News @ TC
Published in TC Today - Volume 36, No. 2
INAUGURATING A NEW POLICY DEPARTMENT
Three distinguished education policy analysts, speaking in February at the formal inauguration of TC’s new department of Education Policy and Social Analysis (EPSA), agreed that national education policy has had an enormous impact on U.S. classrooms.
In a discussion moderated by Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science and Education and EPSA department chair, the speakers—Christopher T. Cross, a former U.S. Undersecretary of Education and current Chairman of Cross & Joftus, an education-policy consulting firm; Jack Jennings, founder and recently retired Director of the Center on Education Policy; and Wendy D. Puriefoy, President of the Public Education Network (PEN)—cited a list of major federally driven changes to American schools. These included Title I funding, instituted in 1965 to provide extra money for schools with economically disadvantaged children; the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (later the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) of 1975; No Child Left Behind, enacted in 2002; and the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.
“The question of whether national policy has influenced education unquestionably has to be answered, ‘yes,’” Cross said. “The reality is that almost everything that goes on is, in fact, guided by what happened in federal policy at some point, even though people in the classroom may not recognize it.”
Launched in the fall of 2011, EPSA serves as a central academic hub for TC’s education policy work across all phases of educational and human development, with both a national and a global focus.
TC CREATES MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAM WITH SINGAPORE INSTITUTE
teachers college and the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Singapore have established a joint Master of Arts in Leadership and Educational Change degree program, with a dual focus on instructional and curriculum leadership. According to a written statement from the NIE, the new program, to be based in Singapore, will prepare “a new generation of educational leaders for Singapore, the Asia-Pacific region and the larger international community.”
The program was launched in early February in coordination with the signing of an agreement in Washington, D.C., to enhance educational collaboration between Singapore and the United States. TC’s Provost and Dean, Thomas James, and A. Lin Goodwin, Vice Dean and Professor of Education, took part in a ceremony in Singapore for launching the joint master’s program, which will begin taking applications this May for enrolling its first cohort of 30 students in January 2013. The program seeks applicants from Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as prospective students from the United States and other Western countries who wish to pursue a higher degree “in an Asian context,” the NIE said. Degrees will be jointly awarded by TC and the NIE, which is part of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
A HUMANITARIAN AWARD FROM GHANA FOR TC’S SPEECH PATHOLOGY WORK
in early march, the national Council of Ghanaian Associations (NCOGA) gave its 2012 Humanitarian Award to two Teachers College faculty members. Cate Crowley, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the College’s Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program, and Miriam Baigorri, an instructor and clinical supervisor in the SLP program, were honored for their “dedicated and devoted services to the disabled children and higher institutions in Ghana.” The award, presented by Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Ken Kanda, also honors TC President Susan Fuhrman and Provost Thomas James.
Each year since 2008, Crowley and Baigorri have brought 18 master’s degree students in the SLP program to Ghana to provide free services for children and adults with communication disorders and to offer professional development for their Ghanaian colleagues. While in Ghana, the TC group collaborates with teachers of students with intellectual disabilities and works with the ear, nose and throat departments and cleft palate teams in the two teaching hospitals in Ghana. The TC students also make media appearances to increase understanding of the potential of Ghanaians with disabilities.
During her tenure, President Fuhrman has greatly expanded the international initiatives undertaken by Teachers College. Provost James has provided continued support, including a Provost’s Investment Fund Grant that partially funded the first trip to Ghana in February 2008.
NCOGA also recognized the significant benefits that TC’s Ghana program offers Ghanaians in New York, citing the deeper understanding that SLP students in the program bring to the provision of quality services to people from diverse backgrounds, including Ghanaian-Americans.
PSYCHOLOGISTS DISCUSS LIFE IN A TRAUMATIC WORLD
the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Hurricane Katrina. The Gulf oil spill. The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. It’s rough out there, and we all feel it in some way. With that in mind, a panel of faculty and alumni gathered at the College in December for the inaugural event of the TC Roundtable Series in Psychology, titled “Living in a Traumatic World.” Introduced by Provost Thomas James and moderated by Marla Brassard, a TC expert on psychological and emotional abuse in children, the panel included psychology faculty members George Bonanno, an expert on resilience to grief and trauma; Philip Saigh, a pioneer in describing and treating post-traumatic stress in children; Lisa Miller, an authority on spirituality in psychotherapy; and Ghislaine Boulanger (Ph.D., ’81), a prominent New York City psychoanalyst who conducted early studies of post-traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans, and who has since taught at TC and New York University.
TC was the birthplace of education psychology, and today roughly one-third of its full-time faculty members are psychologists.
NATIONAL COMMITTEE, LED BY BAILEY, URGES CHANGES
this past december, Thomas Bailey, George and Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College and Director of TC’s Community College Research Center, handed U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a report urging the federal government to make major changes in how it tracks the success and productivity of community colleges.
The report was the work of a 15-member national Committee on Measures of Student Success, led by Bailey, which was created in the wake of the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The Act required that two-year colleges report their completion rates to the federal government, but college officials argued that this statistic alone did not accurately reflect the achievements of the populations they served. The committee led by Bailey was appointed to develop recommendations for more comprehensive measures of student success.
By current measures, only 37 percent of community college students complete their postsecondary education within four years. The committee’s report urges the U.S. Department of Education to include, in its calculation of student success, those who transfer to a four-year college without a degree as well as those who earn a community college credential. It also recommends that colleges report graduation rates for distinct student cohorts, including part-time students, students who require remediation and those receiving financial aid.
ERNEST MORRELL IS NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF NCTE
ernest morrell, professor of English Education and Director of TC’s Institute for Urban Minority Education (IUME) in Harlem, was sworn in in November 20 as Vice President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the premier organization of literacy educators in the United States.
Morrell, a prominent scholar in literacy, urban education and ethnic studies, was installed at NCTE’s annual meeting in Chicago to begin a four-year term of leadership. After serving for a year as Vice President, he will be named Incoming President, then President, and finally Immediate Past President of the organization, each for a one-year term. Morrell was elected through a balloting of NCTE’s 35,000 members.
As Vice President, Morrell will advocate for and shape literacy education, particularly in urban settings, and to help translate education research into usable data for policymakers and educators. He will play a key role in a leadership meeting in July of early-career educators of color.
In addition to his work with NCTE, Morrell will participate in the Teaching Edge Series at the annual convention of the International Reading Association (IRA) in late April. The IRA is a nonprofit network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy.
Cool Toys From TC
We’re a hotbed of app and game development! Check out:
ADVANCE Game about gap between reality and beliefs about racial and gender disparities in America. Player acts as a headhunter, identifying clients an organization is biased against and strategizing to place them anyway. developed by: Jessica Hammer, Mellon Interdisciplinary and Graduate Research Fellow. replayable.wordpress.com/projects/advance
ART BY SUBWAY NYC App for iPhone or iPod Touch. Describes artwork in NYC subway system and how to get to it. created by: Matt Vincent, Associate Web Editor, mattvincentart.com
GREENIFY National Science Foundation-funded project. Uses gaming and real-world situations to teach adults about climate change. directed by: Joey Lee, Assistant Professor of Communications, Computing and Technology. greenifygame.com
MAD-DASH iPhone app for preschoolers and caregivers. Promotes literacy via physical play. Players complete activities captured by iPhone camera and anthologized, Mad Libs-style, in a storybook. created by: Mad-Dash, with the Fred Rogers Center. Mary Gillis, TC Applied Physiology doctoral student and Rogers Center Fellow, works on the project. etc.cmu.edu/projects/mad-dash
MAT-MATICS Video game with dance pad. Develops fluency with whole-number arithmetic. Player must tap in answers before falling equations hit screen’s bottom. developed by: Dan Hoffman, Seungoh Paek, Selen Turkay, Zhou Zhou, doctoral students in Instructional Technology & Media. seungoh.com/development
TC EDUCATOR, SECOND LIFE The College’s island in Second Life’s virtual world. Attend classes in the sky and presentations in an amphitheater. contact: Selen Turkay. Bit.ly/HaJ3KK
E-Tools for Life at TC
New online tools from The Gottesman Libraries’ Edlab help users navigate TC geographically, intellectually and socially.
THE TC ROUTEFINDER (maps.edlab.tc), the equivalent of Google Maps for 120th and Broadway. Type in where you want to go, and presto, you get directions.
PUNDIT (pundit.edlab.tc), a course search and recommendation tool that employs Amazon-like technology to anticipate your interests. Course readings, times, dates and numbers are all conveniently provided. Your user profile builds with each selection you make.
EDNODE (ednode.edlab.tc), an intelligent social networking tool that creates your personal profile and mines it for keywords to suggest matches with other users. A page allows alumni to identify themselves as potential mentors.
VIALOGUES (vialogues.edlab.tc), a new tool to upload videos from YouTube or your own computer and conduct threaded group discussions. TC faculty users can embed obligatory questions to guide students directly to specific time-stamped video sections.
Other EdLab tools included PocketKnowledge (pocket knowledge.tc.columbia.edu), TC’s social archiving system, and Pressible (pressible.org), a network of TC- created blogs.