Pathways to Success Podcast Highlights Dean Knight’s Mission for Simmons

In an interview for Pathways to Success, a podcast hosted by Julian Placino, Dean Stephanie Knight discusses her passion for education and what led her to the top administration post at SMU Simmons.

For her, investing in public schools is important, and her commitment to urban schools made her explore what could be possible in Dallas.

During her first year on the job, she was able to forge a partnership with the Dallas Independent School District and Toyota USA Foundation to develop a K-8th grade STEM-focused school  in West Dallas. Listen to her story here.


Luft Baker Publishes Book on Second Language Acquisition

Associate Professor Doris Luft Baker serves as editor of Second Language Acquisition: Methods, Perspectives and Challenges, an up-to-date review of the complexities of languages found in teaching mathematics, science and social studies.

According to the introduction, each chapter provides a synthesis of the research on one of the topics and offers implications for practice and research.

Baker also included work by another Simmons faculty member, Candace Walkington, and former faculty member, Karla del Rosal. Additionally, Baker co-wrote a chapter with two of her Ph.D. students, Paul Polanco and Anthony Sparks.

Series on Integrating Berkeley Schools Features Richards’ Expertise

Meredith Richards, assistant professor of Education Policy and Leadership, provides her expertise in public school segregation for a new, three-part series, Beyond the Buses, by published Berkeleyside.

Her  2012 study and reflections about Berkeley’s integration plans are highlighted in the first article. Read here.

Richards Offers Cautionary Note on Districts of Innovation

Districts of innovation, which give public school systems more flexibility with policies, don’t require the public’s approval. Consequently, Assistant Professor Meredith Richards says community members may be not be aware of potential changes, such as waivers to teacher certification and class sizes.

For more on her study and observations, read her commentary in the Texas Tribune.

Forbes Article Outlines Walkington’s Approach to Algebra Research in NSF Grant

For Associate Professor Candace Walkington in Simmons, it is important to connect algebra to 21st-century jobs so students can develop an affinity for math. A $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation supports her approach. To read Forbes’ coverage of her inquiry, click here.

Associate Professor Candace Walkington

Hernandez Examines Adolescent Perceptions of Student-Teacher Sexual Relationships

In his study of how adolescents perceive  sexual relationships between students and teachers, Professor Frank Hernandez  sees that ages in a relationship influence judgments of impropriety.

Data reflects that relationships between older students (18 vs. 14 or 16) and younger teachers (21 vs 30 or 40) are less likely to be perceived as wrong and less likely to be reported. But when the power differential between students and teachers was greater, the situations were discerned as more wrong.

Results were published recently in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. Hernandez and co-authors, Jonathon McPheters and Jamie Hughes, received funding for the study from the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility at SMU.