National think tank highlights GSE/PPS partnership to build a bilingual teacher pipeline

In May 2017, Amaya Garcia reached out to the leadership of the Portland Public Schools and PSU Dual Language Teacher Partnership. In her role as senior researcher at New America—a relatively young public policy think tank, Garcia was interested in learning more about the PPS-PSU partnership. Her goal was to gather first-hand accounts about the partnership and the program that is dedicated to preparing dual language and world language teachers. Her interviews with the leaders of the PPS and PSU Dual Language Teacher Partnership led to the development of the report, The Portland Public Schools and Portland State University Dual Language Teacher Partnership. The report is the second in a series of papers that examines innovative approaches to bilingual teacher preparation across the nation.

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Grant raises math scores in East Multnomah County

Photo caption:
EaMML leadership team (left to right): Nicole Rigelman (PSU), Amy McQueen (DDSD), Karen Prigodich (CSD), Paul Latiolais (PSU), Chandra Lewis (RMC), Jackie Cooke (MESDD), Steve Vancil (DDSD), and Roxanne Malter (MESD).

PSU faculty member Nicole Rigelman, Curriculum and Instruction, and Amy McQueen, David Douglas School District (DDSD) math specialist, have completed a three-year, $1 million project to improve mathematics education in East Multnomah County. The East Metro Mathematics Leadership Project (EaMML) began in 2014 with a grant from the ODE. Both David Douglas and Centennial School Districts saw significant gains in participating students’ math test scores on Smarter Balanced Tests over the three-year period.

The grant has increased the capacity of over 70 K-12 teachers in DDSD and Centennial School Districts (CSD) to more effectively teach math. Both teachers and students were assessed before, during, and at the end of the project. Students were scored using the Smarter Balanced Assessments. The results were on average 34 points higher for EaMML Teachers’ students than those of their peers. Teachers were assessed using a tool from the University of Michigan called Learning Math for Teaching, and their pedagogical knowledge and skills with the Instructional Quality Assessment. Both measures demonstrated significant increases. Continue reading

GSE faculty member John Nimmo generates global early childhood documentary

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What is a right? What rights do children have in their schools, families and communities? And most importantly, What are the rights young children believe they should have in order to reach their full potential and participate in their community? These are the questions early childhood Professor John Nimmo pondered as he embarked on a film project entitled “Voices of Children,” for the World Forum Foundation (WFF).

John Nimmo, assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, is working with a team of multinational educators to discover the central values of our youngest global citizens –ages birth to eight years old. He is a member of the Working Initiative on Children’s Rights, for the WFF, an international consortium of educators working to improve the lives of young children around the world.

Nimmo’s global committee of early childhood educators and videographers sought to establish the voice of children in a documentary that would help adults understand the point of view of children. The group wondered what children actually knew about their rights. How did they feel about their place in society? And what was truly important to them?

For Nimmo, it was a unique chance to work with early childhood professionals from around the world. “What would it look like for videographers and social scientists from Brazil to come together with educators from the United States and Singapore and come to India and think about not only how we listen and how we speak about rights but also how we document them and make them visible?” said Nimmo, who has spent 30+ years working in early childhood education in multiple countries and cultures. “In the process, our goal was to unpack the typically Western and individualistic concept of rights and develop a more complex and culturally inclusive understanding.” Continue reading

GSE and PSU fondly remember Ron Narode

Ron Narode 3Feb 4, 1954 – Feb 23, 2016

We are so saddened to lose our friend and colleague, Ron Narode, who died on February 23, 2016.

Ron was an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, serving more than 25 years at PSU. He was a beloved teacher of math and science education, as well as a valued colleague throughout the University.

Ron brought a tremendous breadth of knowledge and experience to his work, including studies of Chinese, Judaic studies, philosophy, and English before pursuing his MAT in physics, and then his EdD in math and science education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a masterful educator, always posing questions and exemplifying the passionate curiosity that he inspired in his students and colleagues.

Over his career at PSU, in addition to teaching, Ron published three books and wrote scores of articles on teaching math and science curriculum. He was principal investigator for over 43 grants totaling $14,115,079, including a multistate National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $10M with Portland Public Schools. In 1989 he was a Fulbright scholar in Portugal at the Universidade do Minho. He taught education at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Fiji, from 1989 to 1991. Continue reading

GSE faculty member Will Parnell publishes new book

Will Parnell bookAssociate Professor Will Parnell (CI) has published a book on early childhood research practices, Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research (Routledge, 2016), with Jeanne Marie Iorio, a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. Parnell is an Early Childhood Education faculty member and pedagogical liaison to the Helen Gordon Child Development Center. He has published and presented scores of papers on early childhood pedagogy. This is his second book.

About the book

Recent and increasing efforts to standardize young children’s academic performance have shifted the emphases of education toward normative practices and away from qualitative, substantive intentions. Connection to human experience, compassion for societal ailments, and the joys of learning are straining under the pressure of quantitative research, competition, and test scores, exemplified by federal funding competitions and policymaking.

Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research critically interrogates the traditional foundations of early childhood research practices to disrupt the status quo through imaginative, cutting-edge research in diverse U.S. and international contexts. Its chapters are driven by empirical data derived from unique research projects and a variety of contemporary methodologies that include phenomenological studies, auto-ethnographic writings, action-oriented studies, arts-based methodologies, and other innovative approaches. By giving voice to marginalized social science researchers who are active in learning, school, and early education sectors, this volume explores the meanings of actionable and everyday approaches based on the experiences of young children, their families, and educators. Continue reading

GSE hosts international mathematics conference

Conference presenters Peter Gates and Ubiratan D'Ambrosio at KBOO radio

Conference presenters Peter Gates and Ubiratan D’Ambrosio at KBOO radio

The eighth international Mathematics Education and Society (MES) conference took place at Portland State University, June 21–26, 2015. Swapna Mukhopadhyay, professor in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) Curriculum and Instruction Department, and Brian Greer, adjunct instructor in the GSE, organized the conference. This year marks the first time that the MES conference has been held in the United States, with previous conferences having taken place in Europe, Australia, and South Africa. The conference provides a forum for the discussion of historical, cultural, social, and political aspects of mathematics education and how it both reflects and impacts society. The conference was attended by more than 150 people from over 20 countries.

GSE Dean Randy Hitz said, “The Mathematics Education and Society Conference is unique and extremely important as it focuses on the ethical responsibilities of mathematicians and mathematics educators, including making mathematics accessible to all students and reflecting critically on what is done with the mathematics developed.”

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