School Psychology students are headed to the ISPA conference in the Netherlands this July

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School Psychology graduate students Laura Grizzle, Centron Felder, Erica Vaughn, Samra Sahbegovic, and Benjamin Koenig.

Five Webster School of Education graduate students will be presenting their work on advocating for school psychology, children’s rights, and mental health in Missouri at the International School Psychology Association (ISPA) conference, July 20-23 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

They will be representing their 20 co-authors, the Applied Educational Psychology and School Psychology Programs, and Webster University.

They will also be videoconferencing from Webster Leiden with Applied Educational Psychology students in Webster Groves.

Professor Debbie Stiles has asked anyone who is interested in supporting these students’ travel to visit their GoFundMe page and consider making a small contribution.

Art on Display in Webster Hall

IMG_2176Margaret Stage, a sculpture major in the Webster University art department
installed an interactive sculpture on April 26th in the second floor hallway underneath the MAT display.

As teachers we love pencil sharpeners so this is perfect for us; come by and check it out!

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Photos from Empowering Disenfranchised Learners

On Saturday, April 16th the Webster University School of Education hosted its annual conference. This year’s theme, Empowering Disenfranchised Learners, provided an incredible opportunity to shed light on the struggles of our most vulnerable students. Big thanks to all who organized, presented, or attended. We hope to see you next year!

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Keynote Speaker Dr. Jennifer Rose

Dr. Dorcas Mclaughlin's session got everyone on their feet.

Dr. Dorcas Mclaughlin’s session got everyone on their feet.

Dr. Carol Williams

Dr. Carol Williams

We are so thankful to the St. Louis area school administrators who sat in for our panel discussion.

We are so thankful to the St. Louis area school administrators who sat in for our panel discussion.

The post-conference session, organized by members of the inaugural EdD cohort provided a great discussion of what "the school of the future" should look like.

The post-conference session, organized by members of the inaugural EdD cohort provided a great discussion of what “the school of the future” should look like.

SOE explores Makerspaces

The school of education has recently embarked on developing a Makerspace for teachers in training and other educators as well as students in the St. Louis community. The project seeks to help education faculty understand how design thinking and problem solving can be taught to teachers as well as K-12 students.

In a recent series of studies, Dr. Basiyr Rodney and collaborators from the Webster Groves School District uncovered the importance of flexible learning spaces in information-age schools. In their study entitled, “School for Today” Rodney along with his colleagues John Simpson and Merlene Gilb discovered four principals of the 21st century school. Flexible learning spaces is one of these principles — alongside democratic or student-driven environments, community centeredness, and systemic adaptiveness.20160225_105945

As a further extension of this investigation, the importance and design of flexible learning spaces in the form of a School of Education Makerspace is an important development.

“Makerspaces are informal sites for creative production in art, science, and engineering where people of all ages blend digital and physical technologies to explore ideas, learn technical skills, and create new products” (Sheridan et al., 2014). Makerspaces are flexible learning spaces in which learners “develop an idea and construct it into some physical or digital form (Sheridan et al, 2014).

Modern makerspaces are housed in schools, classrooms, libraries, science centers, art museums and other spaces in which learners are able to “play” and learn. In such areas, learners can work collaboratively in small groups or as a whole class or even as individuals if a task demands.

Makerspaces center around engaging students in interdisciplinary learning with many tools that support Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) teaching. Students also use the DIY, tinkering, and computer programming culture to engage in project-based learning, problem solving, and design thinking.

These spaces are typically outfitted with technologies and materials that allow learners to engage with different ways of thinking, creativity and problem solving. Disciplined inquiry as well as unstructured problem solving with tools such as 3D printers, sewing machines, vinyl cutters, laminators and lathes is encouraged in the makerspace environment. Learners can engage with all types of materials and multiple skill areas.

Recently, students in Dr. Rodney’s EDUC 3127, Interactive Technologies have been exploring the design, development and use of Makerspaces in education. In addition to thinking about how makerspaces work, the 10 pre-service teachers are engaging with tools and activities that utilize problem solving with programming tools such as Scratch and low cost computers such as the Raspberry Pi.20160225_112215

The approach allows the students to see how they can apply creativity and innovation in supporting student learning. In their Scratch projects, teacher education students are using the makerspace resources to create digital stories that serve as models to engage k-12 learners in logical thinking, story sequence, and interactivity. They become adept at exploring design problems and creative thinking.

References
Sheridan, K., Halverson, E. R., Litts, B., Brahms, L., Jacobs-Priebe, L., & Owens, T. (2014). Learning in the making: A comparative case study of three makerspaces. Harvard Educational Review. (4), 505-531.

Profiles in Education: EdD Student Kelli Westmoreland

Today we are excited to share a Q&A with Kelli Westmoreland, a student in the EdD’s inaugural cohort. If you are considering taking the next step in your education and you want to expand your conception of learning and teaching and develop a more globally and socially conscious perspective of scholarship and leadership, we hope that her words will inspire you.

Webster University’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Transformative Learning in the Global Community is a three-year program is designed to create scholars and leaders who are equipped to train the global workforce of tomorrow.

The next information session for the EdD in Transformative Learning in the Global Community is coming up on Saturday, April 9th at 2 p.m.

More information on this session can be found on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

For more information on the EdD program visit the School of Education website, or contact Program Director and Associate Professor Mary Bevel at 314-246-7504 or drmary@bevelweb.com.

KelliWestmorelandWhat led you to choose the EdD program at Webster?
I’ve been waiting for a doctorate program at Webster for some time. Years ago I was accepted into a doctorate program at a different university. I attended for two semesters and decided to “postpone” my decision. I never felt comfortable in the classes, and the learning was not focused on application and practicality. I felt as though my ideas were being stifled and judged.

Unlike that experience, Webster is real. We take learning outside our classrooms, schools, and communities and look at what is going on around our world. We share ideas, have an abundance of respect for each other and what we do and look at education with a global lens. Webster has changed how I think and how I teach. It is a culture in itself.

What are your thoughts on transformative learning, global education, and social justice?
KelliWestmorelandQuoteIn my current job, I am working with teachers, and I get the opportunity to visit schools across the country. All students need access to positive teachers who have worked to develop a culture of respect, creativity and risk. In the future I would like to have more opportunities through teacher education to help transform ideas about learning and instruction.

I am specifically interested in how technology integration is being addressed in teacher education programs. At the Society of Philosophy and History of Education conference, I presented a paper on the integration of technology in schools. Research confirms technology is in nearly all schools, but research also shows teachers often are not integrating it with best practices.

Technology is critical for students to critique and assess the world around them. It broadens their knowledge and helps them develop compassion towards others. Technology is the tool that can globalize learning and discovery.

I would like students to be integrating technology in their learning instead of simply using technology because it is there. I want teachers to feel free to let students explore and connect. For my research, I’m interested in studying teacher education programs and looking at the different ways universities prepare teachers for integrating technology into the curriculum.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I’m grateful for the flexibility of this program. Transformative learning leads to new innovative thinking. I’m honored to be part of this inaugural class. I love that all of us have different areas of interest and study, yet our mission is the same. You can’t say that about most programs. The knowledge we are gaining from each other is invaluable, and I’m so proud to be part of this group and to say I am getting this degree at Webster University.

Webster’s Multicultural School Psychology Program acknowledged by NASP

Webster UniversityWe are very proud to announce that Webster University’s School of Education Multicultural School Psychology Program has been acknowledged by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Your can officially see our program on NASP’s website.

The Applied Educational Psychology and School Psychology programs prepare scientist-practitioners who collaborate with teachers, parents, school personnel, and community members to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth. All children and youth includes young people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, cultures, languages, geographic locations, religions, genders, and abilities.

More information can be found on our website or by emailing Dr. Deborah Stiles.

Profiles in Education: EdD Student Mary Meadows

EdD Student Mary Meadows

EdD Student Mary Meadows

Each month we have been highlighting the opportunities offered through the Webster University Doctor of Education (EdD) in Transformative Learning in the Global Community. This three-year program is designed to create scholars and leaders who are equipped to train the global workforce of tomorrow.

This month we are featuring a profile of Mary Meadows, a student in the EdD’s inaugural cohort. If you are considering taking the next step in your education and you want to expand your conception of learning and teaching and develop a more globally and socially conscious perspective of scholarship and leadership, we hope that her words will inspire you.

The first spring information session for the EdD in Transformative Learning in the Global Community is coming up this Friday, Feb. 19th at 5 p.m. More information on this session can be found on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

For more information on the EdD program visit the School of Education website, or contact Program Director and Associate Professor Mary Bevel at 314-246-7504 or drmary@bevelweb.com. 

What led you to choose the EdD program at Webster?

I have been interested in pursuing a doctorate degree for many years. As I researched various programs, both online and onsite, nothing seemed to fully engage my enthusiasm. Although I had already completed a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development and Management and a Master of Arts in Teaching/Educational Technology through Webster University, I had a strong desire to return to Webster to continue my studies. Webster, it seemed, was much like an extended family. At the time I began my search, however, Webster University did not offer a doctoral program in education, so I continued to look for a program that would support my creativity, innovation, global interests, and passion for education.

As my search continued, I once again inquired about Webster’s offerings for doctoral studies. I was elated to hear that an EdD in Transformative Learning in the Global Community would be offered. Having worked nearly two decades in a local school community within a global network, I was certain that this program was, at last, what would support my desire to truly make an impact on education — and society — from a global perspective. Further inquiries and a careful review of the program details affirmed this first impression. I am honored to be back at Webster learning from exemplary professors who invite meaningful discussion and reflection while influencing my global perspectives.

What are your thoughts on transformative learning, global education, and social justice?
Mary Meadows-2
Transformative learning engages individuals to critically reflect on their assumptions and beliefs, employing a conscious effort to initiate a new purpose, or way in which the world is viewed. Global education represents collaboration and inclusion, addressing issues in regards to social, economic, and political interdependence with an understanding and respect for the culture of others. Global efforts encourage sustainability and peace building, with social justice at the core. A favorite quote of mine emphasizing these themes comes from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

Although in the early stages of my studies, I have gained new perspectives from the valuable exposure to global issues through literature, research, conversation, reflection, and experiences. I value the collaboration of my classmates, professors, and global connections, and look forward to continued personal and professional growth. I look forward to collaborating with future students enrolled in the EdD program.