New Hittle Endowed Scholarship supports math and science teacher education

HittlesBecause they understand the value of a solid foundation in math and science and know how important teachers are in providing it, Betty and Larry Hittle have established a new endowed scholarship. The Betty and Larry Hittle Endowed Scholarship will provide annual support, in perpetuity, for math and science teacher candidates in the Graduate School of Education.

Betty Hittle graduated from Portland State University with a BS in education in 1969 and earned an MAT from Lewis & Clark College in 1970. She also pursued further graduate work at PSU. She taught seventh grade for six years, then took a sabbatical to teach talented and gifted (TAG) science classes at OMSI. During that time, she also designed lessons and science kits for teachers, demonstrated use of the kits onsite in schools to teachers and principals, and also offered professional development workshops. Betty returned to Portland Public Schools and taught at Multnomah and Capitol Hill Schools, then transferred to Beaumont Middle School, where she taught science and math to seventh graders, marine biology to TAG students, and geography classes to teachers for the National Geographic Society. She retired in 1991, and taught classes as a volunteer for the Audubon Society of Portland. Continue reading

Randy Schild named 2015 Oregon Superintendent of the Year

Randy SchildPSU/GSE alumnus Randy Schild ’94, ’96, ’01, is the 2015 Oregon Superintendent of the Year. He is a graduate of both GSE Educational Administrator programs, IAL and CAL, and holds an MST from the PSU’s School of Business Administration. He is the superintendent of Tillamook School District.

Not too many superintendents can say this, but Randy Schild actually attended first grade through high school in his district. He left town briefly to earn his degrees at PSU, then returned as a business teacher, coach, and administrator before becoming superintendent 14 years ago. Continue reading

Special Education Chair Randall De Pry finalizes textbook on behavior

Randall L De PryIPBS_BookGSE Special Education Chair, Dr. Randall De Pry, is co-editor (with Drs. Fredda Brown and Jacki Anderson) of a new graduate-level textbook, Individual positive behavior supports: A standards-based guide to practices in school and community settings. The book is now available from Brookes Publishing (Baltimore, MD), and serves as a significant compilation of evidence-based practices in positive behavior supports (PBS). The text outlines best practices based on research on behavior strategies conducted over the last three decades.

“The depth and breadth of this text are simply extraordinary!” said reviewer Dr. Tim Knoster, a professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. “This resource will be of great value to anyone interested in promoting the application of positive behavior supports across home, school, and community settings.” Continue reading

New grant for math and science teacher education creates GSE’s largest scholarship award

Alex Steinkamp, Graduate School of Education MEd 2013. Alex is a 2012-13 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund, and currently teaches high school AP physics and robotics in Olympia, Washington.

Alex Steinkamp, Graduate School of Education MEd 2013. Alex is a 2012-13 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund, and currently teaches high school AP physics and robotics in Olympia, Washington.

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) is proud to announce that Ecoworks Foundation has made a grant of $100,000 to support the Pivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Teacher Education. Two $10,000 scholarships will be available annually for five years, making Pivotal the largest private donor-funded scholarship in the GSE. The Pivotal scholarship will help to attract and recruit the best STEM majors to the field of science and math education.

The first two Pivotal Scholars Fund scholarships from the new grant will be awarded in the spring of 2015. Interested students are encouraged to complete the scholarship application now. The deadline for application is February 1, 2015.

Ecoworks Foundation is supporting the Pivotal Scholars Fund to launch outstanding science and math teachers into our region’s classrooms. The GSE strives to create a community for math and science teacher candidates, supporting deep interest and expertise in content areas and staying abreast of current advances in STEM field practices. As classroom teachers, the Pivotal Scholars will inspire thousands of students with their passion for math and science, while promoting sustainability through their curricula. Continue reading

GSE hosts a conversation with distinguished educator Geneva Gay

G_GayThe Graduate School of Education presented a talk by Dr. Geneva Gay from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Gay teaches multicultural education and general curriculum theory. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award, presented by the Committee on the Role and Status of Minorities in Educational Research and Development of the American Educational Research Association; the first Multicultural Educator Award presented by the National Association of Multicultural Education; the 2004 W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Lecturer Award presented by the Special Interest Group on Research Focus on Black Education of the American Educational Research Association; and the 2006 Mary Anne Raywid Award for Distinguished Scholarship in the Field of Education, presented by the Society of Professors of Education.

Dr. Gay is nationally and internationally known for her scholarship in multicultural education, particularly as it relates to curriculum design, staff development, classroom instruction, and intersections of culture, race, ethnicity, teaching, and learning.

Dr. Gay is an advisor to the GSE’s Culturally Responsive Elementary Mathematics Education project. For more information on the project, contact Dr. Swapna Mukhopadhyay in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, swapna@pdx.edu.

The event was recorded and is available here:

GSE students write Oregon African American History curriculum

Black historyIn 1844, Oregonians declared slavery illegal yet simultaneously enacted the infamous “Lash Law” requiring that “Blacks in Oregon, whether free or slave, be whipped at least twice a year until they quit the territory.” Four years later, Oregon’s provisional governor passed the first Exclusion Law making it unlawful for African Americans or people of mixed heritage to reside in Oregon Territory.1 African Americans were prohibited from living, travelling, or owning property in Oregon. Despite the fact that many of these laws were repealed in the early 20th century, discrimination against African Americans and other culturally diverse people continued unabated as they were refused service in restaurants, had limited access to businesses, jobs, and housing, and were prohibited from voting. Oregon was considered one of the worst places for African Americans outside of the South,2 and in the 1920s boasted an active Klu Klux Klan membership of 35,000.3 Does this surprise you? If so, you are not alone. The history of the African American population and other important people of color in Oregon is difficult to find in any mainstream textbooks.

Today, issues of diversity and inclusiveness are paramount in education. Because of this, a new project, conceived by Professors Patricia Schechter (HST) and Gayle Thieman (CI), was launched to provide new resources for K-12 educators related to the history of African Americans in Oregon. Dr. Schechter teaches in the PSU History Department and is an oral historian who co-authored an oral memoir of the first African American woman to be elected to the Oregon State Senate, the Honorable Avel Gordly. Dr. Schechter was also instrumental in getting an important African American history collection donated to the PSU library that is specifically focused on Portland. Dr. Thieman, a nationally recognized social studies professor, is a PSU Curriculum and Instruction faculty member who teaches in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). Together they collaborated to offer a class for K-12 teachers that would provide them with a methodology for researching local history and also supply them with the tools necessary to create curricular materials with a local context for their classrooms.

Nine local teachers participated in the class, Using Archives to Teach Oregon African American History, which was held in a one-week intensive summer format. The curricular materials they develop will be available soon on a website created by the group. These important curricular materials and lessons are an invaluable resource that will provide history lessons never before available to K-12 teachers. Continue reading