and motivate creativity and quality learning? How do programs connect with and offer opportunities to talented low-income students?

Leading experts will discuss a range of education topics which are applicable to anyone interested or involved in education in the U.S. or internationally.

Register

Educator Measures Upside of Educational Diversity in Classroom

photo by Patrick Verel

When teachers greet new classes this fall, the odds are good that the students they encounter will vary not only by cultural background but also in academic proficiency.

Akane Zusho, PhD, associate professor of school psychology in the Graduate School of Education (GSE), said that such diversity is something to be appreciated, not overcome.

“How do you get teachers to not teach to the middle? To differentiate their instruction so that they’re not boring the kids at the top and leaving all the kids at the bottom behind? It’s not easy,” she said.

To help teachers work with students of varying academic abilities, Zusho has partnered with Rhonda Bondie, PhD, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching at the GSE to create All-Ed (All Learners Learning Every Day), a network of instructional routines pulled from research on learning and motivation.

Motivation has long been a focus of Zusho’s research. In order to determine what motivates a student, said Zusho, a teacher needs to get to know their students’ strengths and interests and to help students understand how they think about a particular topic. But many teachers never delve deep enough.

Teachers, she said, “just assume students know something when they come in because they taught it yesterday … they don’t reconfirm their students’ knowledge.”

“When they start a lesson, for example, do they actually get a sense of what students already know? Because from the psychological perspective, we know that makes a huge impact on how kids learn.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.

GSE Talks Innovation in Education Models with Students from Zhejiang University

ZJUstudents3

This week, Fordham GSE hosts a group of students from the College of Education at Zhejiang University, located in Hangzhou, China, as part of their American Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summer Camp. The students spent a week touring Los Angeles prior to coming to New York and then will spend a week in Hawaii.

While at Fordham, they will meet with various faculty members and administrators from across the university, as well as visit the JCC Manhattan and the Brooklyn Waldorf School, to learn about the systems and models of American education. ZJUstudents1Fordham lectures will cover topics such as innovation in teaching and learning, entrepreneurship, innovative educational models, and historical and comparative education systems.

On Tuesday morning, the group spoke with Drs. Marilyn Bisberg and Tiedan Huang about Fordham and early childhood education in America before touring the Rose Hill campus and speaking with Kate Kennon of the Gabelli School of Business.

The group prepared a presentation to introduce Fordham to Zhejiang University (ZJU), a leading research university in China with seven campuses and over 48,000 students. The university boasts strong international partnerships and over 700 undergraduate and graduate programs.

 

 

Tread Carefully in Teen’s Social Media Spaces, Says Researcher

Teenagers haven’t left Facebook, but they’re more involved than ever in a virtual archipelago of social media spaces that educators can take advantage of—if they tread lightly, a researcher told educators on July 13.

“We need to unpack the myth … that young people are technological wizards. There certainly are some who are, but not every kid is like that. I think before we use these

spaces in the classroom, we have to think about why we’re doing it, and what we’re walking into,” said Amanda Lenhart, speaking at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

Lenhart, a researcher with the Data & Society Research Institute, delivered a keynote, “The Shifting Landscape of American Teens’ Social & Digital Media Use,” at the fourth annual Developing Digital Literacies Conference, hosted by the Graduate School of Education.

“If [educators] ask young people to use a social space, we want to give them options so they don’t necessarily have to have their personal space invaded by the academic and vice versa.”

She tackled topics such as the rise of the smart phone, and teens’ need for constant access, texting, relationships, and privacy.

Read the full article at Fordham News.

Get more insights from conference participants via #FordhamDLC on Twitter.

“A Salute to ‘Old Glory’ from the Eyes of a 7th Grader”

Photo via the VAntage Point blog

Joseph Pizzo is a member of the Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative, led by Dr. Kristen Turner. He is an English teacher at Black River Middle School in Chester, NJ and an adjunct professor at Union County College and Centenary College. The following excerpt is from Joe’s guest post on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VAntage Point blog.

Patriotism is a belief that inspires us to pay tribute to all who have sacrificed by serving our great nation.  Patriotism also recognizes the bravery both of those who have served and the families, friends, and fellow citizens who have supported the efforts of our brave men and women of the military.

As a middle school English teacher of 42 years, I have encouraged my students often to recognize the fact that it is only through the efforts of our dedicated military personnel that we are able to live in a society in which our freedom is guaranteed and defended daily.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself to recognize our military, I encourage my students to do so.  It is that encouragement that led my student Michael to author one of the finest tributes to our flag that I have ever had a student produce.

Let me explain how this poem was created.  During May of 2015, I assigned Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver to my seventh grade integrated language arts class to read.  We discussed the importance of color and the prominent place color plays for the main character Jonas.  After my students wrote their poems, I gave them the opportunity to use technology to celebrate color in a more vivid manner.  The students created online animations and a couple of iMovies.  When I saw the potential to use technology for this project, I decided to expand the use of technology on a larger scale when I would be teaching Lowry’s novel again this May.

Read the full post at the VAntage Point blog.

Learn more about digital literacy and integrating technology into the classroom at the annual Fordham DLC conference on Wednesday, July 13th.

 

 

 

 

July 13th: Developing Digital Literacies Conference

822e8-lcoutdoorpic-bmpWednesday, July 13th
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Register

How do digital tools affect our lives as individuals? As educators? How might we use digital tools to engage students in critical and creative thinking? How can we help students to understand technology as an aid to learning, rather than a distraction from it? Participants will explore these questions and more as they consider the impact of technology on literacy.

Featured speakers include Amanda Lenhart, Researcher with the Data & Society Research Institute, and practicing elementary, middle, and high school teachers, who will give classroom demonstrations.

Agenda

8:30 Registration

9:00 Welcome and Keynote
Amanda Lenhart, “The Shifting Landscape of American Teens’ Social & Digital Media Use”

10:45 Classroom Demonstrations by Teachers

12:00 Lunch on your own in NYC (not included in cost of attendance)

1:00 Classroom Demonstrations by Teachers

3:00 Apps & Tools Share and Closing Remarks

Additional Information

  • The event will be held at Fordham’s Lincoln Center Campus (113 West 60th Street at Columbus Avenue)
  • Payment of $100 may be paid by credit card, purchase order, check, or money order by July 13
  • Early bird registration: $85 if payment is received by June 15
  • Fordham discount: $75 for Fordham staff, students, or alumni if payment is received by June 15
  • Professional Development Certificates Provided. NYC vendor # available

Contact Kristen Turner (krturner@fordham.edu) with questions.

“How we pervert compassion in schools”

florinarodovFlorina Rodov ’07 (Adolescence English) is a former high school English teacher. She founded and is the co-executive director of Authentic Manhattan, a nonprofit providing after-school programs for low-income, gifted students. Read her full piece, “How we pervert compassion in schools” on CNN.com.

When my family and I were new immigrants who’d just moved into our first apartment in New York, a windowless studio in Queens, a distinguished doctor and his teenage daughter paid us a visit. The doctor was a volunteer with the Jewish nonprofit HIAS, which resettled Soviet refugees like us in the 1970s and 1980s. The second his daughter laid eyes on our donated, urine-stained couch, she exclaimed, “They’re so poor!” I was only 3 at the time, but still I averted my eyes in shame and refused to interact with her for the duration of her visit.

Luckily, I never experienced such pity or judgment in school. The public schools I attended included students who were Russian, Israeli, Pakistani, Turkish and Egyptian immigrants, among students from an array of other backgrounds. Few of us had money and many of us had problems: parents who struggled to find work, missed the old country or suffered from depression. But our teachers never felt sorry for us. They expected us to succeed despite our adversities.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today — or at least it isn’t among those in the worlds of education, politics, nonprofits and the media, who bombard us with images of low-income children as unteachable. Many of these people have a sick obsession with the word “poverty;” they shout it on Twitter, nod when they hear it from talking heads on TV, whisper it over lattes and trumpet it as an excuse for failure.

Read the full article at CNN.com.

Fulbright Scholar Victoria Chatfield ’10 To Study Multicultural Youth Theatre in Scotland

Victoria Chatfield

Victoria Chatfield ’10 (Adolescence English) will be studying how UK national youth theatres cultivate multicultural communities at the University of Glasgow in Scotland via a grant from the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program.

How did you get interested in your research topic?
I’ve been interested in the UK’s national youth theatres since high school. Reading about how these organizations brought together students from such diverse geographic, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to create original art was a major inspiration for me. I committed myself to creating a similar program in the US and, in 2012, I founded the National Theatre for Student Artists (NTSA). For the past three years, we’ve brought students from across the country to New York City to create world premiere off-Broadway productions together. However, managing this organization has been challenging and, having stagnated in terms of growth, I decided that now would be the best possible time to learn firsthand from our progenitors.

What do you hope to learn through your Fulbright research?
One of our biggest challenges at both NTSA and my school has been getting students from high-income and low-income communities to work together successfully. My school recently received a letter from an alum who enrolled in a private college upstate. She recounted how, on the first day of school, she was confronted with a situation she’d never been in before: being the only African-American student in the classroom. She struggled to fit in and even wrote that she’d been “robbed” of a good college experience because of what she looked like. This convinced me that we need to give our students more opportunities to collaborate with their peers from divergent backgrounds throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. We don’t want them to be blindsided on their first day of college.

Through my observations at the UK’s national youth theatres (which have a strong tradition of integrating students from different social classes), I hope to learn how we can successfully expose US students to a broader population of their peers — both inside the classroom and through extracurricular programming. Specifically, I want to focus on how teachers can build meaningful partnerships with schools from other communities, facilitate discussion and decision-making processes that lead to thoughtful artistic and academic work, and resolve tensions that might arise between students based on cultural differences.

Why did you want to be a teacher? What motivated you to apply for Teach for America?
The Great Recession turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. After years of studying business, I’d been convinced that I would start a bright career as a management consultant after graduation. But when all of the major firms started laying off their employees as opposed to hiring new ones, I started looking for temporary alternatives. Teach for America was only a two-year commitment, and I’d always been interested in working with young adults. So I signed up.

It only took a few months for me to realize that I wanted to stay in the classroom indefinitely. When my students brainstorm how to make a stop-motion phoenix fly through the clouds (and then execute their ideas with our industrial fan as a makeshift wind machine!) or choreograph and teach an entire dance routine to their classmates, I’m filled with such pride in their accomplishments. There’s not a single day when I don’t look forward to getting up and going to work.

What do you find most rewarding about teaching? Most challenging?
I stay in this profession because my students are endlessly creative and give me a mental workout. Whether it’s comparing Lois Lowry’s The Giver to the Garden of Eden mythos in reading class, or designing a 1920s feminist interpretation of Eurydice in drama class, I’m in awe of what my students come up with on a daily basis.

For me, my schedule has been the biggest challenge. I teach over 330 students, and I only see them once a week. No matter how committed I’ve been to making short films with them or producing a whole-school musical, the reality is that, sometimes, those end-of-year projects just don’t get off the ground. I see my students so infrequently that absences can put a huge glitch in a well-planned rehearsal. One cancelled class period can be the difference between a smooth opening night and an all-out disaster. It’s a tough predicament to explain to students, and some of them always close out the school year feeling disappointed with what we weren’t able to accomplish.

What qualities make a great teacher?
If you walked into my classroom, it might look like low-grade chaos to you. Students are out of their seats. They’re talking to one another. They’re taking materials from the supply closets without asking. But for all of that freedom, there are countless structures and systems in place that enable my students to be successful. Every great teacher needs to be a phenomenal operations manager. You need to be able to plan logistics down to the smallest detail. During my first year of teaching, my desks were organized in rows, hands were raised for every question, and each class had a structured packet. It really helped me get the basics (like classroom management) down. Nowadays, my students have much more autonomy and independence, but that’s because I’ve become a stronger planner, and my classroom systems have gotten much better.

What advice would you give to future Fordham GSE students?
Every year gets easier! I remember working 14-16 hour days as a first-year teacher.  It used to take me hours to write a single lesson plan, and earning the respect of my students was a constant challenge.

Now, going into my ninth year, teaching still requires a lot of work — but nothing that I can’t manage during my prep periods. I’m able to have both a personal life and a successful classroom. So if the going gets tough during your first and second years, don’t quit! You’ll eventually hit your stride and never look back.

GSE Welcomes Back Alumni at Inaugural Reunion

On June 9th, GSE welcome back over 40 alumni to the inaugural GSE Reunion. The event was part of the larger Fordham Lincoln Center Reunion that welcomed alumni from Fordham College Lincoln Center, the Gabelli School of Business, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and the Graduate School of Social Services.

Dean Virginia Roach welcomed the group back home to Fordham, remarking on GSE’s accomplishments over the past year, including rising 14 spots in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Watch the GSE video that outlines many of our year’s accomplishments. Later, she reflected on the range of careers and interests of the alumni group, many of whom are using their Fordham degrees to impact their fields in ways they had not anticipated.

Father Joseph McShane, S.J., President of Fordham, spoke to the group about the Graduate School of Education as one of the key mission-driven and mission-focused schools within the university. GSE’s student body reflects Fordham’s founding principle of Service to the Community: they are a group that comes from the city and works to make their home better. He spoke of GSE students as those called into not just a career, but a vocation.