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Vol. VIII No. 1, Spring 2010 - Table of Contents

In this issue:

  • Action Research: A Protocol to Improve Student Learning

    by Dr. Linda S. Adamson, Ed. D.

    This article walks the reader through the who?, what?, why?, how?, how well?, and what next? of action research. Most intriguingly Dr. Adamson shares the results of her own 2008 study of a protocol for action research which has resulted in the initial validation of a rubric to score action research projects. The study found a positive correlation between higher rubric scores overall with improved student achievement. Readers will gain insight into which components of the model predicted positive change in student achievement. Additionally, quality and constant reflection are emphasized providing guidelines for experimenting with this powerful tool for educators and practicioners of all disciplines. Read Article

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  • Why Neuroeducation?

    by Dr. Charles Limb, M.D.

    It appears to me that educators and scientists have been like cars traveling on opposite sides of a highway, each concerned with the obstacles directly in front rather than across the median, yet sharing the same road. The basic facts remain that most neuroscientists have never taught a classroom of children, and most teachers don’t want to perform lab experiments. More to the point is that one does not need to be a skilled teacher to be a good scientist, or understand the physiology of the brain to be a good teacher. The more natural subdivision is that teachers must work well with students, and scientists must work well with data, as they have done for centuries. However, if those remain the only values deemed important by each group, then we will continue to travel down our one-way roads, side by side. Read Article

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  • Teaching Students A “Brain Owner’s Manual”

    by Dr. Judy Willis, MD, M.Ed

    The author merges her backgrounds as a neurologist and teacher to create a focused lens through which she evaluates the quality and potential applications of the emerging field of brain research-based teaching strategies. Although brain research is not a panacea, Dr. Willis informs readers of the value of what she terms neuro-logical predictions which can guide the planning of instruction. A foundational understanding of neuroscience can provide educators with the background to make informed decisions about products/curriculum that claim to be brain-based, understand why their best strategies work and how to tailor them to suit the strengths of individual learners, and ultimately empower and motivate their students by sharing the knowledge of how their brain can work optimally through their own efforts. Read Article

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  • KIDLAB’s STORY Program: A Transdisciplinary Model for Scientific Literacy and Community Involvement in Developmental Neuroimaging Research

    by Dr. M.Layne Kalbfleisch, M.Ed., Ph.D.

    This article will introduce the reader to a model that has matured with the growth of Dr. Kalbfleisch’s exceptional career encompassing expertise as a middle school teacher, special educator, educational psychologist, and cognitive neuroscientist. To this end, her presentation of this model centers around three main points. First, an emphasis on inter and transdisciplinary collaboration as a means to appropriately identify and position important research questions grounded in the learning sciences. Second, within this strategy, her pursuit of the empirical basis of twice exceptionality and constructivist learning. And, finally, how Dr. Kalbfeisch’s training and conceptual influences have grown to include a grounding in cross species expertise and anthropology that has produced a practical and powerful model for practicing cognitive neuroscience, promoting scientific literacy, and engaging the community at large. It is a model enriched by the author’s experiences, training and education early in life as a performing and visual artist (vocalist, actor, poet, photographer, and ice dancer) and student of literature (with particular interests in the Transcendentalists and the Imagists). Read Article

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  • The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model: A Comprehensive Model for Classroom Instruction and School Reform

    by Dr. Mariale Hardiman, Ed.D.

    The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model provides teachers with a format for using research in the neurosciences as well as research-based effective instructional practices to guide them in planning, implementing, and assessing a sound program of instruction. This model, developed by Dr. Hardiman, presents six stages, or “brain targets” of the teaching and learning process, and describes brain research that supports each stage. The article focuses on positive emotional and physical learning environments, the development of “big picture” concepts, the mastery of skills and process, the “real world” application of learning, and the continual evaluation of student learning. Integral to the application of the model is the integration of the arts to foster concept development and higher-order thinking. Read Article

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  • Breaking Tradition in Kindergarten: Using Movement to Facilitate Students’ Accurate and Automatic Recall of Phoneme/Grapheme Associative Pairs

    by Sharon Delgado. M.Ed.

    Sharon Delgado shows teachers how information from neuroscience can be used to “rethink & revise” current teaching practice and as they say– work smarter, not harder! Hoping to make the teaching of the letters and their sounds more engaging and age appropriate, most kindergarten programs and teachers embed the learning of phonemes and graphemes within a variety of “hands-on” experiences. However, after discussing research reports from the neurosciences, kindergarten teachers at Jacksonville Elementary School in Baltimore County, Maryland decided not to follow this well traveled path. Instead the teachers emphasized movement as the associative cue to bond letter to sound to help students. Read Article

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  • Intergalactic Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Our Place in the World

    by Leighann Pennington, M.Ed.

    Ms. Pennington, a middle school English teacher in California, shares a collaborative interdisciplinary unit she created with a Physics teacher using Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Students are invited to learn through multiple doorways as they explore the essential questions: What is my place in the world?, How do I find it?, and ultimately, What does the essence of Creative Writing and Physics have in common? Read Article 

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  • Bringing in the Village: Supporting Educators and Connecting to the World

    by Patricia Joson Cruz, MAT

    This article introduces readers to a unique symbiotic relationship building tool called Teaching Artist Institute (TAI) in which artists are partnered with a teacher experienced in arts integration. This seven month training program helps professional artists acquire the knowledge and skills needed to become more effective and more collaborative teaching artists in schools, where they may play a more meaningful role in education. Likewise, TAI gives their teacher collaborators the support, reflection time, and a valuable partner to help them accomplish the monumental task of educating our students for the future. TAI introduces artists to the Maryland State Curriculum in the fine arts and other academic areas. Artist and teacher work together to develop, design, deliver, and assess a residency that addresses both fine arts standards and other academic standards. Read Article

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  • Why Summer Learning Deserves a Front-Row Seat in the Education Reform Arena

    by Brenda McLaughlin, M.P.P. and Jeffrey Smink, M.Ed.

    Transcending the punitive and remedial model of summer schools past, the authors provide evidence supporting the new form of summer learning as an artful blend of core academic learning, hands-on activities, skill-building, arts, sports, and meaningful relationships. This new vision stems from a strong desire to use summers more strategically – as a natural time of year to pilot innovate partnership, teaching and assessment strategies while helping youth living in poverty to get a leg up on their middle class peers. McLaughlin and Smink highlight relevant research on summer learning loss and provide readers with specific strategies that schools and community organizations can use to move toward a New Vision for Summer. Read Article

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  • "How Can Words Express the Feeling of Becoming Culturally Wealthy?"

    by Nicholas Tourides, B.S.

    The title of this article comes from Evangelina Mylona's description of her experience at the Study of the U.S. Institutes. Hers and four other reflections from Greek and American Teachers on the impact of Fulbright programming on their professional work and students are detailed in the article. The studies were all made possible through the Fulbright Foundation in Greece which is the oldest Fulbright Program in Europe and has awarded Fulbright grants to more than 4,700 Greeks and Americans. Read Article

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  • The Johns Hopkins University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders

    by Fabio Palacio, Carolyn Purington, Jessica Shiao, Yourong Su, Michael Wheeler, Jie Zhang

    Members of the Johns Hopkins University Chapter of Engineers without Borders share a summary of their on-going projects: construction of a day-care facility in a rural village in Santa Rosa de Ayora, Ecuador; potable water delivery to a rural mountainside community in Chicorral, Guatemala; installing ram pump irrigation systems and other interventions in HIV/AIDS impacted rural communities in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, South Africa; and construction of an educational park to promote environmental sustainability in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. As a student-driven organization they bring together students from throughout JHU with JHU faculty and professional partners from the local Baltimore/DC area and beyond to carry out the mission of their parent organization and partner with developing communities to improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally sustainable, equitable, and economical engineering projects. In the process of working to advance developing communities. Read Article

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  • Texts Beyond the Alphabet: Strategies for Incorporating Visual Culture in the Teaching of Colonial Latin American Literature

    by Dr. Ann De León, Ph.D.

    Dr. De León presents alternative ways of encoding and preserving memory as a way to complement, contradict or expand upon the Spanish alphabetic versions of the conquest to help students begin to think critically about their own cultural baggage, question historical texts as sources of transparent “truth”, and move beyond their own Eurocentric world view. The author further argues the study and recovery of the rich materiality of indigenous cultures and their alternative ways of encoding knowledge, memory, and history without the use of the alphabet (a western technology of encoding knowledge) must therefore be addressed in order to represent this time period in a holistic fashion. Read Article

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  • Latino Literacy: 500 Years of Resistance

    by Citlali Miranda-Aldaco, M.A.

    The author draws a parallel in the article between the struggles of Pre-Columbian cultures assimilating European sytems and new Latino immigrants in the U.S. in terms of literacy. She asserts that in both scenarios, the elite are able to transfer literacy skills while the working class are left behind in a system with a definition of literacy that excludes and denigrates them, setting them up for academic failure. Read Article

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  • One Easy Tool, Many Informal Assessments: Technology Resources for You to Assess IEP Goals

    by Marisa Carrillo

    Intermediate Functional Academic Learning Supports teacher, Marisa Carrillo, matches mathematics objectives aligned to the Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 3 Maryland State Curriculum with games found on the internet. These games can be used to assess students, especially those who may benefit from or may already have that objective on their IEP. With a push towards the use of technology in schools and the use of standards based goals, the internet is a perfect tool to provide teachers, parents, and students with a vast amount of educational resources such as those enumerated in this article. Read Article

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  • Universal Design for Learning in Postsecondary Institutions

    by James R. Stachowiak, MSE, ATP

    Most people associate the term Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with providing accessible curriculum instruction for students with disabilities in the K-12 school setting. The author describes the benefits of applying UDL principles in postsecondary settings which are often overlooked and seen as somehow lowering standards. Dr. Stachowiak conversely explains how universally designing postsecondary classes could ultimately be more valuable to students because of the changes experienced in accommodation provision when transitioning to postsecondary settings. Read Article

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  • The Many Hats of a Teacher

    by Brian A. Jones, M.S.

    Drawing on one of his favorite Dr. Seuss books, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Jones shares his modest list of the “hats” inherent in the occupation of middle school teacher. You may be as amazed as our author to find the list awkwardly lengthy - requiring more than just the front and back of his original napkin at the restaurant. This list was constructed with the middle school teaching experience in mind, but it certainly encompasses all levels of teaching, from pre-k through university levels. Jones invites readers to add their own individual “hats” in the margins, if they feel moved. Although, I warn this bard’s haiku and limerick dexterity are tough acts to follow. Read Article

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  • Abu's Lesson

    by Dr. Barbara Kaplan Bass, Ph.D.

    Dr. Bass offers a thoughtful reflection on the origins of creative anxiety after a seemingly simple question posed by an ispirational flute player prompts a differential response between adults and children in an audience. The performer, Abu, dropped out of school because his gift, the ability to make music out of anything, did not count in school. Abu's question: "Who is a musician?" The author invokes Pearce, "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong," as she confronts the opposing assumptions of the children and the adults in response to Abu the Flute Maker's invitation. Read Article

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  • The Relevance of Creativity in Education

    by Dr. Rosa Aurora Chávez-Eakle, M.D., Ph.D.

    This paper provides an overview of the stages and processes involved in creativity, how creativity is processed in the brain, the temperament and character traits present in highly creative individuals and how certain childhood experiences have an impact on the development of the creative potential. In addition, some tools and methods useful for the identification and the facilitation of the creative potential are described. Understanding, identifying, and nurturing creative potential is relevant in education and therefore should be taken into account when developing education programs, strategies, and policies to achieve quality education for all children. Read Article

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  • Case Study on Assistive Technology: Voices from the Field
    By Alexis Nardella and Sabrina Forgione

    In this article, Alexis Nardella and Sabrina Forgione look at a student named Joshua and has been diagnosed with a developmental delay. They review Joshua's current levels of functioning and take us on a journey by providing insight on how to consider his need for assistive technology following the SETT framework, developed by Dr. Joy Zabala. Specific recommendations for technology are made and a video of one technology they use with him - The Promethean Board.

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