Associate Professor Doris Luft Baker collaborated with The Dallas Morning News on workshops to inform a group of Spanish-speaking parents about early childhood development and learn to disseminate the information on social media.
Luft Baker studied the groups over the duration of the workshops and concludes the mothers who attended the workshops significantly increased their early childhood knowledge, and children whose mothers attended the workshops significantly increased their Spanish expressive vocabulary.
However, Luft Baker did not find significant effects of the workshops on parental technology knowledge and literacy knowledge. Her article is featured in the Bilingual Research Journal.
Child Care Associates (CCA), a significant Fort Worth nonprofit supporting the development of children from zero to five years of age, honored Simmons’ Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at its second annual luncheon, October 16.
CORE received the North Texas Early Childhood Leadership Award for improving children’s educational outcomes by helping establish research-based quality standards in classrooms, and by measuring outcomes accurately. CORE also was cited for engaging fully with its partners.
“Early education is a bright spot for education for those investing in education and innovation,” says CCA’s CEO Kara Waddell. “CCA created the award in 2018 to spotlight individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in advancing outcomes for young children.”
The early childhood organization also recognized philanthropist Happy Baggett, who has raised the visibility of early education as a key economic development factor in place-based planning.
Simmons Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller joins SMU Lyle’s Assistant Professor Corey Clark, also deputy director of research at Guildhall, and Associate Professor Eric Larson to research teaching computer science and computational thinking through the popular video game, Minecraft.
With a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, they will examine the fields of game design, human-computer interaction, machine learning, curriculum design, and education assessment by integrating STEM+C (computing) based curriculum directly into Minecraft.
Ketterlin Geller is engaged in research and scholarship focused on supporting all students in mathematics education through application of instructional leadership principles and practices.
Associate Professor Annie Wilhelm and fellow researchers from North Carolina State received a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a four-year study of elementary and middle school mathematics instructional practice to respond to the growing needs of students who historically have been underserved in mathematics classes.
The project, Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI), seeks to move the conversation beyond ambitious instruction and take initial steps towards specifying and measuring practices to support students in gaining access and more equitably participating in mathematics classes.
The goal is to provide foundational knowledge for improving mathematics teaching and learning, and address the critical need for research that directly links instructional practices to student achievement and participation.
The Simmons School welcomes two new faculty members and administrators, Anthony Petrosino, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and Tim Jacobbe, Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning.
Petrosino served most recently as an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where he co-founded the nationally recognized UTeach program for teacher preparation in STEM.
He is a recipient of more than $17M in research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the McDonnell Foundation. He currently has two active NSF funded projects. Petrosino is a learning scientist whose research focuses on scientific and mathematical reasoning in the context of experimentation, data modeling, and the development of expertise in STEM related fields.
Jacobbe, formerly an associate professor at the University of Florida’s College of Education, focuses his research on statistics and mathematics education. He assesses statistical concepts and the development of resources impacting the way teachers and undergraduate students learn content.
His contributions to statistics education were recognized by the American Statistical Association when they named him a Fellow for outstanding contributions to the field in 2016.
Both he and Petrosino will work on the development of the new West Dallas STEM school, which is planned in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District, Toyota and Simmons.
Associate Professor Doris Luft Baker, director of Simmons’ Master of Bilingual Education program, and co-director of the school’s Ph.D. program, has been selected for a Fulbright award to conduct research in Chile. She will set up a norming study to provide researchers and practitioners with a better understanding of reading trajectories in beginning reading.
Luft Baker also will be able to screen and monitor Chilean students who may be at risk for learning disabilities. There have been no formative assessments in Chile to screen and monitor the reading progress of students from kindergarten to the third grade.
Her host institution is the Universidad Católica del Maule, and she begins her research in Chile, March 2020.
Alexandra Pavlakis, assistant professor in Education Policy and Leadership, researches the effects of homelessness on students, so when APM Reports decided to do a documentary on children who get uprooted from schools repeatedly, Pavlakis was consulted.
Her insights on the increasing population of homeless students are featured in “Students on the Move: Keeping uprooted kids in school.” The documentary was distributed to 300 public radio stations, including KERA 90.1 in North Texas. The station aired the documentary August 18, 2019.
Candace Walkington, associate professor in Teaching and Learning, conducts research on how students can learn mathematics when the subject is connected to their interests outside the classroom.
Writing for InsideSources.com, Walkington gives examples of how to teach the abstract concepts of math by appealing to students’ career aspirations, physical movements, their surroundings and community, the creation of math problems, and other activities.
Walkington recently received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the White House. Read more about her work here.
Dominique Baker, assistant professor of Education Policy and Leadership, has done the first study looking at debt-to-income ratio for Texas public university graduates. Her research, published in AERA Open, covered students who started college between 2004 and 2008.
College students with a bachelor’s degree had, on average, student loan debts that equaled 74 percent of what they earned in their first-year wages. This is higher than the 60 percent threshold the state calls for in its 60x30TX strategic plan.
The plan challenges public colleges and universities to increase completion of undergraduate programs in shorter periods of time, as well as efforts to keep undergraduate student debt at or below 60 percent of first-year wages by 2030. Read more.
In a Chronicle of Higher Education article on the trend of shorter terms for presidents at colleges and universities, Associate Professor Michael Harris reflects on his research looking at college presidents turnover between 1988 and 2016.
He believes there is less reluctance to make quick changes at the top because there is an increase of corporate power brokers on boards, system offices, and in legislatures. A resulting consequence of short terms is that underlying causes don’t get examined. Read more.