College of Education Newsletter
Message from the Dean:
Instead of the usual "Message from the Dean," we have invited our Spring faculty retirees to share the most important lesson from their tenure as faculty. This activity was inspired by Dr. Patty Phelps's recent publication of "Seven Big Lessons from a Retiring Professor" recently published in The Teaching Professor.
Dr. Patty Phelps: Keep in mind what is key. With constant demands on our time coupled with frequent interruptions, it’s easy to overlook what matters most in fulfilling our roles as educators. Developing a personal mission statement may help us stay focused on what’s most important. This brief, written vision will vary for each individual and its emphasis may slightly change from day to day, but having one will serve as a guide for our decisions and actions. I viewed my primary purpose as connecting with students, remaining a learner, and modeling professionalism as well as effective teaching. Keeping in mind these three critical aspects of being a teacher educator helped me stay on track—at least most days.
Dr. Jud Copeland: In thinking about my teaching experiences as a reflective practitioner, I go back to my first year as a teacher in the fall 1969. I have taught in face-to-face and online contexts in which a particular teaching philosophy evolved. I view my role as a teacher-facilitator with a student-centered approach to learning. I encourage my students to problem solve based on core concepts within a given class. The benefit is to experience how excited they are in applying their knowledge to solve actual problems in their respective professional fields. Of course, I am responsible and accountable as a teacher-facilitator but it is really not about me; it is about my students. So, at this point, that is my “Goodbye Mr. Chips” philosophy.
STEMulate Engineering Academy:
STEMulate Engineering Academy was held June 3-6 in the College of Education, hosting 82 students from grades 3-6. Students solved hero sized problems as they completed engineering design and coding activities. Grade 3 students helped their superheroes through the creation and design of a catapult, parachute, magnetic contraption, and a Rube Goldberg machine. Grade 4 students helped superheroes rescue people in dire need through their design and creation of a hovercraft, zipline, and a helicopter, and through their guidance of a drone. Grade 5-6 students helped superheroes with space travel in their design and creation of rockets using various types of energy supplies.
STEMulate Engineering Academy is directed by Drs. Debbie Dailey, Jason Trumble, and Alicia Cotabish. The camp is sponsored by Kimberly Clark Cooperation and Arvest Bank. Additionally, materials are donated to the camp by SMC Packaging Group. Teachers of the camp are candidates in the UCA Gifted and Talented program and area classroom teachers and/or paraprofessionals.
The Bandage Project:
The Dept. of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) in the UCA College of Education recently collaborated with Woodlake Elementary School in Sacramento, CA for The Bandage Project. Woodlake Elementary has a freedom writers program called Tolerance Kids. They have been working on The Bandage Project for 10 years in honor of Anne Frank and the 1.5 million children that perished in the holocaust. Woodlake Elementary reached out to schools all over the US for assistance in reaching their goal of 1.5 bandages by June 12, 2019 (Anne Frank’s birthday).
UCA was the first school in Arkansas to make Woodlake Elementary’s 40 classroom challenge by raising over 10,000 bandages. ELSE faculty, staff, and students worked hard to get the bandages. The UCA Bookstore graciously donated t-shirts for the 20 students in Tolerance Kids. ELSE also sent the kids pens, post-its, and magnets.
Ms. Lisa Liss, Woodlake Elementary teacher and organizer of The Bandage Project, was excited to share they reached their goal of 1.5 million bandages. The class made a container with Anne Frank’s picture engraved on it that holds all of the bandages that were collected. The container will be in a museum in Sacramento, CA for the world to see.