Sunday, April 28, 2013

SOE Students at Commencement 2013

Nearly 100 members of the School of Education community had degrees conferred upon them at the Commencement ceremony on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Sunday, April 28, 2013,

The SOE contingent included 25 students who received graduate degrees, either the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, or Master of Science, and more than 55 students who received undergraduate degrees, either the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of General Studies, or Bachelor of Science. In addition, 14 CASL undergraduates were recognized for having completed requirements for secondary school certification.

SOE Chancellor's Medallion winner, Steven Pascoe (elementary education, science studies), received special recognition at the morning commencement ceremony. He was also honored at a luncheon event following commencement.

Another member of the SOE community had a special role in the commencement eremony. Youssef Mosallam, an alumnus of the School of Education who was selected as the 2012 Alumnus of the Year, spoke on behalf of the UM-Dearborn alumni society.

Please join me in congratulating all our graduates and in wishing them great success now and in the future.

Monday, April 22, 2013

May Conference Attracts Education, Health & Human Service Professionals

On May 2-3, 2013, hundreds of education, social service, and health professionals in the state of Michigan and surrounding areas will participate in the fourth annual transdisciplinary teaming conference hosted by Oakwood Helathcare’s Center for exceptional Families (CEF) and UM-Dearborn’s School of Education and Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC). This year’s conference theme is Making Inclusion Work in Early Childhood Education with Transdisciplinary Teaming to Support Children with Challenging Behaviors.

The theme of the conference is inspired by the accomplishments of the ECEC/CEF partnership, which began in 2006 and has grown impressively over the years, and the conference is designed to meet the needs of a broad array of professionals who might participate as members of transdisciplinary teams, including early childhood and special education teachers; early interventionists; parents; occupational, physical and speech/language therapists; social workers; psychologists; and students preparing for careers in these fields. Conference participants have opportunities to learn research-based strategies, techniques and best practices for including children with special learning needs within natural environments and general education settings.

The keynote speakers this year are Mary Louise Hemmeter and Pamela McCaskill. Dr. Hemmeter is associate professor of special education at Vanderbilt University and principal investigator at the Center on the Social & Emotional Foundations of Early Learning. Her talk is titled, “We Are All in This Together: Preventing and Addressing Challenging Behavior." Dr. McCaskill is a clinical psychologist at McCaskill Family Services. She will speak on “Unraveling the Truth about Oppositional, Defiant and Angry Children.”

Breakout sessions featured best practices in inclusive education. Among the leaders of the breakout sessions were several UM-Dearborn faculty and ECEC/CEF staff members who will present strategies for professionals working with children with and without disabilities and their families in school and non-school settings.

The conference will take place May 2-3 in the Social Science Building (SSB) on the main campus of UM-Dearborn. To learn more, or to register for the event, visit the Inclusion Conference webpage. For more information, see a related story in the UM-Dearborn reporter.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Innovative Writing Clinic at UM-Dearborn

Cultivating the enjoyment of writing has been the focus of the University of Michigan–Dearborn School of Education’s writing clinic. Under the leadership of SOE assistant professor Danielle DeFauw, the 6-week writing clinic has been providing writing instruction for third-grade students from Thorne Elementary and their siblings, and the clinic also provides instruction to parents so that they can better support their children’s writing at home. The writing clinic is supported by the SOE and a faculty seed grant from the university, and Dr. DeFauw hopes to replicate and expand the clinic in the future.

The children’s writing instruction is provided by UM-Dearborn students who are enrolled in a course, Exploring Writing with Children & Adolescents, offered during the Winter 2013 academic term. In the first half of the academic term, the university students (a mix of preservice and inservice teachers) learned how to provide effective writing instruction to children using high-quality children’s books as examples for teaching writing. Then in the second half of the course, they plan and deliver instruction to the children attending the clinic. While the children receive their instruction, Dr. DeFauw meets with the children’s family members to discuss how they can support their children’s writing.

Each Thursday evening, the elementary and university students work together as they read children’s literature and learn to write in ways that emulate the authors. The elementary students are learning to write in various genres including poetry, narrative, and expository. By the end of the writing clinic, students will complete one expository piece to share with their families during the writing celebration scheduled for April 18th.

Dr. DeFauw is collecting data on this model of supporting both children’s literacy development and professional training for reading teachers. She will present more details on her writing clinic project at the SOE Research Colloquium on Wednesday, April 10th.