October 2011 Archives

Teaching English Abroad Panel Discussion Nov. 16 5:00-6:30 pm

By Pamela Van Halsema on October 28, 2011 5:43 PM

globe.jpgTeaching English in another country is becoming a popular post-graduation career option, one that is exciting, rewarding and even life-changing. The School of Education TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Masters Degree Program is joining with the English Department to host an Informational Panel Discussion about Teaching English Abroad. The event will take place in Schulz 3001 on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 from 5:00-6:30 PM. This event is free and open to community.

Panelists will include SSU students and graduates who have traveled and have lived around the world while teaching English.  They will talk about their personal experiences and answer questions.  Faculty will be on hand to discuss what programs SSU offers to prepare student for teaching English overseas, what countries are looking for English teachers, and what qualifications are necessary for getting a good position. 
For more information contact Greta Vollmer in the English Department, or Karen Grady in the CSSE Department.

CTL Masters Candidate Laura Bradley Awarded PEF Major Impact Grant

By Pamela Van Halsema on October 21, 2011 3:30 PM


Teaching literacy to middle school kids means a whole lot more than reading books and writing papers for the students in Laura Bradley's English classes at Kenilworth Junior High.  The lessons in this classroom are applied to a 21st-century media and technology environment. Although this generation of middle schoolers have grown up with computers, Bradley has discovered that they needed instruction to know how to use technical tools appropriately.  Bradley  teaches essential reading and writing skills through blogging and writing their blogs keeps them engaged.  Laura notes, "This simple shift from paper to internet is a powerful strategy for improving students' writing, reading and analysis. For example, an online blog allows students to 'pass through' classroom walls and collaborate with peers in other classrooms, schools and even countries."  

Bradley, who is currently a Masters Degree candidate in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Educational Technology program in the School of Education, was recently awarded a grant to help purchase laptop computers for her classroom. The $15,000 Major Impact Grant from the Petaluma Education Foundation is awarded annually to innovative projects of "extraordinary scope, reach or longevity".  The news of Bradley's grant was recently featured online in the Petaluma 360 blog: http://town.blogs.petaluma360.com/10107/petaluma-educational-foundation/

Physics Department and Noyce Program Host Astronomy Education Lecture and Reception October 17

By Pamela Van Halsema on October 12, 2011 12:55 PM

illustration of telescope

The Physics Department at SSU has invited physicist Dr. Ed Prather to speak about Astronomy Education as part of their on-going "What Physicists Do Lecture Series" on Monday, October 17, 4:00 PM in Darwin 103. The event is open to the community.

Dr. Prather is an Associate Professor at Steward Observatory, and the Department of Astronomy, at the University of Arizona and is Executive Director of the NASA and NSF funded Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona. He has led several research programs to investigate students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties in the areas of astronomy, astrobiology, physics, and planetary science. The results from this research have been used to inform the development of innovative instructional strategies proven to intellectually engage learners and significantly improve their understanding of fundamental space science concepts.

Over the past decade members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona have worked closely with hundreds of college instructors, postdocs, graduate students, and undergrads on collaborative projects designed to understand issues of teaching and learning in college-level gen. ed. college Earth, Astronomy and Space Science courses (EASS). The results from these collaborations have been used to transform traditional lecture-based classrooms into learning environments shown to significantly impact learners' science literacy and engagement in STEM. The recent national study his team completed, involving nearly 4000 students at 31 institutions around the United States, reveals dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies. In addition, the study revealed positive effects of interactive learning strategies apply equally to men and women, across ethnicities, for students with all levels of prior mathematical preparation and physical science course experience, independent of GPA, and regardless of primary language. These results powerfully illustrate that all categories of students can benefit from the effective implementation of interactive learning strategies.

Future Science and Mathematics Educators

The Noyce Scholarship program will host a reception in the lobby of Darwin Hall immediately after Dr. Prather's presentation. Sonoma State University's Noyce Scholars, all of whom are on track to become mathematics or science teachers in the School of Education Single Subject Credential Program, will attend Monday's lecture.

Noyce logo

The Noyce Scholarship Program is a collaboration between the School of Science and Technology and the School of Education at SSU, providing support for future math and science teachers. Each Noyce Scholar receives a maximum of three years of scholarship support of up to $10,000 per year. In addition, Sonoma State provides support to the scholars throughout the period covered by the scholarships and up to two years after to assist the scholars to reach their goal of a credential and a teaching position. For more information about the Noyce Scholarship Program see www.sonoma.edu/education/scholarships/noyce