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Fall 2016 Newsletter
EDYS currently certifies students to teach in a variety of subjects at elementary, middle and high school levels. In the past years, we've had students coming from other departments, or offices that might work with students who will benefit from knowing more about EDYS and its programs. In addition to certifying students to teach, EDYS also has a non-licensure program for students interested in working in fields related to education but not necessarily classroom teaching. EDYS will started with discussion of general information about our programs, answered questions, and discussed how EDYS can work with different departments and offices to better serve students who are interested in a career in education.
In Sonja Darlington's EDYS 276 course, “Reimagining Ways of Working with Youth: Facing Issues of Class,” students participated in seminar-like discussions for the first half of the semester. During the second half of the semester, the 17 students engaged in community research/projects related to their interest in youth work. In the following descriptions of their projects, readers can get a sense of their focus.
Chris Anderson is working with a select few students in sixth grade at Hackett Elementary School. He is studying the differentiated treatment of “minority” students.
Will Banville is volunteering as a teacher’s assistant to Luis Samayoa at Aldrich Middle School and Fruzen Middle School.
Katylyn Frew is working in a special education classroom at Merrill Elementary School. In the near future, she intends to pursue behavioral therapy for children with autism. She is finding the social class differences between the special education programs in the Northshore Chicago suburbs and Beloit of particular interest.
Marcus Hampton is assisting in class at Beloit Memorial High School in classes and with administrators, while studying institutional racism in secondary schools.
Jamison Huntley is participating in the “lunch buddies” program at Hackett Elementary School. He regularly eats lunch with a young third grade boy who lacks a solid male role model in his life. Jamison sees himself as a friend, mentor, and resource.
Austin Jackson is helping to organize a Young Black Men’s dinner at Beloit College and also shadowing a fellow student who has demonstrated strong leadership on issues of diversity.
Ezephy Lea, inspired by a class reading by Jean Anyon on the hidden curriculum, is visiting multiple schools (Beloit Memorial High School, Roy Chapman Andrews Academy, Fruzen Middle School, Spectrum (a private school in Rockford), and an elementary school a Native American Reservation in Lac du Flambeau. In her research at these sites, she is comparing the relationship of social class to pedagogical methods.
Nyasha Nyamhondoro is active as a volunteer at Roy Chapman Andrews Academy. She works primarily with middle schoolers. She is in charge of “Girls Group” for young women between 12-14. Together with her students, Nyasha talks about many issues, including inclusivity and positive self-esteem. This semester her focus is on the girls’ sense of belonging—especially at a new school location (BMHS).
Austen Padjen is currently working with a young student in second grade at Hackett Elementary. Austen notes that he and the young person have become best friends: they talk and hang out together. Austin sees himself as his “big brother.”
Marin Powers has been meeting 2-7 students at least once a week on the Beloit College campus about sexual assault. This group has been organized privately and does not report to anyone at the College—the point being that Marin believes that some students want to discuss sexual assault situations in a confidential space. Marin also goes three times a week to Beloit Memorial High School to work with low income/minority/first generation students.
Christina Pyper is working with Help Yourself to provide some fun programing for students as part of a series of themed workshops that this organization supports.
Dina Sipiora is working with the Rockford Public Schools to figure out how institutional racism plays a role in the opportunities provided to impoverish youth. As a result of her experiences, she is trying to improve the link between the Rockford Public Schools and the Burpee Natural History Museum, Discovery Science Center, Klehm Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and the Rockford Art Museum.
Paige Wolcik is assisting in a 4K Head-Start class and another pre-school class at Merrill Elementary School. She is looking at the benefits of a 4K program.
On Sunday, October 23rd, the EDYS department welcomed its majors to the Fireplace Lounge to enjoy conversation, food, and ask questions about the EDYS majors. Pizza and ice-cream were enjoyed, along with M&Ms.
Thanks to the following EDYS students who joined in the festivities:
Devin Anderson, Chen Bao, Marcus Hampton, Kelsey Horvath, Ezephy Lea, Cristina Pyper, Ezra Rogers, Dina Sipiora, Leslea Strauss, Luke Thomson, and Kyndall White.
Kathryn Johnson, who has served as the program coordinator for the Department of Education and Youth Studies since October 2011, will be leaving EDYS to join the staff of the dean’s office as executive administrative assistant. Kathryn began working part-time in the dean’s office on September 26, while maintaining part-time hours in the EDYS office. Kathryn will fully transition over to the dean’s office when a new program coordinator has been found for the EDYS office, within the next few weeks. Stay tuned to find out who that will be!!
Kathryn has found her time working with the EDYS faculty and majors immensely rewarding and enjoyable. She is grateful to have had this opportunity to work with the EDYS professors, faculty supervisors, and area teachers to support EDYS majors and graduates dedicated to serving children and youth. She values each of her relationships with the EDYS faculty members and is grateful for their friendship and support. It has been a joy to watch Beloit College students learn, experience, reflect, and step out in pursuit of their goals. Kathryn is particularly thankful for the friendship, ideas, dedication, and hard work of Caitlyn Fisher, who has faithfully served as student worker in the EDYS office for the past four years!
"Kathryn has been such an integral member of the department and it's really hard for me to imagine an EDYS without Kathryn. We always say that she's the one who keeps the department running and we aren't just joking. Kathryn has been with us for five years and everyday I'm still amazed by her endless energy, perfect organization, warm personality, upbeat spirit, almost "frightening efficiency" (quoting Provost whom Kathryn will work for), and most importantly, kindness to all those she worked with, professors, staff or students. BTW, do you also know that she's a great singer? I heard her sing in a band at the Farmers' Market this fall and her voice is absolutely beautiful! We are so lucky to have Kathryn in the past five years and now we envy the one she's going to work for in the following years. :) Congratulations, Kathryn, for going to work for Provost!" –Professor Jingjing Lou
"We've been fortunate to have Kathryn in the coordinator's position, as she brings so much expertise: a background in teacher education and critical leadership in the EDYS office. Among these and other valuable assets it means that she has been able to link a commitment to students' EDYS progress, to a cordial working environment for faculty and staff in MI, to an attention to following through on programmatic details, and to an attitude of respect and caring for all those with whom she came in contact. We also need to mention a word of thanks for the yummy treats--homemade cookies, cakes, and bars. Thank you, Kathryn. We loved having you as a member of EDYS." –Professor Sonja Darlington
"Although I am new to Beloit, Kathryn has gone out of her way to help me to feel comfortable and welcomed here. Her warm presence and efficient and skilled approach to managing EDYS business will be greatly missed. I’m glad that Beloit will continue to benefit from her talents in her new position in the Provost’s office and wish her the best of luck!" –Professor Liz Blair
In Professor Darlington’s EDYS 306. Fall 2017, twelve students are engaged in fieldwork, based on their research interests. Here is a list of students and their activities:
Devon Anderson: Visiting/Observing classes at Beloit Memorial High School and investigating the institutional barriers for non white students.
William Banville: observing/teaching in Mr. Samayoa’s Spanish class at Aldrich Middle School, as he is studying the role of Total Physical Response pedagogy.
Julia Graston: observing/assisting at Todd Elementary as part of her research on the emotional resilience of teachers.
Marcus Hampton: Visiting/Observing classes at Beloit Memorial High School and investigating the institutional barriers for non white students.
Sam Haubrich: Observing/Assisting in an elementary art classroom in Beloit.
Jamison Huntley: coaching a youth baseball team and working in an after school program at the Beloit YMCA, as he is studying various aspects of the coaching relationship.
Ezephy Lea: observing/coaching students at Roy Chapman Andrews Academy.
Anisa Martinez: observing/assisting at Todd Elementary School in a dual immersion language kindergarten class, as she is investigating the role of play for young children.
Nyasha Nyamhondoro: observing/assisting at Family Services (Sexual Assault Recovery, Credit Counseling, Court Appointed Special Advocates) in Beloit. She is examining the trust relationship between counselors and clients.
Tegan Rock: shadowing/assisting in the Athletic Office with Coach Vraney at Beloit College, while she is researching the lack of women coaches in male varsity sports.
Dian Sipiora: observing/interviewing teachers and administrators at the Dual Immersion School in Rockford, Il, as she is investigating the Rockford policies related to dual immersion education.
Melanie Stein: assisting in 2nd and 3rd grade at Wingra School in Madison. Maddy is also supervising outdoor play sessions for her research project on nature-based programs.
30th Annual Education and Youth Studies (formerly Excellence in Teaching) Symposium at Beloit College
The 30th Annual department of Education and Youth Studies Symposium recently took place with two significant changes. First, the Symposium was held in the fall, instead of February. Second to the Education and Youth Studies Symposium, to more accurately reflect the dual nature of our department in teaching and youth studies., the name has been changed
Dr. Irv Epstein, the Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice at Illinois Wesleyan University, spoke on "Revisiting Global Youth Protest: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects." Dr. Epstein directs the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice and serves as Chair of the Department of Educations Studies at IWU. He has strong interests in comparative and international education, globalization, youth studies and children's rights issues. Prior to the presentation at 7:00 P.M., a number of guests gathered to have dinner with Dr. Epstein in the President's Lounge.
During the fall 2016 term, nine EDYS students in Track I and II started their student teaching semester.
Most students will complete their student teaching in January, 2017.
Elementary / Middle School Certification
Taurie Burns, Albrecht Elementary School
Emily Mingus, Aldrich Intermediate School
Orianna O’Neill, Bledisloe Primary School, New Zealand
Nora Polaski, Todd Elementary School
Michael Roth, Beloit Turner Middle School
Middle / High School Certification
Tyler Jackson, Lincoln-Way Central High School
Michelle Kelly, Beloit Memorial High SchoolRebecca Scheckel, McHenry Middle School
On November 4th 2016 myself and three other Beloit College students had the unique opportunity to spend a day immersed in a Native American elementary/middle school situated in the heart of the Native American reservation Lac du Flambeau. This opportunity was made possible through the kindness and willingness of the staff at Lac du Flambeau School, and the generous sponsorship from Beloit College’s Education department for the cost of transport and an overnight stay.
The day at the school was interesting from the very beginning. We listened to students recite their daily pledges – firstly to the American flag, and secondly their traditional Warrior pledge. We were then invited to observe a 4th grade Ojibwa language and culture class, taught by a teacher who is also one of the tribal elders. The children recited various Ojibwa verbs and phrases and were able to understand basic instructions. The elder played a traditional drum and sang two songs to us in Ojibwa in two different pitches. During the lesson he discussed the seven clans within the tribe and what each clan represents. He asked which students knew their clan, the majority did.
“The clans worked together, they helped each other. One hand washes the other. When you wake up in the morning and go to wash your face and your eyes with some water, and you look into the mirror and you see a native looking back, that’s how you know these clans worked together. Because we are still here.”
As we stood to leave the classroom the elder told us that there was no word for ‘goodbye’ in the Ojibwa language. Instead, the direct translation of a farewell is “until we meet again”, representing the belief that even if two bodies do not cross paths again, their spirits one day will.
During a short tour of the school the dean, Amy Zimmer, told us more about the demographic of the students. 95% are Native American, 3% Hispanic, 1% whiteAmerican and 1% African-American. Over 90% qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school has 498 students and 65 staff members and teachers, of which 6-10 are part or full Native American. As we walked through the school we could see influences of Native American culture on the walls of every classroom and corridor. Dream-catchers hung from the ceilings, feathers from classroom projectors, traditional carvings and canoes stood on top of bookcases. One corridor was brought to life by walls filled with stunning murals, a new one being painted each year by the graduating 8th grade class. Many classrooms had reading materials about Native American culture.
During the rest of the day we observed different classes at almost every grade level. The teachers were welcoming and the students charming and inquisitive. Many opportunities were made for them to ask questions and we discussed the different cultures represented by our group – English, Brazilian and Americans from Minnesota and Colorado. The children’s questions were often comical – “Do you have cars in England?”, and bold “Who are you going to vote for?”. One child made the observation aloud – “You all look different!” [to one another].
It is difficult to recall a child in the school who was not happy, friendly and approachable. Even during the excitement and activity of the powwow held at the end of the school day, two children found their way over to us, inviting us to view their traditional outfits more closely. Another student invited us to take part in one of the dances and guided us around the drum circle with the other dancers. The atmosphere was one of fun and familiarity. The students were seated with their teachers, but chose freely to stand and join in as they pleased. Older members of the community talked with one another, watched the dancing or joined in. The drummers in the center were relaxed, enjoying themselves. One had a young toddler perched on his knee as he drummed.
During our final conversation with the dean Amy Zimmer, we asked if there was a message from her or from the school that we could take home with us and attempt to share with others. After some thought she relayed her message. She expressed the importance for teachers to remember that it is not always obvious that someone is a native, and that young Native Americans come with a certain baggage and historical trauma that people may not expect. She said that teachers may need to listen to them a little more, and that asking questions will help because they are proud of their background and will let people know about it.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our professors in the Education Department at Beloit College for inspiring and sponsoring this trip, and of course to the wonderful people we met at Lac du Flambeau for welcoming us so kindly and leaving us with much to reflect on and share.
Until we meet again,
Ezephy Lea, Marin Powers, Cristina Pyper and Nora Sylvestre
Track 1 (Children and Schools)
Edward (EJ) Lowney
Track 2 (Adolescents and Schools)
Jingjing is teaching an FYI this semester. Her class is one of the four learning and living seminars and receives a Sustainability Citizenship Fellows grant.
This seminar explores the interconnections between ecology, development, and education. Drawing on theories and practices from the West and the East, and the ancient and the contemporary, we examine key concepts such as sustainability, ecology, modernity, and development from interdisciplinary and international perspectives. Ecology is defined in both physical and metaphorical terms, including both natural and social ecosystems. We discuss three agendas on ecology: 1) on modern conservation policies and practices; 2) on the changing ecology of local and global community associated with modern industrial life; and 3) on efforts to regain balance and achieve sustainable development. At the beginning of the class, taking China as a case study, we examine how its recent rapid development has devastated its environment, altered people’s lifestyles, and disturbed traditional cultural values. We also discuss the possibility to foster a new philosophy of sustainable development, one that marries scientific understanding of ecology and development with a renewed appreciation for traditional cultural values. Enlightened by a global perspective, students explore the ecological agendas in the local community of Beloit and especially on Beloit campus, as their term project.
EDYS 153, 3b: Development, Learning, and Relationships in Childhood, Adolescence, and Emerging Adulthood
This course introduces the study of cognitive, social, moral, and emotional development from early childhood through emerging adulthood, with special focus on learning, motivation, and promoting resilience in school and community contexts. Students read and discuss contemporary and historical scholarship from diverse perspectives and cultural locations. Students apply these theories to case studies of youth and through school-based field experience.
EDYS 276 (special topics): Gender and Education
This course examines the relationship between gender and education in the United States. Through social science theory and scholarship we will explore notions of gender as constructed identities and social categories. We will identify the ways schools produce and mediate gender identities and explore the experiences of diverse students and teachers. We will investigate the ways gender and categories like sexuality, race, class, and ethnicity intersect in schooling processes. We will analyze specific educational issues and policies using feminist and critical perspectives. We will explore avenues for promoting gender equality and social and institutional change. Finally, students will mobilize these experiences by engaging a topic in gender and education in depth.
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