Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

SMU adds online course option for Jan Term 2015

SMU’s Jan Term – previously known as the J Term – is expanding again, adding its first online course offering to the dozens available at the SMU-in-Plano and SMU-in-Taos campuses. The 2015 Jan Term is scheduled for Jan. 5-14.

The January interterm session’s first online offering will be “Introduction to
Markets and Culture” (SOCI 2377), taught by Debra Branch of the Department of Sociology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

> Course description for “Introduction to Markets and Culture” online

In addition, continuing SMU students who live on the main campus may remain in their current campus housing during Jan Term 2015 at no additional charge. Students must register with Residence Life and Student Housing by 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8 if they plan to stay in their current campus residence during Jan Term.

In another new program enhancement, Jan Term courses are now available for registration through My.SMU. Students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses before they enroll.

The accelerated interterm session offers more than 50 courses at a reduced tuition rate; students can complete one three-credit-hour course in eight concentrated days. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Jan Term (short for January Term) allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course at a discounted tuition rate before the start of the spring semester. For Jan Term 2015, regular undergraduate students will pay a reduced tuition rate of $1,211 per credit hour ($3,633 per course). To avoid a late fee, payment is due by Friday, Dec. 19. Parking is free on the SMU-in-Plano campus, and no decal is required.

Watch a video about Jan Term from SMU News’ Myles Taylor

The Jan Term program allows students to use the time between the fall and spring terms to focus on a course of interest or stay on track for graduation. Students also can fulfill General Education or University Curriculum requirements.

This year’s offerings include courses from the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Students participating in Jan Term at SMU-in-Plano will be responsible for their own housing; discounted hotel rooms are available at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott-Plano, about a mile from the Plano campus. Shuttle service is also available. Information about housing at SMU-in-Taos during Jan Term is available here.

For more information, e-mail the SMU Jan Term program or call 214-768-3657.

> Learn more from the Jan Term homepage at smu.edu/janterm

SMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education names Leanne Ketterlin-Geller director of K-12 STEM Initiatives

Leanne Ketterlin-GellerSMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education has named Associate Professor Leanne Ketterlin-Geller as its new director of K-12 STEM Initiatives.

A faculty member in education policy and leadership and director of research in mathematics education in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Ketterlin-Geller will bring a cross-disciplinary focus to her new role with the Institute, housed in the University’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Ketterlin-Geller is an expert in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and her research focuses on mathematics education through instructional leadership principles and practices. Her new position will include working with the Caruth Institute’s Infinity Project, developing partnerships with area schools, working with Lyle engineering programs geared toward middle and high school students, and working with departments and faculty members to match their engineering expertise to K-12 outreach opportunities.

Ketterlin-Geller will work closely with Delores Etter, executive director of the Caruth Institute and TI Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education, as well as other faculty members from both schools to advance the K-12 STEM initiatives of the Institute.

“Professor Ketterlin-Geller’s extensive experience as a leader in STEM and K-12 education will bring much needed expertise in addressing the critical mission of the Caruth Institute,” Etter said. “Her role within the Simmons School of Education and Human Development will strengthen the necessary collaboration between our two schools.”

“The work that Dr. Ketterlin-Geller will direct is essential to our goal to increase the number and diversity of students with both the enthusiasm and knowledge to pursue the engineering careers that are necessary for the U.S. to compete in a global economy,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “This appointment demonstrates our commitment to the emerging collaborations between the Simmons School of Education and the Lyle School of Engineering. We look forward to what we can achieve together.”

“Through these Caruth Institute initiatives students will see the power of math in daily life – and engineering is where we really see this at work,” said Ketterlin-Geller. “We hope to develop engaging and interesting programs for both teachers and students that will help all students develop both confidence and competence in STEM fields. This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to work across disciplines to help foster innovation in K-12 STEM education.”

A former high school science teacher, Ketterlin-Geller has served as principal investigator for federal, state, and locally funded research grants emphasizing the development of instructional materials and formative assessment procedures in mathematics. Much of her research is focused on supporting algebra readiness in elementary and middle school mathematics. She works closely with teachers and administrators to understand the application of measurement and assessment principles for making decisions in school settings. She publishes and delivers presentations on mathematics education, measurement and assessment as well as special education.

Ketterlin-Geller and Simmons School Dean David Chard are part of the national research team working on the George W. Bush Institute’s education initiative, Middle School Matters.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Research: Learning algebra from Instagram

Stock photo of a student working a math problem on a blackboardCan students learn algebra from Instagram and video games?

SMU teaching researcher Candace Walkington thinks so. And her new study, funded by the National Academy of Education, will test the idea.

“In previous work, I found that students draw upon rich algebraic ways of reasoning when pursuing their out-of-school interests in areas like sports, social networking and video games,” says Walkington, an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “Making connections to these topics in algebra class can improve long-term understanding of algebraic ideas.”

The new study asks pre-algebra middle school students in the Dallas Independent School District to author their own algebra stories based on their personal interests. They will describe how linear relationships approximate what they encounter in their everyday lives, such as how they accumulate followers on Instagram or score points in a video game over time, says Walkington, whose research focus is evidence-based effective teaching. About 200 pre-algebra students in eight classrooms at DISD schools are participating in the study.

Based on results from earlier research, Walkington hypothesizes that authoring the stories will elicit students’ interest in the content to be learned by drawing on their knowledge about home and community.

Algebra is a gatekeeper to many careers and to higher-level mathematics, making it critical for students to master, Walkington says – but students struggle to understand the abstract representations.

“Students often can’t see the connection between their world and algebra,” she says. “Exploring ways to connect math to their lives, experiences and knowledge is critical for making it accessible and captivating. That’s especially true when considering students from diverse backgrounds.”

A pilot version of the study begins in spring 2015. The full study starts in fall 2015.

Walkington was awarded the grant as part of the Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program of the National Academy of Education. The $55,000 grant supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

Calendar Highlights: Oct. 16, 2014

b1830bce49be4c75ad18f2a0ce3f98f5World Changing 101: SMU Hegi Career Development Center presents World Changing 101: Why Should You Do Public Service? Featuring representatives from Teach for America, Peace Corps, CityYear and CitySquare, guests will explore how public service experiences apply to future careers. The event will take place Thursday Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall, Room 138. For more information contact Devon Skerritt or visit the event webpage. 

Comini Lecture Series: The Comini Lecture Series presents “Oracle’s Signs (and Sounds): An Iconographic Exploration of the Ancient Andean Gods’ Images.” Guided by Marco-Curatola-Petrocchi, Professor at the Catholic University of Peru, the lecture will examine how Andean deities “spoke” to their priests. The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 16, 5:30 p.m., in the Greer Garson Screening Room. For more information call 214-768-1222.

Music at Meadows: SMU Organist and Professor of Harpsichord and Organ, Larry Palmer presents “Scarlatti’s Cat.” During a short program on the Museum’s Oldovini Organ, Palmer will play the 1762 instrument built for the Cathedral of Evora in Portugal. The performance will take place Thursday, Oct. 16, 5:30 p.m., in the Virginia Meadows Galleries. For more information call 214-768-4677.

Museum Evening Lecture: The Meadows Museum hosts “Into the Realm of the Imaginative: The Portraiture of Zuloaga, Goya and El Greco.” The evening lecture will examine portraiture, an artistic genre in which all three artists made great achievements. The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Bob Smith Auditorium. For more information call 214-768-4677.

Larry Palmer. Professor of Harpsichord and Organ.

Larry Palmer. Professor of Harpsichord and Organ.

Meadows Wind Ensemble: The Meadows Wind Ensemble presents “The French Connection.” Featuring a menu of works by composers who share a “connection” to France, the program will also honor faculty artist and professor Larry Palmer as he celebrates his 45th year at SMU Meadows. Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty and staff. The event will take place Friday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium. 

SMU Football: SMU Mustangs will play Cincinnati Saturday, Oct. 18, 2:30 p.m., at the Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Meadows Museum Art Activity: The Meadows Museum hosts “Drawing from the Masters.” Providing an opportunity to explore a variety of drawing techniques, guest artist Ian O’Brien will lead participants through the Meadows Museum‘s galleries. Attendance is limited to 20 and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Drawing materials will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own sketchpads and pencils. The activity will take place Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m. in Meadows Museum. For more information, call 214-768-4677.

Michael Ramirez to give 2014 Sammons Lecture Thursday, Oct. 2

Screen shot 2014-09-29 at 4.16.04 PMTwo-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez will give the 15th annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics. Presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts Division of Journalism, the lecture begins at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2 in the Bob Hope Theatre. 

Currently a senior editor and editorial cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily, Ramirez cartoons are eye-catching, provocative and hilarious. Pairing an extensive news knowledge with a captivating drawing style, he consistently creates outstanding cartoons seen worldwide in over 400 newspapers and magazines. Ramirez offers a unique perspective on today’s issues with commentary on everything from the economy and markets to politics and international affairs.

> Ramirez’s cartoons may be seen online at IBD.editorials.com/cartoons 

The Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture Series in Media Ethics is funded by an endowment from the Rosine Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. Named after 1920 SMU journalism graduate Rosine Smith Sammons, the endowment provides permanent resources for the Meadows School of the Arts to present annual lectures focusing on media ethics.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 214-768-2787.

Read more from the SMU Meadows News site

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