Page 1






Dr. Nicole DeClouette


6 edTPA Learning Community

Summer 2018

6 SR Education Ranking

Dean Joe Peters

7 Shout-Outs

Editors Aubrie L. Sofala Sarah Weese Photo Credits Anna Leavitt Aubrie L. Sofala

7 Success in the undergraduate elementary program

FEATURE STORY 8 Teaching by Doing Education faculty member receives teaching excellence award

STUDENT NEWS Campus Box 70 Milledgeville, GA 31061


Early childhood education

10 Student teachers inspire school classrooms to give back

University Printing | 07/2018

11 Department of Teacher Education noteworthy program experiences

ALUMNI NEWS 12 A mother's wish turns into lifetime focus on education

DEAN’S MESSAGE I was conversing with my family the other day about the advances in robotics and artificial Intelligence (AI). My son, president of a successful online pharmacy, is installing a robotic system to fill prescriptions more accurately and much more quickly than the traditional pharmacist. This will allow his company to remain the leader in the least expensive prescriptions. My son-in-law, a research scientist in the AI/machine learning/computer vision field at Georgia Tech, is investigating cutting edge technological advances and publishing articles such as Embodied Question Answering; Learning Cooperative Visual Dialog Agents with Deep Reinforcement Learning; and The Promise of Premise: Harnessing Question Premises in Visual Question Answering. This work could certainly impact the education community. The discussion prompted a reminiscence about the rapid advances in technology since I used to go into my father’s workplace when I was a child to watch punch cards go through an IBM 7000 mainframe computer, or watch my father manually wire up the plugboard. It also reminded me of a historic quote in “Mindstorms” that is still relevant today. “In many schools today, the phrase "computer-aided instruction" means making the computer teach the child. One might say the computer is being used to program the child. In my vision, the child programs the computer and, in doing so, both acquires a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establishes an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building.” (Papert, 1980, p. 5). The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that robots will steal millions of jobs in the future . Although the Institute actually predicts a growth in the need for teachers, the advances in technology could easily change the future teacher demand with things like Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS). ITS use AI techniques to simulate one-to-one human tutoring with feedback specifically matched to the student’s needs. AI is also currently used to form the optimal grouping of children, as well as expert facilitation among students involved in collaborative problem-solving. Virtual agents already serve as peers, coaches, and tutors. Intelligent virtual reality is also a growing area where virtual teachers take students on otherwise unattainable explorations such as deep in the ocean, far into space, or down to the highly microscopic structures of a cell. At this point, you are probably asking yourself why this is relevant to us in the College of Education at Georgia College. Our graduates are already in very high demand across the state.

Additionally, teacher shortages will continue to fuel the need for our graduates. My answer is simple. We are not only preparing teachers for today’s classrooms, but for an entire career in education. We are preparing them to be effective today and to adapt to the rapid classroom changes that will occur in their future. This leads me to the very core of a Georgia College education. As the state of Georgia’s Public Liberal Arts University, our graduates not only learn about how to be effective teachers in our cohorts, but they become empowered individuals, prepared to deal with future changes, the ever-increasing complexities associated with classrooms and schools, and the increasing diversity of student populations. Yes, our graduates have an indepth knowledge of instruction and learning, but they also have a broad knowledge that emphasizes communication skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and the ability to apply their knowledge and skills in current and future settings. They understand their professional development needs and engage in lifelong learning to stay abreast of change. As many of us confirmed at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) Institute on Preparing the Next Generation of Educators, professional programs are unique because they are taught in a liberal arts context. Our graduates are prepared to handle change. This change may not be as drastic as Papert suggested below, but in any event, our teachers will be ready. “I believe that the computer presence will enable us to so modify the learning environment outside the classrooms that much if not all the knowledge schools presently try to teach with such pain and expense and such limited success will be learned without organized instruction. This obviously implies that schools as we know them today will have no place in the future.” (Papert, 1980, pp. 8-9)

Best wishes,

Joe Peters Dean of Education


Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York, NY: Basic Books.

2 McKinsey Global Institute. (2017) Jobs lost, jobs gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation. San Francisco, CA: McKinsey & Company. 3 Percy, S. (2016, October). Teachers wanted, needed, underappreciated. Georgia Trend. Retrieved from


The Formation of a Grassroots Parent Organization in Selela Village


n July 2017, Dr. Nicole DeClouette traveled with students to study the intersection of disability and culture in Tanzania.

They spent two weeks visiting schools and community

centers supporting children and adults with physical and

intellectual disabilities. The intention of the group’s travel to Selela Village, in particular, was to support the work of Mama Ngeni, a Maasai woman who is working to educate the locals in how to care for their children with disabilities. These children used to be left in the bush for the hyenas and lions. Though that practice is now illegal, Mama Ngeni still encounters children with disabilities who are left home alone, tied up, or left in cages. The goal for the day at Selela was simply to play games with the children and provide lunch for the families. Instead, what ensued was a four-hour meeting that led to the creation of a grassroots parent organization. This trip to Tanzania made the students question many things they had previously known, like the meaning of inclusion and the disability categories that are used so ubiquitously in the western world. Students can now take their new understandings and think about how they translate into practice, and they will always remember the seeds they planted that led to the birth of the parent organization. The trip served as a method to educate pre-service and inservice teachers about diversity in teaching beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. The expected outcome for students who study abroad is ultimately to translate their learning into improved culturally-relevant practice.


Faculty members form learning community to boost teacher candidate edTPA performance In 2013, a small group of faculty members in the College of Education formed an edTPA Professional Learning Community to address the impending mandate of the edTPA as a consequential performance assessment required for licensure. Since inception, the group has met monthly to discover how the edTPA could support teacher candidates into becoming education professionals who are highly reflective, promote and

Online graduate programs rank highly in affordability, quality

expect high levels of achievement in all students, and are advocates for students as individuals. The group included

Degree programs in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education

representatives from all of the initial certification programs in

ranked in the top 10 of SR Education Group's 2018 Best Online

the Department of Teacher Education. Members of the learning

Colleges report. For the ranking, SR Education Group researched

community initially decided to begin researching the overall

and analyzed accredited online schools across the nation, taking

purpose and function of edTPA and concentrated on moving

into consideration academic strength factors as well as annual

faculty dialogue from resistance to embracing the value of a reliable measure of preparedness of candidates for their first years of teaching. The group also worked to increase its understanding of edTPA language demands and to determine where edTPA fit into the current Teacher Work Sample and each program’s course work without losing the uniqueness of

tuition rates. Inclusion on this list shows high academic standards and a commitment to affordability, two key factors important to prospective students. Georgia College's Master of Arts in Teaching program ranked No. 2 in Best Online Colleges Offering Master in Teaching Programs. The list included 25 schools that teach at an affordable rate and

programs and their alignment with the conceptual framework.

offer an annual tuition rate under $8,000. Other institutions

In addition, group members analyzed the appropriate

ranked included Georgetown College, Valdosta State University,

handbook for their content area and compiled a list of reflective

and the University of Missouri.

prompts to aid candidates in understanding the language of edTPA. The edTPA learning community also developed the

The Master in Teaching degree program was also ranked No. 6

procedures and processes for implementing the edTPA across

for Most Affordable Online Colleges for Masters in Teaching. The

the John H. Lounsbury College of Education.

list included 25 schools that offered degree programs for under

Through this work the teacher candidates have performed as well as or better than their colleagues across the state and nation over the last three years of full implementation. The work of the edTPA PLC was published in January 2018 by the

$7,000. Other institutions ranked included Albany State University, Kennesaw State University, and Drury University. The 2018 Most Affordable ranking represents online schools across the nation that are making an effort to provide economical options for students. SR Education Group manually researched

edTPA Coordinator, Dr. Holley Roberts, in the chapter,

the tuition of every college offering fully online degrees to

“Mandates Revisited: One Coordinator’s Story of Cultivating

determine and rank the most affordable choices. SR Education

Collegiality and Inquiry Through a Professional Learning

Group is passionate about making quality education attainable

Community” in the book, Implementing and Analyzing

for everyone and believes that objective information about

Performance Assessments in Teacher Education (Many, J.

education, careers, and educational financing should be free and

Bhatnagar, R., 2018).


anyone who is looking to become a teacher due to my overall experience. The mentor leader and professors I had expected me to go above and beyond what was expected in order to be the best teacher for my students. By being in the field as many hours as we were, I was able to know my students personally and academically. This helped me guide my instruction in order to best teach my students. Without this program, I would



I would recommend this program to

not be as prepared for teaching in my own classroom as I am now. – Laurel Trust

Dr. Holley Roberts has accepted the position of Associate Dean of the College of Education, beginning July 1.


The six-year graduation rate of teacher

Alumnus Clay Thomason was chosen Teacher of the

candidates starting in Fall 2010

Year for Holcomb Bridge Middle School. Dr. Desha Williams begins, July 1 as the chair


The graduation rate of teacher candidates who entered the two-year Early Childhood Education major in 2013

of Teacher Education. Williams is a professor of mathematics education and has extensive administrative experience. Dr. Rob Sumowski has been appointed by the


The graduation rate of teacher candidates who entered the two-year Early Childhood Education in 2014

Georgia Professional Standards Commission to its five-member PBIS Endorsement Task Force, which is responsible for researching the viability of adding an endorsement in PBIS to Georgia Teaching Certificates and making a formal recommendation to the Georgia Professional


Percent of graduates that took a teaching job after graduation in 2015-2016

Standards Commission. The Teacher Education Department was the


University’s Teaching

Percent of graduates that took a teaching job after graduation in 2014-2015



#3 Gwinnett County School District

Baldwin County School District

#1 Bibb County School District

Jones County School District (based on 2010-2015 data)

Putnam County School District

Excellence for a Department/Program award winner. Dr. Nicole DeClouette, along with Executive Director of the Life Enrichment Center Barbara Coleman, received the Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration in Higher Education award at the 2018 Gulf South Summit in April.



DOING Education faculty member receives teaching excellence award

At the core of Dr. Betta Vice’s philosophy to teaching is an idea that teaching and learning should be indisputably, inherently, and unequivocally fun.

believes is the most effective way— constructivism, meaning learners are actively involved in the process of constructing meaning and knowledge as opposed to passively receiving information. For the education veteran who has more than 40 years of teaching experience, she sees it as a way to dismantle the “teaching to the test” mentality.

“I teach learning by doing,” said Vice. “Whatever strategy I’m teaching, they engage in that themselves. I don’t lecture. I never lecture. It’s more of a workshop model as my teachers learn as their students would.” For her work, she recently was honored with the 2018 Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame award for Faculty Excellence in Teaching for State Universities. The University System of Georgia system-wide award honors individual faculty and staff for a strong commitment to teaching and student success. It’s this goal of student success that continues to drive Vice.

“I was very fortunate I majored in education in what some call the golden age of education in the late 70s,” said Vice, associate professor, Secondary MAT Program. “I didn’t realize it then, but I was trained in the constructivist philosophy of teaching. It was just expected that my first teaching job involved simulation, projectbased learning. I was just trained to do it that way, and I realized that when it came to testing, I always had 97 percent of my students passing on state exams.”

“I let my students know that it’s OK to make mistakes—it happens,” said Vice. “I’ve had colossal failures the first time I tried simulations in class, but you learn to pick it up and try again.”

In her courses in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education, Vice teaches future educators the way she learned and

Part of Vice’s advantage is her breadth of experience in her education career. She’s taught in inner city, suburban, rural, and


private schools—meaning there’s rarely an issue that her current or past students have that she can’t give advice on.

“I’m not ‘Pollyannaish’ about it,” said Vice. “Teaching in today’s world is a tough job, and I let them know what they’ll experience.” While awards and recognitions are nice milestones, Vice said what means more are the notes, emails, and feedback she receives from students. “There aren’t a lot of awards for teachers, but the ones that warm my heart are the emails from my students,” said Vice. “For the award, there were several submitted letters from past students. I always have a lot of former students who contact me asking for help or just checking in. It’s always exciting to receive those.” Vice said there are still many years of work to be done in the realm of teacher education, and she doesn’t mind leading the way. “My impetus? It’s ensuring the future educators of this world are prepared,” said Vice. “When I taught in high school, I impacted 150 students a year. Now, my teacher candidates are teaching 150 students, so its meaningful to have the ability to influence even more students. That’s why I do it.”











Early childhood education majors learn how to bring education alive with Atlanta ďŹ eld trip Junior early childhood education cohorts

music perfectly developed a platform for

traveled to Atlanta for a field trip related

the story. The music added emotion and

to their creative expressions class. The

energy into the story. As future

day was packed with experiences and

educators, the students were shown how

was split into three different segments.

this engagement tool can be used in the

The day started with a workshop with


the Alliance Theater. The focus of this segment was integrating drama into

The last part of the trip was a tour of the

literacy. The artist/teacher in residence

High Museum of Art. As a group, they

took a simple story and showed students

looked at a few specific pieces. Each

multiple ways to use this story with

one started with a moment to personally

different aged students. These activities

examine. Then, as a group, the students

allowed students to explore as teachers

discussed. The guide for the day

and as students. The activities also

explained how she moves the

allowed them to bring the story to life.

conversation by restating the students’ statements and then furthers the depth

The next session included two parts.

of the comment. After repeating this

First, the students began with sitting in

process with a few other pieces,

on an Atlanta Symphony rehearsal for its

students were allowed to explore the

Dr. Seuss program. This was a unique

museum on their own. Throughout the

experience because it was a closed

entire day, they were simultaneously

rehearsal. The program integrated the

teachers and students. They learned

stories of Dr. Seuss with music. The

how to use art within the classroom as

symphony performed "Sam I Am,"

well as how to support and encourage

which followed a woman and a boy who

art within their students.

played the two main characters. The


Student teachers inspire school classrooms to give back Three Georgia College student teachers implemented a servicelearning project to educate students about the various components of recycling. The project allowed them and their students to collaborate with PepsiCo to collect, count, chart, and package aluminum cans and plastic water bottles to go toward the Gray Elementary Recycle Rally. The project included all third-grade and two fourth-grade classrooms. The students engaged in reflective-based exploration that integrated all subject areas and included research regarding

targeting their emotions to instill

one another, Mrs. Karlinski and Mrs.

the effects/benefits of recycling,

genuine care into the hearts of young

Bivins’ fourth-grade classrooms set an

creative writing experiences, student-


initial goal of 150 containers and

led, collaborative discussions to

quickly beat their goal by collecting

determine goals and execution of the

Fourth-grade student Alexis Tomberlin

project, and the creation of

said she would want her community to

informative posters to reach out to the

know about the benefits of recycling.

school community.

502 containers. Fourth-grade student Arrie Martin had time to reflect on the project and its

“Always recycle because you can save


“The project was guided by the

the sea animals and the plants and all

mindset that the power of student-

together, the environment. We have

“This project matters because I want

initiated and led projects whose

learned that putting a can in the

to help stop pollution,” he said. “I

intentions are to target the greater

recycling bin does a lot. In other

want to save animals by cutting down

good have the potential to expose

words, ‘A little does a lot’.”

on pollution.”

worlds, putting them in a position to

Working together, Mrs. Sneed and

The implementation of this service-

make a difference—to let them know

Mrs. McDade’s third grade students

learning project has stretched beyond

that their actions, words, and beliefs

set their initial goal for 120

the monotonous collection of

matter,” said recent Early Childhood

cans/bottles. Enthusiastic about their

aluminum cans and bottles. It has

program graduate Jessica Capo. “I

project, they surpassed their goal by

exploded into the realm of advocacy

truly believe that service learning

collecting 1,145 containers in just a

in both students and teachers at Gray

provides the opportunity for students

couple of weeks. Mrs. Pickett and Mrs.

Elementary and encouraged them to

to experience the feelings of

Smith’s third-grade students also set

make a difference for the greater

selflessness, accomplishment, and

their goal for 120 and exceeded it by

good of their community.

genuine fun, while simultaneously

280 containers. Collaborating with

our students to the realities of their

Department of Teacher Education noteworthy program experiences Throughout the Department of Teacher Education, students experience transformative learning opportunities. From school board meeting presentations to being involved with professional organizations dedicated to preparing students to become middle level teachers. Below are some of the noteworthy experiences students are able to take part in. Videotape analysis of teaching and learning: Undergraduate students in the two-year middle grades education cohort program participate in a scaffolded, twoyear process to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions as researchers of their own practice by video recording, viewing, analyzing, reflecting on, sharing, and discussing their teaching. The teacher candidates participate in several learning experiences in order for them to enhance their ability to “notice” and listen to the vast number of student interactions and classroom events that occur as well as their actions, mannerisms, and language. The experiences allow teacher candidates to discuss questions or challenges related to their practice and continue to develop their ability to notice and listen.

“The Georgia College early childhood program is outstanding because of the hands-on experiences provided in the elementary classrooms. I started working with teachers and classroom mentors at the beginning of my college experience. This allowed me to build peer and teacher relationships and also work directly with children. The program provides a wonderful mentor-led experience through our cohort-style classes. The cohort classes offer a personal approach to learning, and I have gained the confidence necessary to one day reach my professional goals.” - 2018 Early Childhood Senior

Collegiate Middle Level Association (CMLA): All middle grades teacher candidates are members of the Georgia College chapter of the CMLA. GC is also the host site for the 2017-2019 national conferences. Teacher candidates planned and hosted the national CMLA conference at the 2017 annual Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) national conference in Philadelphia, which was attended by over 100 pre-service teachers from across the country; they are in the process of planning for the 2018 annual AMLE conference in Orlando, Florida.

“Foundational to my beliefs as an educator is having positive, personal relationships with students. Effective learning can be difficult if students do not have a connection with their teacher; they need to know they can trust and depend on me to be equitable, caring, and honest. Being a member of a cohort with a mentor leader, I understand and have experienced why this bond of mutual respect and trust is so important. Also, a part of the cohort

School Board meeting presentations: Senior teacher candidates present at the school board meeting in the county where they are placed for their student teaching. Teacher candidates are responsible for contacting the school board president and/or superintendent to request permission to be on the agenda for the meeting. The purpose of this experience is for teacher candidates to help educate community members about young adolescents and middle schools, share the work they complete during student teaching, and to express appreciation to their partner teachers, students, principals, and community for their opportunity to have them work in their schools.

model is positive peer interactions through relying on and encouraging each other to maximize our learning. But reaching potential does not come easily. In the cohort, I have had numerous experiences that taught me to question, analyze, explore, and discover multiple perspectives to develop my knowledge.” – 2016 Middle Grades Graduate











A mother's wish turns into lifetime focus on education


r. Leslie Crawford beams when discussing education and rightly so. He’s quite accomplished in

this area. Crawford co-authored children’s books, traveled across the globe to share his love of teaching with three- and fouryear-old students and faculty, was GC’s first faculty member to receive a Fulbright Scholarship, and was dean of the John H. Lounsbury College of Education. You could say he’s taken every opportunity he could to learn just as his mother had wished. Crawford credits his mother Katherine Skierecki Crawford for instilling a passion for education in him. Considering she did everything possible to be sure he received a good education, Crawford endowed a scholarship for students enrolled in the Call Me MiSTER program at Georgia College. “When I heard about Call Me MiSTER, I was really enthusiastic about it,” Crawford said. “It’s much needed in Georgia as there are so many children who live in poverty in areas that are close to Georgia College; and consequently, they don’t have the opportunity for the kind of education that they should have. I think


I think that GC is a caring institution, and I really believe in the teacher education program. children to write at an early age was very stimulating. It was amazing that these children could write at such a young age.” Later, when Crawford returned to America, he participated in a letter-writing program Dr. Les Crawford references himself in this student-drawn picture as one of the authors of the book “Someday you will know all about me: Young children’s exploration in the world of letters.”

with a group of primary-aged students. “For three years, I wrote letters to the

that having the kind of teachers we

graduate, Crawford worked in national

students,” he said. “Although they were

prepare is going to be an opportunity to

first-grade reading studies while serving as

with different teachers during that time,

improve students’ education as many of

a research assistant at the university.

the children would write, the letters were

“I researched what we had done on

United States. I would get all of them at

them can become great because their

gathered in bundles and sent off to the

teachers have helped them.” Crawford sees a bright future for

children’s beginning writing and their

one time, answer the letters, and mail

reading ability, measuring the different

them back.”

graduates of the Call Me MiSTER

effects of reading on language


development,” said Crawford. “It was

The letter writing branched out to other

really exciting.”

age groups as well.

only becoming teachers, but I hope they

Although he held numerous positions

“The last year, we started having a number

would go on to become principals or

through the years—including public school

of siblings of the children we initially wrote

superintendents so they take on more

teacher, university faculty positions, chair

to doing this also,” he said. “They saw

“I look forward to those young men not

responsibility and can help develop

of teacher education, and dean of

that their brothers and sisters were having

educational programs for more African-

education and graduate studies, he found

such a good time that they wanted to get

the time to go on a sabbatical to study

in on it, so the older siblings started

American people in our country.”

writing in early childhood in Manchester,

helping their younger brothers and sisters


with the letters.”

teaching young children how to read and

“We were working with three- and four-

When Crawford lived in Fargo, North

write. A University of California, Berkeley

year-olds," Crawford said. "Encouraging

Dakota, he received a particular letter.

After all, Crawford knows a thing or two about teaching. He began his career


“The envelope said, ‘To Les, Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.A.,"

Belarus State University Institute of Higher Education in

he said. "That’s all it said, and I recognized the writing. So

Minsk with the university administrators from across

the next day I talked with the postman, and I asked him


how he knew where to send this letter. He said, ‘We got together at the post office and said now, who do we know

“They came to the institute to learn of new developments in

that has been getting letters from England?’ The postman

their roles as administrators in higher education and to

said, ‘We’ll try with you to see if it was.’”

develop plans for change and the restructuring of their institutions,” said Crawford. “I informed them how to teach

Crawford thought about things he could tell the students in

in a more democratic way where students would have an

England that would be interesting. So, he wrote that he

opportunity to respond instead of being totally lectured to.”

was walking out onto the lake to fish during the winter. And, a child wrote him back stating, “Les, don’t you know

The liberal arts experience drew Crawford to Georgia

you’re not supposed to walk on a lake. You could fall in.”

College, and he considers his time as dean of the John H.

This is an excerpt in a book that Crawford co-authored with

Lounsbury College of Education and professor “insightful.”

two others on letter writing titled Someday you will know all about me: Young children’s exploration in the world of

“I think that GC is a caring institution, and I really believe in


the teacher education program,” said Crawford. “Students

Throughout his career, Crawford taught a spectrum of

teacher it’s essential that they have a strong liberal arts

have mentors that they can talk to. In order to be a good students including university administrators. The Fulbright

background. I think if someone is going to GC they are

Scholarship gave Crawford the opportunity to work at

very fortunate."




Profile for Georgia College

COE Summer 2018 Newsletter  

COE Summer 2018 Newsletter  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded