The Center for Teaching Excellence has named Paige Ware, chair of the Dept. of Teaching and Learning, a recipient of the 2014 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. This yearly award recognizes four SMU faculty members for their notable commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. Recipients receive $10,000 and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.
Dr. Ware will be involved in supporting exceptional teaching across campus for the next two years. She is the first Simmons faculty member to be recognized with this award.
Professor Jill Allor and research colleagues in Simmons release findings of a four-year, pioneering study of reading interventions with students who have intellectual disabilities or low IQ. With persistent, specialized instruction, these students learned how to read at a first grade level.
Students identified with intellectual disability account for nearly one in every 100 public school students, according to the study, which cites the U.S. Department of Education. Of those identified with intellectual disability who do graduate, most don’t receive a diploma, only a certificate of completion, said the study’s authors, who include Patricia Mathes, TI Endowed Chair in Evidence-Based Education and a professor in the Simmons School; J. Kyle Roberts; Jennifer P. Cheatham, research associate; and Stephanie Al Otaiba, Simmons professor.
Building on their donations and work with the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition and SMU Simmons’ Center on Communities in Education, Russell and Dorothy Budd ’06 are endowing the University with a $2.5 million gift to transform collaborative work in West Dallas to combat poverty by improving education.
The Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education will help families succeed by recognizing, assisting with and tracking success in overcoming myriad issues that afflict struggling communities such as healthcare, education, legal services, safety and nutrition. This effort, originally spearheaded by Simmons’ Center on Communities and Education, will strengthen work done by the School Zone, a coalition of 29 nonprofits and 16 schools in West Dallas. Read more.
The National Academy of Education has selected Simmons Assistant Professor Candace Walkington for the distinguished 2014 Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. Funded by the Spencer Foundation, Walkington will receive a $55,000 award to support her research.
Her project consists of a classroom intervention in which students generate personalized connections between concepts they are learning in algebra and their out-of-school interests in topics like sports, video games, and social networking. Students will create their own “algebra stories” where they describe how linear relationships can approximate things they encounter in their everyday lives. She will look at the impact of the intervention on students’ classroom discussions and on learning of and interest in algebra.
The Academy created the fellowship program to encourage high-caliber researchers at the postdoctoral level to pursue research projects that may improve education in the U.S. and around the world.