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Spring 2013

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The cover image is a composite of a current day Harrington Education Center photograph and a historic photograph of the Harrington Education Center under construction provided by the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives.


ith this inaugural issue of the department magazine, Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) initiates a new channel to share, communicate, and connect with our colleagues, students, and friends all over the world. As the Head of TLAC department, I am privileged to introduce you to our fascinating and welcoming department. I hope everyone can learn more about the department through this magazine as we move onward! Since its inception in 1969, TLAC has prepared teachers, educational leaders, and educational researchers. The department currently offers a B.S. program in Interdisciplinary Studies; teacher certifications in Early Childhood-Grade 6 (EC-6), Middle Grades 4-8, and Secondary Grades 8-12; Master’s programs in Curriculum and Instruction; Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction; and online M.Ed. and executive Ed.D. programs. TLAC is a professional home to those who are currently working and studying in the department, with about 1200 undergraduate students, 400 graduate students, 48 faculty members, and 24 staff members. The department has also been home to many others who previously studied and worked here. From 2005-2010, TLAC produced over 2600 teachers, 470 Master’s, and 100 Ph.D. graduates. The department is consistently moving onward as a top producer of Texas public school teachers, especially in the high-need areas of mathematics and science. We are very proud of our graduates. This magazine will surely help connect with our current, former, and prospective students and friends. What this magazine will provide goes beyond these numbers. In the following pages, you will have the chance to learn about many great activities and program initiatives that TLAC has been undertaking, meet some new members of the TLAC family, hear about the notable achievements of our faculty, staff and students, be presented with something we are thankful for, and introduced to something that we would like to share and keep in our memory. Putting all of this together, the magazine will provide a platform that will help you learn more about TLAC today, the impact we have made through our activities and programs and our efforts in moving the department forward. As Head of the Department, it is indeed a pleasure to welcome all of you to connect or reconnect with us through this magazine. I also invite you to stay connected with us through our department website (http://tlac. or visit with us on campus with your family and friends. We appreciate all of your support as we work to transform lives by preparing teachers, educational leaders and educational researchers.

Gig ’Em, Yeping Li, Ph.D. Professor and Department Head Claude H. Everett, Jr. Endowed Chair in Education

Table of Contents

Virtual Classrooms.............................................................3 KATE Project and Virtual Simulations in TLAC

Transforming Lives.............................................................4 Professionals Turn to Teaching to Share Their Knowledge

Merging Boundaries..........................................................6 Study Abroad in Italy, Costa Rica, West Africa and Russia

Engineering the Future.....................................................8 Aggie STEM Summer Camp

News in Brief......................................................................9 News at a Glance Throughout the Department and Centers

Congratulations............................................................... 14 Faculty, Staff and Student Accomplishments

Publications...................................................................... 17 TLAC Faculty Publications for 2012

Welcome.......................................................................... 19 TLAC Welcomes Our New Faculty, Staff and Visiting Scholars

In Remembrance.............................................................. 20 Dr. William Hilmer Peters (1933 – 2012) Dr. Robert “Bob” Keith James (1936 – 2012)

Dr. Davis in the KATE Virtual Classroom giving a demonstration lesson with programmed ‘bot’ avatars.

KATE Project and Virtual Simulations in TLAC Glasscock Island was created by TLAC faculty members Dr. Trina Davis and Dr. B. Stephen Carpenter. Glasscock Island, a 3-D virtual learning environment, is now home to the National Science Foundation funded Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity [KATE] Project ($2.8 M). In the KATE Project, Second Life is used to provide preservice teachers enrolled in the MASC 351 course practice in presenting and assessing problem-solving activities in the KATE virtual classroom. The KATE project uses a design-experiment approach to develop technology- A close-up of Dr. Kulm’s and Dr. Davis’ avatar. enriched teacher preparation strategies to address opportunity to experience in traditional classroom equity in algebra learning. The foundation for this student teaching settings. work is a set of Hypothetical Learning Trajectories In addition to her research and development work (HLTs) for teaching algebra for equity. These HLTs are being used by the research team, led by Drs. with the KATE Project, Dr. Davis teaches three TLAC Gerald Kulm (PI), Trina Davis and Don Allen (Co- graduate courses online at Glasscock Island: EDCI 603, PIs), as frameworks to guide the development of 675 and 676. Online students have an opportunity to assessments, interviews and learning activities for engage in synchronous formal and informal learning experiences with the instructor, peers and a broader preservice teachers. community of educators and scholars in this unique In the MASC 351 Problem Solving Course, virtual virtual learning environment. teaching simulations provide preservice teachers As a part of the Glasscock Island mission, Dr. experience working with diverse middle school student avatars. Some avatars are controlled by Davis’ graduate students have also designed doctoral server-driven programming and others are operated research and instructional projects that are situated by TLAC graduate and undergraduate students role- in 3-D virtual spaces in Second Life. In the KATE playing as middle school learners. These classroom Project and in these efforts, students are experiencing simulations provide unique opportunities for an innovative technology, not just studying about it. preservice teachers to address middle school students’ For more information on the KATE Project please math misconceptions which they may not have the visit the website at

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Virtual Classrooms

TLAC Onward

Professionals Turn to Teaching to Share Their Knowledge


re you seeking a career change? Want to become a teacher? Based on the experiences of administrators, most of the individuals who apply for an alternative certification program are highly qualified in their subject areas, but they feel isolated and unfulfilled in these jobs. Many professionals turn to teaching as a way of utilizing their expertise and sharing their knowledge with others. The Accelerate Online Secondary Teacher Certification Program at Texas A&M University is there to help them achieve that goal. This program originated in 2003 with a grant from the Department of Education and the Houston Endowment. The demand for highly qualified teachers in Texas public schools was the reason for the development of the program, and this need continues as a driving force. Prior to taking a teaching position in a Texas public school, participants in the program

must have a Bachelors degree with background in their desired teaching field, must complete online instruction, an early field experience, and pass the required state exams. Additionally, during the first year of teaching, supervision will be provided by the program and by a mentor chosen by the school district—this supervision is the key to the intern’s teaching success. One distinction of the Accelerate Online program is the idea that the supervisors serve as “coaches” and not evaluators. The goal is to provide a qualified professional who has extensive teaching experience to interact with these people and mentor them in their first year of teaching. What does the supervision look like? Although there are particular requirements from the state, at least 4 visits per year, this program provides additional support for its participants. Biweekly contact between the intern and university supervisor is a

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TLAC Onward requirement, as well as submitting weekly lesson plans to the supervisor. The supervisor also identifies the individual needs of the intern and provides seminars either online or in person to address these needs. Of the 264 interns who have completed the program, many have had very positive comments. Austin Johnston, who is now in her second year of teaching said, “I was really nervous about asking questions in my first year of teaching. It was a real comfort to have a supervisor who I could quickly email and get the answers to my questions.” Matt Hoelscher, who is now in his fifth year of teaching, praised the online course work in preparing him to take the PPR exam. “As a result of the modules the program provided, I had little problem passing the exam.” Another intern who truly struggled with classroom management appreciated the “tough love” shown to him by his supervisor. After additional visits to his classroom by the supervisor, the intern said he finally began to understand how important correcting his students’ poor behavior was to their success. Interns also praise the online seminars, which are tailored to address areas in which they struggle.

“.... Her supervisor has also been an asset to me, as she has provided training information that is good for all my teachers, not just the intern. I would be happy to have anyone in your program be a part of our school.” –Mandy Burlin Principal of Still Creek Christian School

Administrators who hire these interns have also been pleased with the program. Principal Mandy Burlin of Still Creek Christian School said, “I love the program so far! It has been wonderful to have the supervisor come out and work with our intern and help her in areas that need growth. Her supervisor has also been as asset to me, as she has provided training information that is good for all my teachers, not just the intern. I would be happy to have anyone in your program be a part of our school.” Anyone interested in more information about the Accelerate Online program should visit the website

Pictured above, Caitlin Robinson, left, Still Creek Christian School teacher with Many Burlin, right, Still Creek Christian School principal. Pictured below, Caitlin Robinson with her students at Still Creek Christian School.

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Merging Boundaries

Merging Boundaries

Study Abroad in Italy

In effect, they put their theoretical preparatory coursework to practical use when they get to Italy. At TLAC has forged an ongoing partnership with Dante, they teach lessons they have already prepared, Dante Scuola Media, an Italian middle school in assist with lessons their peers have prepared, observe Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, the home of TAMU’s Italian classes in other subjects (where they learn what long-established Santa Chiara Study Center. As a it feels like to be a language learner in math, physical result of this relationship, TLAC preservice teachers education, art, etc. classes), tutor after-school sessions have the opportunity during every other spring with Italian students preparing to take their Trinity semester to study abroad and teach English to sixth English Examinations, and organize rehearsals for through eighth grade Italian students. a culminating activity—which is a bilingual musical This program, co-led by faculty members Dr. production. The students are still able to take group trips to Rome, Patricia Wiese Florence, Arezzo and Dr. Janet and Cortona at Hammer, has the beginning strong support and end of their and enthusiasm program and from our have weekends Department and for their College. As well individual travel as from the Study plans. However, Abroad Office on school days and University they are first as a whole, as and foremost evidenced by “teachers” at our University’s Dante Scuola Vision 2020, which states, –Texas A & M University’s Vision 2020 Media. among other We are eagerly things: planning and

“To position our students to live and compete in a global society, Texas A&M University must produce graduates who are not only academically prepared, but who have the capacity to understand other cultures and to live and work outside their own cultural framework.”

To position our students to live and compete in a global society, Texas A&M University must produce graduates who are not only academically prepared, but who have the capacity to understand other cultures and to live and work outside their own cultural framework.

anticipating our next study abroad experience in Italy, scheduled for spring 2014. A few comments from students convey the impact of this experience:

In preparation for the Italian study abroad, TLAC students take hours on campus and online before departure, while also developing and practicing lessons that will be taught in the Italian classrooms. Then, beginning in mid-March and continuing until mid-May, the students spend the entire school day, Monday through Thursday, at Dante Scuola Media.

“I will be an ambassador for this program because it changed my perspective, life style and heart forever.”

“I will never forget my students at Dante, the precious relationships built and in the long run, the students were the ones teaching me valuable lessons.”

“I have gained so much confidence in the classroom and feel so comfortable teaching lessons now…I can only hope they’ve learned half of what I’ve learned from them.”

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TLAC Onward

Study Abroad in Costa Rica The Multicultural Course in Education (INST-320) develops positive approaches and attitudes to help students learn irrespective of their culture and socio economic status. The Reta Haynes Endowment and university funds support the development of a Transfer Student Community experience for the course and a Study Abroad Field Trip to the Soltis Center in Costa Rica. Twenty-five students have been using iPads to research various practices, the iPads were used in class instead of a textbook to experience the use of technology for learning. Students conduct video interviews of people representing other cultures to understand various challenges and to explore their successes in the schooling process. Students experience opportunities in their transfer learning community to have dinner at the professor’s house, attend an Opus musical and a movie. These common experiences enable students to collaborate with each other to enrich their academic work and social lives. The class’ highlight includes a field trip to the Soltis Research Center in Costa Rica (December 2012) to study the rain forest and to interact with community representatives about daily living. Students will compare and contrast what they have learned in Costa Rica with their own culture. Some places students visit are an organic farm, coffee plantation, town markets, an alligator and a butterfly research project, along with a cultural dance presentation to better understand and experience the way people live and learn in Costa Rica. Some of the students comment that the experience affected them both personally and professionally. The course experience will better prepare these students to become more effective teachers with students.

Study Abroad in West Africa During the Summer of 2012, 11 urban graduate students spent time completing a service project and learning about cultures in their faculty-led International Learning Experience Program with Dr. Norvella Carter. The students visited Senegal and The Gambia in West Africa to engage in this

experience. They had lecturers from Harvard University, University of Georgia and University of Gambia. Our urban students were hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Senegal and were able to “sit at the table” for discussions at one of their sessions. Our students completed service projects at a Special Education School and Women’s Development Center in The Gambia—an exciting time for our students. They had gripping sessions on Goree Island, home to the slave castles in West Africa and learned to deconstruct the historical significance of slavery at the graduate level. They had fun with native citizens at The Pink Lake (hot pink water), the sand dunes and international markets. Dr. Carter will take another group of graduate students to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe May 2013. The overall goal of her class is transformational learning, with the purpose of producing educational scholars that will work at the international level on behalf of urban education. Dr. Carter expresses many thanks to our College’s International Learning Experience Program for the scholarships they provided to support student travel.

Future Study Abroad in Russia Clinical professor Dr. Cindy Boettcher and clinical professor Dr. Janet Hammer share their upcoming study abroad trip to Russia. Dr. Boettcher’s primary emphasis is Reading Education and Dr. Hammer’s primary emphasis is English as a Second Language and Early Childhood Development. Together, they are coteaching a course called Special Topics in Russian Literature, Arts, Music and Culture for the spring 2013 semester. As part of the syllabus, the class of 30 undergraduate education majors will trek to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Dr. Boettcher and Dr. Hammer discuss a unique connection with Texas A&M University and the Bolshoi Ballet, a leading ballet company in Russia. The two TLAC professors have traveled the world before for other study abroad trips and acknowledge how such trips influence students as future educators. “It’s actually a field trip that’s attached to a course…,” said Dr. Hammer. At the beginning of the semester, students will study aspects of Russian culture to become informed experts in various topics for the trip. The group of just under 40 will visit historical locations monumental to the expert areas of study such as museums, the ballet and political sites. The group will travel to Russia to, “experience the culture, the history, the music, [and] the literature to understand the significance that Russia played in WWII…We’re going to look at the overall cultural aspects of history and literature of Russia,” explained Dr. Boettcher.

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Engineering the Future

Engineering the Future

Aggie STEM Summer Camp This summer, Aggie Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) held its third annual summer STEM camp for middle and high school students. For the past three summers, Aggie STEM has been bringing together students from all over Texas to expose students to college life, STEM subjects, and inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering. Throughout the two weeks of the camp, participants worked in teams to design and build bridges made out of Popsicle sticks giving participants the opportunity to learn engineering design principles. At the end of the camp, students tested the strengths of their structures with prizes going to the bridges that held the most weight. Along with building bridges, the campers also took part in robotics and rocketry classes. A daily preparatory SAT class was also offered to the students in keeping with the camp’s mission to increase college preparedness and awareness. Graduate and undergraduate students served as camp counselors and mentors to the campers. Drs. Mary Margaret Capraro, Robert M. Capraro and James Morgan taught the bridge building background content. Four current Texas A&M students also held a panel discussion for campers where they shared their Texas A&M University experience, talked about

different Texas A&M University traditions and also answered students’ questions about college. Participants also got a chance to experience life as an Aggie. The campers lived in dorms, where they got a taste of campus life and dining hall food and each night and took part in a variety of activities such as movie outings, trips to the Recreation Center and game nights. Participants also got a chance to showcase their secret talents at the Annual Aggie STEM Talent Show. This summer, Aggie STEM will once again be hosting a STEM summer camp. There will be a day and overnight option. For more information about Aggie STEM and the summer camp please visit:

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Pilot Program to Launch Fall 2013 As a state institution with an obligation to provide quality education for Texas citizens, Texas A & M University (TAMU) has a responsibility to provide quality teachers for urban schools. The teacher education program at TAMU has accepted the challenge of supplying competent, qualified teachers to our state’s urban environments. Urban school districts account for more than 50% of the total school districts and teaching population in the nation (USDE, 2010A). The purpose of the urban emphasis program would be to recruit and prepare teachers who choose to teach in schools serving diverse populations in urban areas. More specifically, the project aims to 1) provide preservice teacher education students with experiences in urban settings working with diverse learners, which should impact their awareness and commitment to urban teaching; 2) provide experiences to develop their knowledge and skills for working within this setting; and 3) provide novice, urban teachers (first year) with opportunities for collaborative inquiry into their own teaching. The pilot program will launch Fall 2013 with students being placed in a district in the Houston area. Applications and scholarship information will be available on the Student Teaching Application.

Dr. Slattery Visits University in Chile

Dr. Patrick Slattery with students from Universidad Alberto Hurtado and Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile.

Dr. Patrick Slattery met with students at Universidad Alberto Hurtado and Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile in January 2012. Dr. Slattery presented a series of lectures and conducted a series of recruiting meetings for potential doctoral students for the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) and the Department of Education Administration and Human Resource Development (EAHR). The students represent all regions of Chile, from the desert north to Patagonia in the south, as well as all areas of the metropolitan region of the capital city, Santiago de Chile.

Education Research Center Grant Awarded The State of Texas Education Research Center (ERC) at Texas A&M University is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from United Way of Greater Houston to conduct an evaluation of the agency’s urban education initiative. The urban education initiative involves 29 non-profit agency programs that deliver educational services for over 275,000 children and youth from disadvantaged circumstances in the Houston metropolitan area. Hersh Waxman, Beverly Alford, Kayla Rollins, Jackie Stillisano, Yolanda Padrón and Danielle Brown are Co-PIs of the project. The Education Initiative is an outgrowth of the efforts of a task force of Houston community leaders recruited by United Way of Greater Houston to identify various means by which the organization could support and impact the work of the city’s school districts. Three specific projects are being implemented during the next several years to improve education in Houston: (a) an early reading tutorial program in Grades 1–3, (b) a parent education program to improve parents’ engagement with schools and (c) a collaborative educational program that involves non-profit agencies and local school districts. “This Education Initiative by United Way will serve as a long-term vision for the agency in its goal to help the Houston metropolitan area become a place where high-quality education and high school graduation are the norm and where resources are available to help all students achieve to their highest ability,” said Waxman. “The evaluation will focus on examining the effectiveness of the initiative and identifying promising practices and educational programs.” The ERC research team will implement a mixedmethods approach for both formative and summative purposes. The formative evaluation will assist United Way of Greater Houston in improving its efforts throughout the year. The summative evaluation will examine the effectiveness of educational programs and practices. The ERC will also focus on developing a longitudinal, data based system that will be used to describe the quality and effectiveness of the educational program on students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole. Systematic observations, interviews, surveys, focus groups and quantitative outcome data will be used to examine various program components. For additional information, please contact Beverly Alford at or Kayla Rollins at

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News in Brief

TLAC Onward

News in Brief

One Voice Conference Anna Witt Boriack, doctoral student and Education Research Center (ERC) graduate assistant, presented “Characteristics of Effective and Efficient Urban Middle Schools in Texas” at the One Voice Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 2012. Using state academic achievement and school financial data, the presentation discussed findings from four studies that focused on effective and efficient urban middle schools in Texas.

Children and Families Education Research Center (ERC) Assistant Director, Beverly Alford, and ERC Coordinator of Teacher Education Research, Kayla Rollins, have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start (OHS) to serve as national Head Start grant reviewers. Alford and Rollins recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for a multi-day orientation. Selected grant reviewers were those professionals who demonstrated expertise and experience in early childhood education and family support services or related fields.

Contract Extension Awarded Hersh Waxman, Dennie Smith, Larry Kelly and Jacqueline Stillisano have received new monies and a contract extension (August 2014) for their Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) grant focusing on research and development in teacher education. Since August 2009, they and the Education Research Center (ERC) have received $850,000 from the THECB for their project, TAMU Collaborative. The program has developed and implemented a research-based model designed to prepare P-16 education professionals to assist students in meeting College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) and skilled workforce expectations. This project has also developed and tested a self-assessment tool for all teacher education institutions in Texas to evaluate the quality, effectiveness, and alignment to CCRS of their educator preparation programs.

Administrative Changes In order to better focus on teacher preparation and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education research, the Education Research Center (ERC) has recently undergone several administrative changes by promoting three ERC Senior Research Associates. Beverly Alford will act as Assistant Director, serving on the ERC management team. Additionally, Kayla Rollins will serve as Coordinator of Teacher Education Research and Danielle Brown will function as Coordinator of STEM Education Research. All three will continue to work collaboratively with other ERC researchers on teacher education and STEM education grants, developing

research instruments, coordinating research activities with funding agencies and research participants, collecting data, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data and disseminating ERC research results.

East Meets West for Educational & Cultural Exchange Courtesy of: Chris Hummel; Communications Specialist, Office of the Dean; College of Education and Human Development

Texas A&M University (TAMU) recently hosted a group of 19 high school English teachers from Hangzhou, China, as they participated in a professional development program organized by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). The training platform was designed to develop the Zhejiang Province teachers’ educational practices while promoting globalization efforts of TAMU and CEHD. “This program was a great opportunity to increase the College’s visibility and to showcase our faculty’s expertise in the field of English language education,” said Dr. Yeping Li, Department Head for Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC). “It also gave our faculty a chance to see a foreign school curriculum and exchange culture with some of the best teachers from Hangzhou.” The urban population of Hangzhou is approximately that of Houston, Texas, and employs more than 80,000 teachers in that region. In 2000, Liyao Cheng, the director in charge of teacher development for the Hangzhou Municipal Bureau, recognized the need to reach out and broaden teaching strategies for subject-specific teachers. During the past twelve years, Cheng said that the Bureau has sent nearly 50 teachers from Hangzhou to Australia annually in a similar, careerbroadening effort. “The teachers who attended this event were carefully selected to participate in this great opportunity,” said Cheng. “It’s important that our teachers expand their own education and seek new perspectives from other cultures. While we are here [at A&M], we hope to gain a new perspective on English language education and human resources by interacting with the College of Education and Human Development and local high schools.” For their trip to TAMU, professional development and educational innovation were the primary areas of study for Cheng and her team. The three-week program included one week of lectures and two weeks of field experiences at local Bryan and College Station high schools.

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TLAC Onward

Alvin Teacher Wins Milken Award Image courtesy of: Allison LaRocca; Web Communications Manager, Office of the Dean; College of Education and Human Development

Teachers from Hangzhou, China study with faculty from the College of Education and Human Development during a three week training program.

“Providing the Hangzhou teachers with cuttingedge knowledge and development theory will help them devise improvements in their high school curriculum and instruction,” said Dr. Li. Upon their return to China, the teachers plan to share their learning experiences in multiple formats including a possible book publication that can be used to aid other teachers in transferring this knowledge directly to their classroom instruction. “Our teachers were very impressed by the quality and dedication of faculty and at how detailed and prepared the training regimens were. We will now be able to take back what we have learned and develop “train the trainer” type sessions in the five districts of Hangzhou and its adjacent seven counties” said Cheng. “We also realized that some American ideas are also used in China, so it was very good to see that we share some similar practices.”

Gov. Rick Perry and Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams presented Kristi Plummer, a math intervention specialist, with the Milken National Educator award. The award is given by the California-based Milken Family Foundation and has an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000. It is presented to no more than 40 educators in the United States who are in their early to mid-careers. The award recognizes the recipients’ current accomplishments and what they will accomplish in the future. The selection process for the award is confidential and Plummer was the only Texas educator to receive the award in 2012. Plummer is a 2007 graduate of Texas A&M University, College of Education and Human Development, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture. More information about the award article please visit The image of Kristi Plummer is courtesy of Heather Pitts; Graphics Designer, Office of the Dean; College of Education and Human Development.

At TAMU, the endeavor was seen as a positive one. “We measured the success and impact of the program – in part, from the feedback we received. The participants expressed great appreciation of this program and a high interest in continuing and even expanding the program,” said Dr. Li. “Expanding the presence of the College of Education and Human Development on an international level better positions ourselves for the future while immediately having a positive cultural impact. We hope to continue the program on a regular basis.” Attendees summed up their visit by expressing how unforgettable the experience was. They believe the knowledge they received will help their personal and professional lives. “Reflecting our College’s mission of Transforming Lives and the university’s goal of international leadership, the faculty and students in our teacher preparation programs have been engaged in a variety of international initiatives in Qatar, Europe and most recently in China,” said Dr. Douglas Palmer, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “I think the success of the Hangzhou program is a testament to the expertise and recognition of our faculty.”

Verizon Awards Grant Extension In 2011 the Verizon Foundation awarded a grant in amount of $50,000 to the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC). The purpose of this pilot project, Problem Solving Through Thinkfinity, was to provide undergraduate students in the College of Education and Human Development with experiences to ensure that they become effective 21st Century educators. The project focused on engaging undergraduates in methods courses at Texas A&M University in rich and authentic experiences using Verizon’s’s evidence-based resources. A total of 55 scholarships were awarded to the methods students in December of 2011. The Verizon foundation has extended the pilot project from one semester to one academic year, affording us the opportunity to gather additional data for the methods students as well as allowing follow up with the undergraduate students that participated in the pilot study. Continuing this study with the pilot

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News in Brief group will provide evidence of integration into the student teaching experience. The check was presented March 6, 2012.

February 16, 2012 Dr. Christian D. Schunn Senior Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, USA “Learning to Argue Scientifically Using Computer and Web-based Peer Feedback”

Education Career Fair

February 22, 2012 Dr. Günter Törner Professor, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany “The Newly Established National Center for Mathematics Teacher Education in Germany and Its Initiatives on Continuous Professional Development”

The Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) hosted two Education Career Fairs in 2012. These events, held in Reed Arena, bring recruiters from around the state and world to visit with Aggie teachers. 550 pre-registered students and 97 recruiting entities attended the Spring 2012 Career Fair. The Fall 2012 Career Fair saw 320 pre-registered students and 64 recruiting entities.

Save the Date. Spring 2013 Career Fair Monday, April 8, 2013

The Spring 2013 Career Fair will be held on Monday, April 8, 2013. For more information, please visit fair.

TLAC Frontier Lecture Series TLAC has enjoyed many on-going academic activities with several different seminar/lecture series, particularly, the TLAC Frontier Lecture Series was formally launched in Spring 2012. Since its inception, this lecture series has brought in many top scholars and those who can bring us to the frontier of research across the nation and internationally. The frontier lecture series has not only introduced our students to those top experts and their research, but also served as a platform to encourage more communication and collaboration across the department, college and university. Indeed, the TLAC Frontier Lecture Series has stimulated a culture that impacts our students’ academic learning and promotes frontier research in a broad range of topic areas.

February 27, 2012 Dr. Wenda K. Bauchspies Associate Professor of Sociology, School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology “Statistiques Scolaires: A Story of Science, Technology and Development” March 27, 2012 Dr. Mary E. Dilworth “Access and Achievement: Who is on First?” April 26, 2012 Dr. Geneva Gay Professor, University of Washington “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning: Ideas and Action” April 30, 2012 Dr. Diane August Managing Director, American Institute for Research Senior Research Scientist, Center for Applied Linguistics “CREATE Science: Helping ELLs Meet New Standards in Science and Literacy” May 3, 2012 Dr. Christopher J. Lonigan Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology Florida State University, USA “Development and Promotion of Early Literacy Skills for Preschoolers Who are Spanish-Speaking LanguageMinority Youth” September 10, 2012 Dr. Gerald Kulm Senior Professor of Mathematics Education Texas A&M University, USA “Knowledge and Attitudes about Teaching Algebra for Equity: Lessons Learned” October 18, 2012 Dr. Young-Suk Kim Florida State University, USA “Developmental Relation of Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension” November 15, 2012 Dr. David Chard Leon Simmons Endowed Dean and Professor Southern Methodist University, Texas November 19, 2012 Dr. James C. Lester Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University “Narrative-Centered Learning Environments”

Please visit our website articles/frontier_lecture_series.

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TLAC Onward

“Education & Science” Lecture Education and science are inter-related, especially to those who teach science in PreK-12 schools and colleges. However, possible connections between education and science as different disciplines become unclear. To promote cross-disciplinary communications and collaborations, Dr. Roger Howe (the William Kenan Jr. Professor of Mathematics at Yale) was invited for a colloquium co-sponsored by the College of Education and Human Development and College of Science at Texas A&M University. In his education talk (“Three Pillars of First Grade Mathematics”) on April 18, 2012, Dr. Howe shared and discussed an educational proposal for turning the beginnings of arithmetic into a stronger basis for continued learning in school mathematics. The proposal is highly consistent with the Common Core State Standards, and in some sense is a mild revision of current practice. As a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Howe devotes substantial attention to issues of mathematics education. He has served on a multitude of committees, including those producing several of the major reports on U.S. mathematics education of the past decade. He has served as a member and as chair of the Committee on Education of the American Mathematical Society. He served on the Steering Committee of the Park City/IAS Mathematics Institute, and has helped to organize a series of meetings at Park City devoted to increasing the contribution of mathematicians in mathematics education, especially in refining understanding of the mathematical issues in K-12 mathematics curricula. He is currently a member of the U.S. National Committee on Mathematics Instruction, and a member of Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.

Reads & Counts Tutoring Program The Reads and Counts Tutoring Program held a book drive “Race for Reading” on February 25, 2012. The tutors raced around the local neighborhoods and collected gently used books for the children in need in the Bryan/College Station area. They collected over 500 books in 2 hours! Many of the books were

Reads and Counts tutors held a “Race for Reading” book drive to collect gently used books for the children in need in Bryan/College Station area.

donated to the Bryan ISD “Be the One Literacy Project” whose goal was to send a book home with every child in Bryan ISD in 2012. The other books were distributed by the tutors to the children they worked with in the local elementary schools.

Toy Drive A Reads and Counts Toy Drive was instituted this year. A total of 70 toys were collected, helping several families provide toys to their children during the holiday season. We hope to keep this tradition alive, as Texas A&M Aggies love to do, and instate more traditions as the program grows. Look for our toy drive in 2013.

Undergraduate Peer Mentors

Undergraduate Peer Mentors (UPMs) help Bryan ISD collect children’s books.

The Undergraduate Peer Mentors (UPMs) of the TLAC department assisted in collecting children’s books for the Bryan ISD book drive. The district’s goal was to send home one book with every K-5 student on spring break (2012). The UPMs organizational efforts resulted in the collection of 257 books (donated by UPMs and fellow TLAC students) for students of Bryan ISD.

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20 Years of Service

Faculty Awards Dean’s Advisory Council Award Dr. Cynthia Boettcher, Clinical Professor for the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC), was awarded the Dean’s Advisory Council Award to Extraordinary Service Faculty. She was recognized at the 2012 College Awards Celebration held the evening of October 19, 2012.

Capraros Won 2012 ICEE’s Best Paper Award Dr. Mary Margaret Capraror, Associate Professor for TLAC, and Dr. Robert Capraror, Professor for TLAC, were awarded Best Paper 2012 International Conference on Engineering Education Best Paper Award. Morgan, J., Capraro, R. M., & Capraro, M. M. (2012, August). “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education: Methods to improve PSAT scores using a STEM focus.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education (ICEE-2012), Turku, Finland.

Dr. Hill-Jackson Awarded Fulbright Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson, Clinical Associate Professor for TLAC, has been awarded a Fulbright Traditional Core Scholar grant to research and lecture at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales January 2013 through August 2013.

Curriculum Diversity Advocacy Award Dr. Patricia Larke, Professor for TLAC, recently received the Curriculum Diversity Advocacy Award sponsored by Research on Women in Education (RWE) at its 38th Annual Fall Conference in Idaho. Dr. Larke was awarded for her work in promoting Hispanic and African American elementary girls in STEM learning.

Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students sponsor the Years of Service Award. The award recognizes 20 to 50 years of service by University employees. In 2012, Dr. Cathleen Loving, Associate Professor for the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, was presented the service lapel pin for recognition of her 20 years of service to the University.

Staff Awards Ms. Amanda Mather, TLAC Academic Advisor, was presented the 2012 President’s Award for Academic Advising. Ms. Mather was also selected as a Fish Camp 2012 Namesake.

Student Awards College of Education and Human Development Strategic Fellowship Susana Franco-Fuenmayor, EPSY bilingual education doctoral student and researcher with the Education Research Center (ERC), was awarded a College of Education and Human Development Strategic Fellowship. The one-year fellowship supports research and its dissemination. The College awards only eight such fellowships annually. Her research will focus on examining Dual Language and English as a Second Language (ESL), teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of Dual Language and ESL programs, along with their professional development experiences.

Education Research Center Research Assistants Receive Fellowships Anna Boriack and Russell Evans, TLAC doctoral students and research assistants in the Education Research Center (ERC), received individual fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to attend the 2012 High School Transcript Study (HSTS) Database

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TLAC Onward Training Seminar in Washington, DC. This was a competitive fellowship and only 20 participants from across the U.S. were selected by NCES to participate. The High School Transcript Study is associated with the National Assessment of Educational Progress and provides information about the types of courses that graduates take, how many credits they earn, and their grade point averages. Boriack and Evans used the database to examine demographic and contextual factors that influence minority students’ progress and success in the core subject areas (English, mathematics, science and social studies).

Tingting has been successful in having papers accepted at major international and national research conferences such as the American Educational Research Association and the School Science and Mathematics Association. She already has had several articles published in refereed journals. Her interests are focused on mathematics, teachers’ knowledge of curriculum standards and instructional materials and in comparison studies of US and Asian curriculum materials and teaching. Her work is informed by experience and continued work with Asian mathematics education, which provides an important perspective.

TLAC Dissertation of the Year Award

Tingting’s application of mixed method approaches will provide an in-depth look at how mathematics teachers develop knowledge of the curriculum and, in turn, how curriculum materials build teachers mathematics knowledge.

Dr. Danielle Bairrington Brown, Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) doctoral student and Senior Research Association with the Education Research Center (ERC), won the TLAC Dissertation of the Year Award for her dissertation. 2012 was the first year for TLAC to present the award.

TLAC Distinguished Honor Graduates for Fall 2012 Laura Brown graduated with an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a focus in EC-6. Very involved on campus and in student organizations, Laura participated in Guide, Episcopal Student Ministry, St. Thomas Young Adults and the Texas A&M String Orchestra. She has also held many positions in the field of education volunteering, tutoring and helping others succeed. Laura was one of the Verizon Thinkfinity Scholarship recipients. She was awarded this scholarship for a lesson plan involving technology integration into an English language arts lesson. “I most treasure the camaraderie and friendships I have developed through the College of Education and Human Development,” she said. “ I can always count on the friends I have made and know that we will help each other in any way we can. We share knowledge about teaching and support each other.” She will continue her experiences by growing and learning through substituting and seeking a permanent teaching position. Tingting Ma received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics Education. As a student, Tingting was bright, hard-working and productive. She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in elementary mathematics methods courses and in a Mathematics Problem Solving course, taking on increasing responsibilities for co-teaching. She is currently an active contributing member of an NSF DRK-12 project.

Eric McDaniels graduated with an Education major with an emphasis in Middle Grades Math and Science. During his time at Texas A&M University, Eric was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Lambda Theta. Additionally, he worked for Reads and Counts for two years tutoring children in grades K through 6. Eric was also a recipient of the Verizon Thinkfinity Scholarship. “I hope to apply my experiences and schooling every day of my new career. I was taught so many things that I use everyday student teaching and substituting that I know Texas A&M did an excellent job of preparing me for my future,” he said. “There is no way to put into words how often I will use the skills I attained from my classes at A&M.” Eric aspires to find a job in the Dallas/Fort Worth area teaching middle school math or science. Rachel Schertz graduated with an Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in English Language Arts and Social Studies for fourth through eighth grade students. During her time at Texas A&M Univeristy, Rachel was involved in Aggie History Club, Aggies for Animal Rescue, Big Event, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Lambda Theta and Kappa Delta Pi. “Over my education journey, I have learned so much and changed as a person,” she said. “Some of my most treasured experiences throughout this journey have been going into different classrooms and meeting new people and students. I have learned so much from the people I met, and I feel like I have had a big effect on many of them as well.” She hopes to be able to be a substitute or long-term substitute teacher for the remainder of this academic year. After that, she aspires to become a full time teacher in a smaller rural town teaching History or English in the middle grades.

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Always Expect More of Aggie Teachers Award This award was established by the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) at Texas A&M University with the purpose of recognizing outstanding TLAC Student Teachers who have demonstrated exceptional work ethic and commitment to the teaching profession. Recipients are recognized by the department and receive a certificate and a $200 scholarship award. All were nominated by their university supervisor and cooperating teacher. Addison Folsom received the award for his exceptional effort and dedication during student teaching in initiative, organization and dedication. Anna Ghedi received the award for her exceptional effort and dedication during student teaching in classroom discipline, organization, authentic lesson plans and rapport with students and faculty.

Long, Jessica Gail Ma, Tingting McEwen, Tamia Antionette Ogletree, Evelyn Lorine Rios, Sylvia Guerra Romero, Christopher Thomas Smothers, Aneil Chrisfor Villafranca, Darlene Marie Woods, Melanie Nicole Yeon, Sookkyung Zannou, Yetunde Mobola

Faculty Promotions

Lauren Redeker received the award for her exceptional effort and dedication during student teaching in initiative, organization, professional integrity and dedication.

Dr. Edie Cassell Clinical Associate Professor

Arian Rutkowski received the award for her demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher, unselfish acts to help students be successful and desire to represent the role of a teacher as a highly professional individual.

Dr. Erin McTigue Associate Professor with Tenure

Student Employee of the Year Kaitlin Mohr, a Reads and Counts Tutor Coordinator at Pebble Creek Elementary in College Station ISD, won the honor of “Off-Campus Student Employee of the Year 2012”. Kaitlin received a scholarship sponsored by the Association of Former Students. The scholarship was awarded based on leadership skills, quality of work performed and academic achievement.

The 2012 Student of Art Education Texas Art Education Association and its Awards Committee recognized Jennifer Easterling as the 2012 Student of Art Education. Jennifer graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2012 with Dr. Mary Margaret Capraro as her chair.

Dr. Janet Hammer Clinical Professor

Dr. Scott Slough Awarded Tenure Dr. Bugrahan Yalvac Associate Professor with Tenure

Staff Promotions Dr. Beverly Alfred Assistant Director Dr. Danielle Bairrington Brown Coordinator of STEM Education Research Dr. Kalya Braziel Rollins Coordinator of Teacher Education Research Dr. Alpaslan Sahin Research Scientist (Aggie STEM)

TLAC Doctoral Graduates

Ms. Kerri Smith Assistant Director

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Baldwin, Moira Jenkins Edwards, Joshua Joel Humpal, David Lawrence 16D��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture

Books The following books have been authored or edited by members of the TLAC faculty:

Li, Y. & Huang, R. (Eds.) (2012). How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. New York: Routledge.

Rasinski, T. V., Rupley, William H., & Nichols, William D. (2012). Phonics and fluency practice with poetry: lessons that tap the power of rhyming verse to improve students’ word recognition, automaticity, and prosody—and help them become successful readers. New York: Scholastic.

Slattery, P. (2012). Curriculum development in the postmodern era: teaching and learning in an age of accountability. New York: Routledge.

Articles The following articles have been published by members of the TLAC faculty: Ates, B. & Eslami, Z. (2012). “Teaching Experiences of Native and Nonnative English Speaking Graduate Teaching Assistants and Their Perceptions of Preservice Teachers.” Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 23(3), 101–129. Ates, B. & Eslami, Z. (2012). “An Analysis of Nonnative English Speaking Graduate Teaching Assistants’ Online Journal Entries.” Language and Education, 26(6), 537–552. Binks-Cantrell, E., Washburn, E. K., Joshi, R. M., & Hougen, M. (2012). “Peter Effect in the Preparation of Reading Teachers.” Scientific Studies of Reading, 16(6), 526–536.

Capraro, M. M. (2012). “A tale of two cities: Do textbooks account for differences in Latino second grade students understanding of the equal sign.” The National Journal of Urban Education and Practice, (3), 317–333. Capraro, M. M., An, S. A., Ma, T., Rangel-Chavez, A. F., & Harbaugh, A. (2012). “An investigation of preservice teachers’ reflections on using guess and check in problem solving.” Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 31(1), 105–116. Capraro, M. M., Capraro, R. M., & Cifarelli, V. (2012). “Open-ended problem solving tasks for pre-service middle-grades teachers that elicit mathematical reasoning.” International Journal of University Teaching and Faculty Development, 2(2), 99–120. Capraro, R., Capraro, M. M., & Rupley, William H. (2012). “Reading-enhanced word problem solving: a theoretical model.” European Journal of Psychology of Education, 27(1), 91–114. Capraro, R. M., Capraro, M. M., Younes, R., Han, S. Y., & Garner, K. (2012). “Changes in equality problem types across four decades in four second and sixth grade textbook series.” Journal of Mathematics Education, 5(1), 166–189. Davis, T., Chien, C., Brown, I., & Kulm, G. (2012). “Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity (KATE) project: An examination of virtual classroom simulation approaches.” National Forum of Multicultural Issues Journal, 9(2), 67–87. Ding, M., Li. X., Capraro, M.M., & Capraro, R. (2012). “Supporting meaningful initial learning of the associative property: Cross-cultural differences in textbook presentations.” International Journal for Studies in Mathematics Education, 5(1), 114–130. Ding, M., Li, Y., Li, X., & Gu, J. (2012). “Knowing and understanding instructional mathematics content through intensive studies of textbooks.” In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 66–82). New York: Routledge. Eslami, Z. R., Eslami-Rasekh, A., & Simin, S. (2012). “North American and Iranian EFL lecturers’ use of discourse markers: The cross-cultural aspects.” The Proceeding of 1st Conference on Language Learning & Teaching: An Interdisciplinary Approach (LLT-IA). Mashhad, Iran. Eslami, Z. R. & Garver, R. (2012). “English language learners and project-based learning.” In R. M. Capraro, M. M. Capraro and J. Morgan (Eds.), Project-Based Learning: An Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Approach, Second Edition. (pp. 119–128) Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. Eslami, Z. R. & Hasan, F. (2012). “Gender role stereotyping as perceived by teachers and students in Qatari independent schools.” TESOL Arabia 2012 Proceedings.

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TLAC Onward

Publications Eslami, Z. R. & Snow, M. (2012). “Cooperative vocabulary building and early writing with ELL and monolingual students.” In Richard R. Day (Ed.), New Ways in Teaching Reading, revised edition. (pp.314– 316). TESOL International Association. Eslami, Z. R. & Snow, M. (2012). “The use of reading and writing materials by English Language Learners and Monolingual English-Speaking Students in a Literacy-Enriched Block Center.” In The Handbook of Current Research on Teaching English Language Skills. Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Shahid Beheshti University Press. Hao, H., Rackley, R., & Li, Y. (2012). “Fostering children’s mathematical thinking in reform-oriented kindergarten classroom in Shanghai.” Far East Journal of Mathematical Education, 8(1), 51–83. Hill-Jackson, V., Fox, B., Jackson, R., & James, M.C. (2012). “Given school dropout rates, especially among poor and minority students, should college attendance be the norm for all U.S. students Counterpoint.” In F. Brown, R. Hunter, & S. Donahoo (Eds.), Diversity in schools (pp. 123–132), a volume in C. Russo and A. Osborne (Eds.), Debating the issues in American education: A SAGE reference set. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Huang, R., & Li, Y. (2012). “What matters most: A comparison of expert and novice teachers’ noticing of mathematics classroom events.” School Science and Mathematics, 112(7), 420–432.

& R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 204–220). New York: Routledge. Li, Y. (2012). “Mathematics teacher preparation examined in an international context: learning from the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) and beyond.” ZDM-The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 44(3), 367–370. Li, Y., & Huang, R. (2012). “Introduction.” In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 3–10). New York: Routledge. Li, Y., Qi, C., & Wang, R. (2012). “Lesson planning through collaborations for improving classroom instruction and teacher expertise.” In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 83-97). New York: Routledge. Matteson, S., Capraro, M. M., Capraro, R. M., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2012). “Extricating justification scheme theory in middle school problem solving.” Investigations in Mathematics Learning. 5(1), 38–62. Rupley, W. H., Capraro, R. M. & Capraro, M. M. (2012) “Theorizing an Integration of Reading and Mathematics: Solving Mathematical Word Problems in the Elementary Grades.” Mind, Brain and Education: Implications for Educators, 5(1), 227–250. Self, N. (2012). “Total Paradigm Shift Needed to Save K-12 Education in the United States.” ASCD Express 7(20).

Huang, R., Li, Y., & Su, H. (2012). “Improving mathematics instruction through exemplary lesson development in China.” In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 186–203). New York: Routledge.

Shao, G., Fan, Y., Huang, R., Ding, E., & Li, Y. (2012). “Mathematics classroom instruction in China viewed from a historical perspective.” In Y. Li & R. Huang (Eds.), How Chinese teach mathematics and improve teaching. (pp. 11–28). New York: Routledge.

Huang, X., Li, S., & Li, Y. (2012). “An investigation of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers’ knowledge and confidence.” Taiwan Journal of Mathematics Teachers, 31, 17-36.

Slough, S. & Rupley, W. (2012). “Multi-Touch Tablets, E-Books, and an Emerging Multi-Coding Theory for Reading.” Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. 2012(1), 1233–1238. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

James, M. C., & Hill-Jackson, V. (2012). “‘Just don’t quit on us’: motivating and engaging African American males at a single gender middle school.” In A. Cohan & A. Honigsfeld (Eds.), Breaking the mold of education for culturally and linguistically diverse students: Innovative and successful practices for the 21st century (pp. 141–150). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Kelly, L. J. (2012). “A Century of Leadership, Biographies of Kappa Delta Pi Presidents.” In Davis, O. L. & Spearman, Mindy (Eds.), Research in curriculum and instruction. (pp. 271–278). Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing. Li, J., & Li, Y. (2012). “The teaching contest as a professional development activity to promote classroom instruction excellence in China.” In Y. Li

Smith, D., McLaughlin, T., & Brown, I. (2012). “3D computer animation vs. live-action video: Differences in viewers’ response to instructional vignettes.” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. 12(1), 1–13. Smith, D., Rollins, K. B., & Smith, L. J. (2012). “Back to the Faculty: Transition from University Department Leadership.” Innovative Higher Education. 37(1), 53–63. Stearns, L. M., Morgan, J., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2012). “A teacher observation instrument for PBL classroom instruction.” Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research. 13(3), 25–34. Wakefield, J. & Smith, D. (2012). “From Socrates to satellites: iPad learning in an undergraduate course.” Creative Education. 3(5), 643–648

18D��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture

New Faculty Dr. Emily Cantrell Clinical Assistant Professor Prior to her return to Texas A&M Univeristy, Dr. Emily Cantrell was a lecturer and research coordinator for the Scarborough School of Education at the University of Hull in England. She later taught at Drury University in Missouri after moving back to the States with her husband. Prior to receiving her Ph.D., Emily taught first grade at Eastside Elementary in Hearne ISD and worked with children with Autism in College Station ISD. Emily returned to the Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture in the fall of 2010, teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in reading education. Her most recent publication, “Peter Effect in the Preparation of Reading Teachers,” appeared in Scientific Studies of Reading last month.

holds two masters degrees, one in mathematics and one in music. She taught for 15 years at the high school level and five years full time (20 years adjunct) at a community college. She holds a lifetime Texas secondary teaching certification for mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, composite science, music, English and English language arts as well as a Master Math Teacher (8-12) certification. She enjoys working with teachers, writing grants, sewing, canning and cooking. Her daughter teaches precalculus for Katy ISD.

New Staff Tracy Eppers Business Coordinator 1 Tammisha Farmer Digital Media Coordinator Clarissa Gonzalez Academic Advisor II

Dr. Mónica Vásquez Neshyba Clinical Assistant Professor

Tarcia Jones Associate Director

A recent Ph.D. graduate in bilingual and bicultural education from the University of Texas, Austin, Mónica Vásquez Neshyba has been involved in education for over a decade. She served in various roles, including a bilingual elementary teacher in Central Texas and later teaching for the Masters of Arts in Teaching program for the University of Southern California. She received her B.A. in Spanish from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1999 and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Texas State University in 2001. Dr. Neshyba has presented at various local, state and national conferences on multiple topics regarding the education of English language learners.

Zahira Merchant Postdoc Research Associate

Dr. Sandra Nite Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Sandra Nite came to Texas A&M University as a senior lecturer in the mathematics department in 2005. She has been teaching mathematics, computer science, science and music since 1975. Besides her Ph.D., she

Visiting Scholars Dr. Shadi Dini Visiting scholar from University of Tehran, Iran (TLAC contact: Dr. Zohreh Eslami) Dr. Shuai Wang Visiting scholar from Central China Normal University, China (TLAC contact: Dr. Yeping Li) Dr. Weiping Zhang Visiting scholar from Shanghai Normal University, China (TLAC contact: Dr. Yeping Li) Ms. Nan Zhang Visiting doctoral student from Southwest University, China (TLAC contact: Dr. Yeping Li)

Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture....................................................................................................... 19


TLAC Onward

In Remembrance …

Dr. William Hilmer Peters (1933 – 2012) Dr. William Hilmer Peters, 79, of Dallas, Texas, husband of Marilyn Stanecki Peters, was born September 10, 1933, in Milwaukee, WI, and died November 19, 2012. He was the son of the late Steve and Elsie Peters. He is survived by his beloved wife Marilyn of 56 years, a daughter Jacquelyn Rieck, a daughter Victoria Vergason and son-in-law Michael Vergason, a son Bradley Peters, and seven grandchildren, Andrea Rieck, Camille Rieck, Matthew Westin, William Peters Vergason, Christian Vergason, Olivia Vergason, and Sarah Peters, all of whom brought him joy. He was predeceased by two brothers, Lawrence and Raymond Peters, a sister Jean Fredrick, a brotherin-law Earl Hooper and a sister-in-law Rosemary Peters. He is survived by one sister Dorothy Hooper, a brother-in-law and sister-in-law Michael and Sue Stanecki, and several nieces and nephews.

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Marquette University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctoral degree in English education from the University of Virginia. His teaching career began at Greenfield High School in Milwaukee, WI in l958 after serving two years in the army as a Counter Intelligence Corps specialist. He taught English and served as English Department Chairman. Many of his former students remained his lifetime friends. After receiving his doctoral degree in 1968, he accepted a position at the University of Kentucky where he was an assistant professor, an associate professor and professor of English education and later served as Curriculum and Instruction Department Chairman. In 1981, he accepted a position as Professor and Head of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Texas A&M University. He authored extensive research and scholarly publications in English and secondary education. He retired as professor emeritus of education at Texas A&M University in 2005.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Keith James (1936 – 2012) Robert “Bob” Keith James, of Bryan, Texas, went to heaven on Friday, December 28, 2012, in Decatur, IL. Bob was born in Albany, MO on July 30, 1936. He married Dorothy Evans of Savannah, MO. Survivors include his wife Dorothy of 53 years; daughters, Beth Holmes and Brad of Decatur, IL, Carolyn James and Heike Mund of Hamburg, Germany and Laura Smith and Scott of Amarillo, Texas; grandchildren, Morgan Higgins, Casey Gregg, T.J. Holmes, Cameron, Connor, and Creighton Smith; brother, Ned L. James and wife JoAnn of Quitman, AR; and several nieces and nephews. Bob grew up in Albany, MO. He completed a degree in chemistry at Northwest Missouri State; a Master of Science from University of Northern Iowa and a Ph.D. in science education from University of Iowa.

He taught high school science at Odessa, MO. Later, as a professor of science education at Kansas State and Texas A&M University, Bob lived his passion for training and mentoring science educators and he also directed the Texas Alliance for Science. An active member of First Baptist Church of Bryan, Bob thrived on teaching Sunday School, supporting missionaries and serving in church outreach. Bob served in the National Guard. Woodworking, gardening, fishing with his grandchildren and spending time with family and friends were among his favorite activities. Bob and Dorothy treasured their summers in Tin Cup, CO.

Coming to the Web Near You Summer 2013: Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction-Elementary Education Emphasis Drs. Patricia Larke, Norvella P. Carter and Trina J. Davis of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) make way for the changes taking place in education by launching a new online M.Ed. Online learning at the graduate level is increasing as millennial students seek advanced degrees. The new program emphasis will target elementary educators, a group that comprises the largest number of teachers in the nation and will address instruction of core subjects, reading, mathematics and science. This will be the only program emphasis in TLAC that targets elementary education teachers at the graduate level. More importantly, this interdisciplinary program emphasis will target elementary educators to improve reading, math, science and technology. To increase the number of students with highly developed STEM skills, they must have a foundation in reading, mathematics and science at the elementary school level. The data overwhelmingly

indicates that elementary teachers who have a deeper understanding of subject matter content can impact student learning in STEM. This program emphasis will provide elementary educators with content to broaden and enhance their teaching in reading, math and science and provide them with instructional strategies via technology delivery. In addition to high-quality content, students in this program emphasis will learn how to deliver instruction to the ‘wired’ generation (early millennial learners) and be able to adapt and use technology effectively while working with diverse populations. This 36-semester hour graduate degree option in Curriculum and Instruction will consist of three areas: TLAC Core, Content Core and Pedagogy/Diversity Core. Applications for the first cohort are being accepted online. To apply for the program emphasis please see admission requirements at articles/masters_admissions.

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Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture 4232 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4232

TLAC Onward  

Inaugural issue of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture's magazine.

TLAC Onward  

Inaugural issue of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture's magazine.