Texas Tribune Conducts Q&A with Candace Walkington about Teaching Math

Candace Walkington, assistant professor in Simmons, conducts research on connecting students to algebra.

The Texas Tribune interviewed Assistant Professor Candace Walkington in Teaching and Learning about her research looking at engaging ways to teach math in grades 6-10. She notes that during these grades students find it difficult to get motivated to learn math. The Q&A, where she is highlighted, is a weekly feature for Trib+Edu. Read the complete interview here. 

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Study Co-authored by Baker Says Pre-college Factors Impact College Graduation Rates for Nonwhites

Dominique Baker, assistant professor in Education Policy and Leadership, co-authored a new study in The Journal of Higher Education that looks at the gap of college graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students compared to white peers. Researchers Stella Flores (NYU), Toby Park (Florida State University) and SMU’s Baker say pre-college factors, such as attending segregated schools and poverty, contribute to as much as 61% of the variance in college graduation rates by race.

Their data analyzed a cohort of Texas students who graduated from high school in 2002. Read more.

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Congratulations to 2017 Luminary Award Recipients

Paige Ware, dean ad interim, is pictured with Luminary Award recipients Mark Meadows, The Meadows Foundation; Maureen Costello, Teaching Tolerance; and Ben Leal and Rev. Christopher Girata, Jubilee Park.

The Simmons School honored Jubilee Park and Community  Center, The Meadows Foundation, and Teaching Tolerance, a project of The Southern Poverty Law Center  as catalysts for change in education during its annual Luminary Award dinner on March 29.

Jubilee Park and Community Center serves neighborhoods near Fair Park in Dallas by providing a range of services for families. This includes after-school programs for children and adult education. The Meadows Foundation was honored for its work across the state in strengthening public education, and Teaching Tolerance received recognition for teaching materials that support equitable school experiences for all students in the nation’s classrooms. Read more.

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Simmons Faculty Highlights Math in Everyday Life

Three Simmons professors from the Department of Teaching and Learning participated in the launch of  walkSTEM, a program conducted in the Dallas Arts District during the Pi Day Math Festival on March 14.

Drs. Dara Rossi, Candace Walkington, and Annie Wilhelm helped students, teachers, and families from the Dallas-Fort Worth area understand real-life applications of mathematics. They were a part of the organizer’s efforts, talkStem, to make instruction relevant and engaging. Click here to view SMU’s Mustang Minute.

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Stephanie Al Otaiba Recognized With Distinguished Researcher Award

Congratulations to Stephanie Al Otaiba, Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair in Teaching and Learning, who is the recipient of the 2017 American Educational Research Association’s Distinguished Researcher Award in Special Education Research . AERA is a flagship research body for education scholars.

She will receive her award at the annual meeting held in San Antonio, April 27-May 1.

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Making the Case for Quality Pre-K Funding in Texas

Paige Ware, interim dean of Simmons, in a commentary written for The Dallas Morning News proposes that the Texas Legislature continue with its commitment to funding pre-K education by increasing the quality of the programs and the allocation of money.

She suggests looking at the way Michigan has made a difference in the education of young children. Read her commentary here.

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Researchers in Locomotor Performance Lab Develop New Equation for Predicting Running Speed

In the recent Journal of Experimental Biology,  Simmons researchers from the Locomotor Performance Lab, present a new equation to better predict a runner’s speed.

Their findings have immediate application for running performance, injury prevention, rehab and the individualized design of running shoes, orthotics and prostheses.

Researchers include Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Professor of Applied Physiology and professor of biomechanics in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness; Larry Ryan, the lab’s research engineer and physicist; and Kenneth Clark, assistant professor at West Chester University in West Chester, Penn., and formerly with the lab. Read more coverage in the Huffington Post.

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Shedding Light on Social-Emotional Learning

Annie Wright, director of evaluation for the Center on Research and Evaluation in Simmons, talks about the importance of social-emotional learning in schools and the difficulties in evaluating the outcomes in this Advocate article.

In partnership with Big Thought, the Dallas Independent School District has applied for a grant from the Wallace Foundation to develop social-emotional learning for classrooms and after-school programs.

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Two from Simmons Receive Fulbright Fellowships

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program has announced two Simmons candidates will receive fellowships from its highly competitive application pool.

Congratulations go to Kristen Biedermann ’16, who earned a Master’s degree in Simmons, and gains an English teaching assistantship in Colombia. Also, accolades to Adam Garnick, a current Simmons graduate student, who will assume an English teaching assistantship in Hungary.They were two of seven semifinalists from SMU.

The program gives grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.  Read more.


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Three Simmons Faculty Awarded Sam Taylor Fellowships

 Caitlin Anderson (Wellness), Sherril English and Diego Román (Teaching and Learning), join 18 other SMU faculty members who have been awarded Sam Taylor Fellowships. The fellowships support research and award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas.

Anderson will examine how first-year students define their values and rationalize their behavior. She’ll investigate “the correlation between values congruence, GPA, and well-being.”

English’s research will look at urban school students’ conceptions of learning by examining “the classroom and out-of-school learning experiences of several DISD students, their approaches to learning tasks, and the ways that they view learning outcomes as they grow to become independent and self-regulated learners.”

Román seeks to further his research in bilingual education by “examining the sociolinguistic knowledge and language attitudes of bilingual teachers towards the varieties of Spanish spoken in North Texas.” He looks at whether the notion of  having “one correct Spanish” may impede students’ bilingualism.

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