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:

New project focuses on technology instruction for nonverbal students

SamSennottsDaughterWiPad (2)Nearly one percent of the general student population has some kind of severe disability, such as autism, cerebral palsy, or a physical disorder, that makes verbal communication difficult. These children can be very bright and motivated, but because of communication difficulties, become frustrated and are at very high risk of falling behind or failing in school.

A new project in the GSE was conceived to help educators learn best practices in working with nonverbal children. The 3T Accessibility Project (Teaching, Technology and Theory) will connect PK-12 students with autism and other developmental disabilities to unique technology that will help them communicate, and ultimately, advance in school. The 3T Project is driven by research-based theory of technology integration. An emphasis will be placed on serving students who have disabilities that impact their ability to speak. Students will have new access to communication, which will improve academics, social and arts experiences, and in the future, vocational pursuits.

While significant advances in special education have occurred, too often individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities still lack access to this technology. This is due in part to cost, but also to teachers and other support team members’ limited knowledge of available options and how to best integrate rapidly advancing new technologies with quality teaching practices. With the advent of computers and mobile devices, even more tools are now available at a lower cost than ever before. The 3T Project will assist in helping teachers identify new tools and teaching techniques, while the project team collects data that will inform best practices, next steps, and future work.

“We are really interested in learning how to make this process work,” says Dr. Samuel Sennott, project director. “It’s about planning, goal setting, implementation, and using best practices.” Continue reading