David Chard

SMU teacher training program gets high marks in guarded report

David ChardSome of the largest colleges of education in Texas offer poorly designed programs that leave prospective teachers unprepared for the job, according to a new report that gave SMU high marks for teacher preparation.

The two-year study from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a research and advocacy nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., “slams eight of the largest education schools … for seriously shortchanging aspiring teachers, particularly with inadequate math and reading instruction,” according to an article that appeared in The Houston Chronicle April 28, 2010.

Meanwhile, the report praised four programs for their strong overall design. SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development was singled out for praise, as were the education programs at Dallas Baptist University, the University of Texas-Austin and UT-Pan American.

“The most consistent feature of teacher education in Texas is a lack of consistency,” according to the 500-page report. “Rather than consensus there is inter-institutional confusion as to what it means to fully prepare a teacher for the classroom.”

In all, the researchers studied 67 undergraduate education schools, excluding only Rice and Trinity universities. The largest number of schools – 48 – didn’t get an overall rating because they fell in the middle of the pack and the researchers said they deserved a more thorough review.

“No program is perfect, including ours,” wrote David Chard (above), Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School, in a Dallas Morning News op-ed. “My interest in this report is to identify ways we can improve.”

> Read more from The Houston Chronicle
> Read Dean Chard’s op-ed from The Dallas Morning News

Faculty in the News: Jan. 26, 2010

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed the results of American Airlines’ unprecedented product-placement deal with the Paramount Pictures film “Up in the Air” in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 25, 2010.

David Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, discussed the trend of teachers selling their lesson plans online with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 24, 2010.

Michael Cox, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Cox School of Business, discussed the possibility of increased federal taxes to pay down the national debt with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 24, 2010.

Tom Fomby, Economics, Dedman College, talked about the details of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s announcement that it will cut more than 11,000 jobs with The Dallas Business Journal Jan. 25, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the fallout from the Republican senatorial victory in Massachusetts for a Canadian Press story that appeared in Yahoo! News Jan. 20, 2010. He also discussed the Texas Green Party’s hopes for a revival with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 18, 2010.

Brice Campbell, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts, discussed the U.S. Census Bureau’s advertising campaign to boost its 2010 survey response with HispanicBusiness.com Jan. 18, 2010.

Faculty in the News: Dec. 1, 2009

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Houston Mayor Bill White’s ability to rekindle Democrats’ hopes for 2010 success in Texas with The Houston Chronicle Nov. 28, 2009.

Eva Oberdörster, Biological Sciences, Dedman College, discussed the potential pitfalls of nanotechnology with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 28, 2009.

David Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, discussed a report by The National Council on Teacher Quality that is critical of teacher education in Texas for an article that appeared in The Houston Chronicle Nov. 23, 2009.

Jean Kazez, Philosophy, Dedman College, wrote about the ethics of what we eat in a letter to The New York Times published Nov. 23, 2009.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked with the Associated Press about the multilevel marketing behind Donald Trump’s decision to put his name on a vitamin and health products business. The resulting article appeared in several publications, including The Reading Eagle on Nov. 22, 2009.

Steven Dennis, JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence, Cox School of business, discussed with Agence France Presse the possibility that 2009 holiday price cuts will be deep but not broad. The resulting article appeared in Yahoo! News Nov. 21, 2009.

Faculty in the News: Oct. 20, 2009

David Chard on WFAA Channel 8Bernard “Bud” Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked about the role of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund in seeding new startup companies with The Austin American-Statesman Oct. 18, 2009. He also discussed the high cost of state and local government tax giveaways designed to attract businesses with The Houston Chronicle Oct. 17, 2009.

David Chard (left), Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about the increasingly common practice of holding children back a year to help them be more mature when they enter school with ABC Channel 8 News Oct. 7, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed the effectiveness of curbing climate change by detecting and sealing natural gas leaks with The New York Times Oct. 14, 2009.

Faculty in the News: Sept. 22, 2009

Mosasaur skeletonWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, discussed the importance of truth and discovering what it is in an essay for KERA Public Radio, originally broadcast on Sept. 14, 2009. audio

Michael Polcyn, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, appears as an expert source in “Mega Beasts: T-Rex of the Deep.” The science documentary debuted Sept. 13, 2009, on the Discovery Channel. Read more from the SMU Research blog. video

David Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; and Reid Lyon, the Simmons School’s Distinguished Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership, were interviewed by Krys Boyd of KERA Public Radio’s “Think” on Sept. 10, 2009. They talked about the importance of educational leadership at students’ schools and districts and how such leadership affects the quality of their education. audio

SMU joins partnership for West Dallas redevelopment

Community engagementSMU has announced that it will work in partnership with community organizations in helping to rebuild the urban area of West Dallas. Under plans currently being developed, SMU will partner with Dallas Faith Communities Coalition and the West Dallas Education Task Force to explore the area’s needs and goals for access to high-quality K-12 schools.

“This effort is part of SMU’s commitment to apply the University’s resources of intellect and involvement to make a positive impact on our city, in cooperation with community groups,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Discussions with community leaders have involved several SMU deans and other top officials, as well as faculty with expertise in issues related to urban redevelopment.

University-wide involvement will be possible through SMU’s seven schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Cox School of Business; Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering; Meadows School of the Arts; Perkins School of Theology, Dedman School of Law; and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Simmons School is particularly well suited to draw upon its expertise, research and training programs in areas ranging from reading to mathematics. “Our multidisciplinary approach at the University will allow us to study and deliberate on how to make the best contribution to the community,” said David Chard, the school’s Leon Simmons Dean. “We have great tools at hand, such as assessment and research, strong academic programs and a dedication to student placements and internships.”

SMU, at the recommendation of its Community Engagement Council, will undertake further deliberations, studies and dialogue to determine how best to make an impact. Possibilities include involvement of faculty, staff and students in community and school activities; collecting and offering best practices for urban redevelopment; providing learning opportunities in a number of disciplines, both for students and for teacher training; mentoring and tutoring.

“These activities will also provide outstanding learning experiences for our students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White, who chairs SMU’s Community Engagement Council with Provost Ludden.

SMU officials took part in a breakfast and discussion May 18 at Dallas City Hall sponsored by Mayor Tom Leppert, the West Dallas Education Task Force and the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition.

“We don’t yet know exactly what form our involvement will take in West Dallas,” said Associate Provost Ellen Pryor, a member of SMU’s Community Engagement Council. “But we are very excited about the possibilities that will strengthen both the campus and the West Dallas community in meaningful ways.”

SMU’s involvement in West Dallas will be in addition to its existing community engagement projects with other areas of Dallas, such as Dedman College’s Academic-Community Experience program and house in East Dallas, activities in Vickery Meadows, college readiness programs available to many DISD schools, and pro bono legal services in South Dallas and East Dallas, among other programs.

Above, participants in Dedman College’s Academic-Community Experience (ACE) Program outside its house in East Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News: Investing brainpower and energy in W. Dallas
SMU in the Community website

Simmons School, Guildhall to help Arboretum design children’s garden

Mary Brinegar of the Dallas ArboretumA new partnership between the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society represents a winning opportunity for SMU students and school children throughout North Texas.

The Arboretum plans to begin construction in early 2010 on the new $43 million. seven acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. The area will be the largest science education garden in the country, filled with concepts that correspond to state and national standards in earth science and life science for kindergarten through sixth grade, says Arboretum President and CEO Mary Brinegar (’69), who holds an elementary education degree from SMU.

“One of the best days we ever had was when we had an opportunity to talk with Dean David Chard about having a working relationship with SMU. We are very interested in making sure that we have the latest in evaluation techniques and are up to date with the latest ways of teaching,” she said.

The school and its students will rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of the garden’s teaching activities to make sure the lessons are retained. she explained.

Chard put Brinegar in touch with Peter Raad, executive director of the Guildhall at SMU, the premier graduate video game education program in the United States. Guildhall students, education students and Arboretum educators will work together to design technology-based activities that will reinforce the outdoor lessons and be located in a new teaching building within the garden, she said.

The Arboretum’s staff of degreed teachers currently presents formal lessons to more than 70,000 students a year. Brinegar hopes the partnership with SMU will help the garden become a national tourist destination like the famous Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco.

Read more from SMU News

Faculty in the News: Winter Break 2008-09

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, provided expertise for several political stories, including:

  • how Republicans in Congress may be playing a high-risk game by snubbing Barack Obama, who has publicly sought their support, in Forbes magazine, Jan. 29, 2009
  • how a new bill that would boost health care coverage for children would cost and benefit Texans, in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 15, 2009
  • the continuing influence of West Texas in the state legislature as Tom Craddick is replaced as speaker, in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Jan. 3, 2009
  • Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and the Illinois governor’s scandal, in The Washington Examiner, Dec. 28, 2008

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the challenges Barack Obama will face as president, including the challenge of expectations, with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 18, 2009.

Kathleen Cooper, Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, discussed how Texas will be affected as investments based on high oil prices fall on hard times in an op-ed published in The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2009.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed whether there is a place for “divine certainty” in the White House in The Dallas Morning News‘ Texas Faith blog Jan. 27, 2009. He also wrote about President Obama and the nature of historical moments for National Public Radio website Jan. 21, 2009.

SMU Theology Dean William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, talked about the often unusual relationship between presidents and preachers in a commentary on 90.1 KERA-FM Radio Jan. 16, 2009 (listen online or download) audio. He also discussed “firsts and lasts” in American political discourse in a KERA commentary broadcast on Dec. 19, 2008 (listen online or download) audio.

Mike Davis, Finance, Cox School of Business, discussed why most individuals have zero comprehension of $1 trillion, and how to make the amount easier to understand, with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 29, 2009.

Ravi Batra, Economics, Dedman College, discussed the current state of the country and its economy in a feature profile published in The Fort Worth Weekly Dec. 16, 2008.

Karen Thomas, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, wrote about the changes already begun because of President Obama in an article published in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 20, 2009.

Tony Pederson, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for a Jan. 4, 2009 Associated Press article on how former competitors in the news business are forging content-sharing deals to mitigate staff cuts and other losses. The article ran in several newspapers in early January, including The Chicago Tribune.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked about Amway’s effort to revive its own brand with The Houston Chronicle Dec. 25, 2008.

SMU Education Dean David ChardDavid Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, wrote an op-ed about the banning of the book ttyl by the Round Rock (TX) Independent School District. The opinion piece was published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 13, 2009.

Hal Barkley, Counseling, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about how to cope with families and stress during the holidays with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 22, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed potential hazards in Houston’s air with The Houston Chronicle Jan. 12, 2009.

David Blackwell, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, discussed how power from underground “hot rocks” could become the “killer app” of the energy industry with The Christian Science Monitor Dec. 31, 2008.

Continuing Studies has new name, expanded mission

SMU Continuing Studies is now known as SMU Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE). The name change took effect June 1. Continuing Studies Director Amy Heitzman leads the new division.

Under the new, expanded CAPE, the Meadows Community Education program merges with the SMU Informal Courses for Adults program. The department also will expand its liberal and fine arts offerings and be home to community outreach initiatives and noncredit professional development programs, including the certificate programs in financial planning, nonprofit leadership and Spanish for the workplace.

Continuing education efforts of the Center for Counseling and Mediation and the School of Engineering will be offered through CAPE beginning in fall 2008.

The new name recognizes new strides in continuing education at SMU, wrote Leon Simmons Dean David Chard in an e-mail to the SMU community. As part of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, “CAPE is well positioned to offer expanded noncredit continuing education in the liberal and fine arts to our campus and community in addition to its growing emphasis on professional development,” he added.

SMU Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE)

Dean Chard discusses education and community in Faculty Club lecture

Education is defined by its interdisciplinary nature, says David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He outlined the School’s future challenges, opportunities and programs in a talk with the SMU Faculty Club Feb. 13. Read more.

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