Education & Schools
Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Announces STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:34

Kemin Industries, Council team up to recognize outstanding STEM educators

DES MOINES, IOWA – (Nov. 10, 2014) – Today, the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council, in conjunction with Kemin Industries, highlighted the STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching today at the lieutenant governor’s weekly press conference.

"The Council is fully committed to increasing interest and achievement in STEM education and actively engaging businesses to support this work,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. “This is a wonderful example of how business and industry partnerships can develop STEM opportunities for our students, as well as recognize the great instruction their educators are providing."

"Business and industry increasingly are stepping up to work with schools in ways that make a real difference," said Mary Andringa, co-chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council and Vermeer CEO. "I'm confident that the STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching sponsored by Kemin will encourage more companies to look at how they can help prepare students to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math. That partnership is crucial in a fast-changing, global economy."

"Iowa's educators hold the key to the future of STEM through their work with our next generation of innovators," said Jeff Weld, Ph.D., executive director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "It is vital that we do all we can to support them, including recognizing a job well done. Kemin has developed a generous award program enabling us to honor great teaching that impacts so many young minds."

The award will honor one K-12 educator from each of the six STEM regions across the state of Iowa for their work inspiring and encourage students to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The six teachers selected will receive an award of $1,500, with an additional $1,500 designated for classroom use.

“We’re proud to support STEM educators for all they do to engage young minds and increase awareness of the numerous opportunities available in STEM fields,” said Dr. Chris Nelson, Kemin president and CEO. “Science, technology, engineering and math are integral to our business, and we appreciate teachers’ efforts to demonstrate to students the enormous impact they can have in these careers, not only on their lives but the lives of others.”

Nominations are due December 12, 2014 and can be completed online. Anyone is eligible to submit an educator through the simple nomination form. Once nominated, educators will fill out an application to be assessed by a panel of judges who will select the six winners. Winners will be announced in March 2015.

For more information or to nominate an educator, visit stemaward.fluidreview.com.

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WIU-QC/WQPT AMERICORPS EARLY CHILDHOOD LITERACY PROJECT ANNOUNCES SUCCESS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Lora Adams   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:50

MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University-Quad Cities and WQPT’s AmeriCorps program has completed its first year of service.

The original class of 12 AmeriCorps members served the Illinois Quad City area and set out to improve literacy skills in the classrooms they serve by 15 percent. After completing a pre-test and post-test based on Illinois Early Learning Standards, the results show improvement in literacy skills of the students served by 49 percent.

The AmeriCorps program has also undergone changes for the 2014-2015 class. The program is now able to serve both Illinois and Iowa and has been expanded to 24 members. Currently there are 20 members enrolled.

Fifteen of the members are new to the program, and five are returning for a second year of service. Members are serving at all three Skip-a-Long locations (Moline, Rock Island and Davenport, IA), Casa de los Ninos in Moline, Grant Wood Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, both in Bettendorf, IA, Blackhawk Family Literacy Program in Moline, Hillcrest Elementary School in East Moline and the WIU Infant and Preschool Center in Macomb.

This is also the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps and the Western/WQPT members celebrated in Springfield, IL, marching through the city and taking the oath of service on the steps of the Old State Capital.

Other projects included making 250 blank books for children to write and illustrate their own stories at the newly opened Newcome Early Learning Center in Davenport, IA, and helping at the National Bullying Prevention Month CommUNITY Party in Bettendorf, IA, promoting kindness and helping the children make Elmo puppets.

Anyone interested in applying to AmeriCorps can email Scott at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

WQPT is a media service of WIU.

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National Math Competition for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Greg Livadas   
Friday, 07 November 2014 09:38

RIT has hosted popular contest for middle school students for eight years

Middle school students can participate in Rochester Institute of Technology’s eighth annual Math Competition for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, April 10-12, 2015, at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y.

This competition is designed to promote math as fun and engaging and features three rounds that test speed and accuracy, teamwork and additional math skills.

Coaches and students can find the registration form and more information online at www.rit.edu/NTID/mathcompetition. There is a $90 registration fee for each team of four students, and a $25 registration fee for students who register individually.

The registration deadline is Dec. 15, 2014. Parents and teachers are encouraged to attend as well.

One of nine colleges of RIT, NTID was established by Congress in 1965 to provide college opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who were underemployed in technical fields. Today, 1,387 students attend NTID; more than 1,200 are deaf or hard of hearing. Others are hearing students enrolled in interpreting or deaf education programs. RIT is the most accessible campus for deaf students, providing unparalleled support services with more than 150 interpreters, tutors and notetakers who support students in and out of the classroom.

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Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. In addition, the university offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 18,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For three decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. RIT is featured in The Princeton Review’s 2015 edition of The Best 379 Colleges, its Guide to 332 Green Colleges and The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015.

To see more of RIT’s rankings and recognition, go to www.rit.edu/overview/rankings-and-recognition.

 
Why Educational Reform Cannot Work PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 06 November 2014 16:37

By Charles M. Reigeluth, Ph.D.

Think of our schools as a horse and buggy – it worked well in a different time, but times have changed. Educational needs have changed as much as transportation needs.  Retrofitting a horse and buggy will not give us an airplane, and yet we seem to expect that reforms to our schools will meet our new educational needs. And why shouldn’t we?

We’ve never experienced a paradigm change in American education.  All we know is piecemeal reforms.  But there has been a paradigm change.  In the mid 1800s, as our communities transformed from agrarian to industrial societies, the one-room schoolhouse no longer met our educational needs and was gradually replaced by the current, factory model of schools. This was a paradigm change because the fundamental structure of the one-room schoolhouse was different – it had no grade levels, no courses, no standardized norm-referenced tests.

Could it be that once again our educational needs have changed so dramatically that only paradigm change will be effective?  To answer this question, we should first determine whether our current educational systems are meeting our needs.  Consider the following:

• More than half of America’s high school seniors are not proficient in reading, and 75 percent can’t do math, according to the recently released National Assessment of Educational Progress.

• The PISA test administered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2012 found that the United States ranked 17th in reading, 27th in math, and 20th in science among the 34 OECD countries (http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/PISA-2012-results-US.pdf).

• The hidden curriculum – compliance and tolerance for boring, repetitive tasks – was very important for manual labor during the Industrial Age but is counterproductive for the initiative and problem-solving skills needed for knowledge work in the Information Age.

• Our communities are increasingly segregated by socio-economic status, resulting in greater disadvantages for many students.

Clearly, our schools are not performing as well as we would like and need them to in an increasingly competitive global economy.

This poor performance is not due to lack of effort. Since “A Nation at Risk” was published in 1987, billions of dollars have been spent on educational reforms.  So why have they failed, and why are they destined to continue to fail no matter how much money we spend on them?

The primary reasons have to do with fundamental changes in society – its educational needs and tools.  To understand this, it is helpful to consider a truth about learning: Students learn at different rates.  Yet our current paradigm of education tries to teach a fixed amount of content in a fixed amount of time. So the current structure, by basing student progress on time rather than learning,

• forces slower students to move on before they have mastered the material (thus accumulating gaps in knowledge that make future learning of related material more difficult and virtually condemn those students to flunking out), and

• holds back faster learners, demotivating them and squandering their sorely needed talents.

As described in my recent book, Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold (http://www.reinventingschools.net), a system designed to not leave children behind would have each student move on only when s/he has learned the current material, and as soon as s/he has learned the current material.  Until schools make this fundamental structural change, they will continue to leave children behind, no matter what educational reforms we make – be it more high-stakes testing, more teacher professional development, smaller class sizes, more focus on basic skills, longer school day or year, or whatever the latest fad.

So what does this have to do with changes in society?  Alvin Toffler has convincingly described how societies undergo massive waves of change, from the Hunting-and-Gathering Age, to the Agrarian Age, the Industrial Age, and the Information Age.  Each wave has brought about paradigm change in all of society’s systems:

• the family (extended family in the Agrarian Age, followed by the nuclear family, and now the working-parent family – dual-income and single-parent);

• transportation (horse and sailboat in the Agrarian Age, followed by a combination of the railroad and steamboat, and now the automobile and airplane);

• lighting systems (flame, incandescent bulb, LED);

• health-care systems;

• legal systems;

• communication systems;

• and, of course, education systems.

The one-room schoolhouse was the predominant paradigm of education in the Agrarian Age, the current factory model of schools in the Industrial Age, and the learner-centered paradigm (which exists only in about 1 percent of U.S. schools so far) in the Information Age.

The reason for these paradigm changes is that each wave of change creates different ends and means – different purposes for education and different tools for education.  Regarding purposes, during the Industrial Age, manual labor was the predominant form of work.  We did not need to educate many people to high levels; rather we needed to separate the future laborers from the future managers and professionals by flunking them out.  We needed a system that could sort the students – that would leave the slower students behind.  So we invented time-based student progress, norm-referenced testing, and letter (or number) grades.

But in the Information Age, knowledge work is becoming predominant. We need a system that is focused on maximizing every student's learning, which is evidenced by our talk about “no child left behind.”  This requires a system in which student progress is based on learning, not time.  Furthermore, the hidden curriculum in the Industrial Age paradigm was training students to be compliant and tolerant of boring tasks, important preparation for the assembly line. That curriculum is counter-productive for knowledge work.  Now we need a hidden curriculum of initiative, problem-solving, collaboration, and lifelong learning, which can perhaps best be achieved through self-directed, project-based learning.

As for education tools, information technologies make it much easier and less expensive to customize student progress and other aspects of instruction, enhance intrinsic motivation, integrate criterion-referenced testing with teaching (as is done in the Khan Academy – http://www.khanacademy.org/about), and keep track of what each individual student has learned.

There are many schools in which paradigm change has already been happening – more than 140 are listed in Reinventing Schools.  But in contrast to piecemeal reforms, paradigm change entails fundamental changes throughout the entire system:

• the instructional subsystem (from teacher-centered to learner-centered and self-directed, from standardized to customized, from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation),

• the assessment subsystem (from norm-referenced to criterion-referenced, from separate from instruction to integrated with instruction, from artificial to performance-based),

• the record-keeping subsystem (from comparative grades to an inventory of attainments),

• the roles of teachers (from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side”),

• the roles of students (from passive, teacher-directed to active, self-directed),

• the roles of parents (from cookie bakers to partners in their children’s learning),

• the roles of technology (from tool for the teacher to tool for the learner),

• and much more.

Where piecemeal educational reforms are destined to fail, paradigm change will eventually succeed. This is a point that policy-makers fatally overlook, with devastating consequences for our children and consequently our communities and economy.

The recognition that students learn at different rates also requires rethinking the definition of “achievement gap.” It is traditionally defined as the gap in achievement between groups of students of the same age – typically by racial or socioeconomic groups.  This definition arose out of Industrial Age thinking, expecting all students to be the same, and results in a misplaced emphasis for improving education.

The achievement gap that we should be most concerned about is the gap between what an individual student has learned and what that student could have learned.  The goal should be for all children to reach their potential, not for all to have learned the same things by the same age.  The only way for all to learn the same things by the same age would be to hold back the faster learners.

The United States espouses the goal of leaving no child behind, but it is clear that our Industrial Age system with time-based student progress is designed to leave children behind, and no educational reforms within that paradigm can change that dismal fact.

Toffler’s insights show us why paradigm change is needed at this point in history – indeed, why it is inevitable, just as the transformation from the one-room schoolhouse to the factory model was inevitable.  The major concern is how long this paradigm change will take, and how much damage will be done to our children, their communities, and our economy before it happens.

Toffler’s insights also help us to see what the new paradigm should be like and how it will greatly improve student learning, equity and cost-effectiveness while simultaneously professionalizing the teaching occupation.  The book Reinventing Schools elaborates on that vision, describes three school systems that fit the new paradigm, along with evidence of their effectiveness, and offers guidance for what school systems and policymakers can do to engage in this transformation.

Until educators, policymakers, and the public understand that the paradigm must change from one in which student progress is based on time to one in which it is based on learning, we will continue to leave children behind, regardless of what piecemeal reforms we make.

About Charles M. Reigeluth

Charles M. Reigeluth, www.reigeluth.net, has a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology from Brigham Young University.  He taught high school science for three years, was a professor at Indiana University for 25 years, including department chairman  for three years.  His research, conducted in schools, focuses on paradigm change in educational systems, the design of high-quality instruction, and the design of technology systems for the learner-centered paradigm of education. He is the author of Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold (http://www.reinventingschools.net).

 
Alumna Katherine Kalemkarian recognized with Olivet's 2014 Young Alumni Award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Laura Warfel   
Thursday, 06 November 2014 16:36

BOURBONNAIS, IL (11/06/2014)(readMedia)-- Olivet Nazarene University presented its fourth annual Young Alumni Awards to alumna Katherine Kalemkarian of Los Angeles and alumnus Scott Karalis of Palatine, Illinois, during the morning chapel service on Friday, October 31, as part of the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend activities. She is the daughter of George and June Kalemkarian of Moline, Illinois.

With a vision for a fashion industry career, Kalemkarian graduated summa cum laude from Olivet in 2006 with a degree in family and consumer sciences. Majoring in fashion merchandising, she also completed minors in business management, marketing and French.

In 2006, Kalemkarian was hired by TJX Companies as an allocation analyst and moved to Boston to work out of the corporate headquarters there. This is the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods in the U.S., as well as retail chains in Canada and Europe. In 2010, her two-year assignment as a planning manager with TK Maxx, the European division, took her to London to live and work.

Currently, as a ladies dress buyer with TJX, she is based in the Los Angeles satellite buying office. Each year, she purchases dresses that ship to nearly 2,000 stores nationwide. Identified as a potential leader for her company, she is on a leadership mentoring and training track.

Kalemkarian enjoys traveling and has visited 22 European countries. Experiencing new cultures, foods and people is one of her passions. As a self-described foodie and an excellent cook, she often ministers to others by hosting dinner parties for them at her home.

Each year, as part of the Homecoming celebration, Olivet honors one outstanding alumna and one outstanding alumnus with this award. Recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Board, and must have graduated from Olivet within the last 10 years. These awards are underwritten by alumni Mel and Judith (Tucker) Sayes, 1973 Olivet graduates, of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 100 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet has one main campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois, just 50 miles south of Chicago plus four additional sites - Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Grand Ledge, Michigan; and Hong Kong - and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year, whether through study abroad opportunities or worldwide mission trips.

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