Morgridge College of Education community members had the unique opportunity to ask new University of Denver Chancellor, Dr. Rebecca Chopp, questions about higher education, inclusive excellence, technology, and community building. The video series Chatting with Chopp features Chancellor Chopp as she answers questions posed by the DU Community.

Chancellor Chopp brings a wealth of experience to DU.  Most recently, she served as the president at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. In addition to her advanced administrative roles at numerous institutions, Chancellor Chopp is a widely published author and editor. In 2013, she co-edited the book Remaking College: Innovation in the Liberal Arts. The Morgridge College of Education is excited to share our opportunity to Chat with Chopp.

Watch the video above to learn more about Chancellor Chopp’s perspective on higher education.

The University of Denver Morgridge College of Education (MCE) is screening the film TEACH by Davis Guggenheim, on Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Teach follows the struggles and triumphs of America’s education system through the eyes, minds and hearts of its most essential resource: teachers.

The film is hosted by Queen Latifah and directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, who also created the documentary, Waiting for “Superman.” Guggenheim focuses on how to develop and retain great teachers in the United States; Morgridge’s Teacher Preparation Programs (TPP) are a part of this movement. A  Morgridge Alum, Matt Johnson, is featured in the film.

The screening is being held for educators from across the Denver metropolitan area. It will also feature a special Q&A session with two of the film’s featured teachers, Matt Johnson (McGlone Elementary School-Denver) and Lindsay Chinn (MLK Early College-Denver), as well as an administrator from each school. Because we’ve had such a positive response from community members/educators, there will be a separate screening for MCE students, faculty and staff.

TEACH by Davis Guggenheim

TEACH by Davis Guggenheim

The 2014, Students of Color Reception: Celebrating a More Inclusive College was a success. Despite bitterly cold temperatures (day high of 39°, and 19° at the start of the event) the fifth annual installment of the event saw increased attendance from the past couple years, with nearly 70 guests joining Morgridge faculty, staff and a student panel. Beginning the night with delightful hors d’oeuvres, prospective students were introduced to current students and faculty to hear more about Morgridge and learning opportunities within the college. Current Higher Education Masters student, Ana Ramirez, spoke of the event saying, “It was a great opportunity to meet other individuals within the Morgridge College of Education and share my experience with prospective students.”

Guests at Morgridge Students of Color Reception

Guests at Morgridge Students of Color Reception

Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence and Associate Professor of Higher Education at Morgridge, Dr. Frank Tuitt, was the event facilitator for the evening. He spoke to the ongoing need for the college to utilize Inclusive Excellence pedagogy, in order to create equitable education opportunities for all students, specifically students of color. Dr. Tuitt then introduced a panel of current and former Morgridge students of color, to speak about their experiences as students of color on the predominantly white campus of the University of Denver. The panel spoke at length about the investment of the college’s faculty in the success of students of color, both emotionally and academically. There was much praise by the panel on the cohort model as an aid in confronting the challenges that come with being a grad student (e.g. balancing work/social life, having children, the substantial school-workload). Financial resources on campus was a topic of great interest by many of the prospective students. There was an echoed sentiment of the panels’ initial perceptions of the University of Denver being that of a private school with excessive tuition prices; upon acceptance to their respective programs and further conversations with different departments on campus, they discovered the multitude of assistantship, fellowship, and scholarship opportunities to help fund their education.

The event was impactful. Prospective and current students were able to share their stories and engage in conversations with regard to the meanings of their journeys in and through higher education.  The night culminated with panel member, Dr. T. Lee Morgan’s plea to diversify the makeup of the campus and bring voice to communities of color, “If we are going to change the diversity of DU, of Morgridge, we need you here. You have valuable experiences that no one else can bring to the table.”

Thank you to all who attended and supported the Students of Color Reception, and a special thank you to Dr. Frank Tuitt and the panel members:

  • Casey Crear, Curriculum and Instruction PhD (Current Student)
  • Dr. T. Lee Morgan, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies PhD (Alum)
  • Raquel Wright-Mair, Higher Education PhD (Current Student)
  • Ruby Lopez, Teacher Education Program MA (Alum)
  • Hazuki Tochihara, Early Childhood Special Education MA (Current Student)
  • Jamie Kawahara, Child Family and School Psychology EdS (Current Student)

Dr. Patton O. Garriott joined the Morgridge College of Education as an Assistant Professor in Counseling Psychology in 2012 after receiving his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri and completing his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center. Dr. Garriott’s work focuses on those who are underserved, underrepresented, and excluded in higher education and specific career domains. He is currently a Co-Investigator on a $1,491,909 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that will examine the persistence of women and Latinas/os in engineering. Dr. Garriott teaches several courses in the Master’s and Doctoral program in Counseling Psychology, including Multicultural Counseling, Ethics and Research seminars. He is a strong believer in mentorship and providing students with opportunities to “learn by doing.”

As the Director of the Career and Social Attitudes Lab, Dr. Garriott and his research team are working on several projects. His most recent work has focused on first-generation college students’ academic and career development as well as students of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Within the former domain, Dr. Garriott is examining predictors of first- and non-first-generation college students’ academic and life satisfaction. Given recent increases in first-generation college students’ attendance at institutions of higher education and their disproportionate non-persistence rates, this research could have implications for ensuring the success of this underserved student group. Dr. Garriott’s research in the area of STEM careers has focused on prospective first-generation college students as well as Mexican American high school and college students. The goal of this line of research is to help end the disproportionate overrepresentation of whites and males in growing occupational sectors that offer opportunities for social mobility. In addition to uncovering pathways to success for underrepresented groups, Dr. Garriott also believes in the necessity of interrogating privilege to foster social change. His research in this area has examined the efficacy of various approaches to multicultural education among white college students and explanatory mechanisms by which they work (e.g., guilt). Dr. Garriott and members of his research lab have been successful publishing their research in peer-reviewed journals as well as delivering presentations at national conferences.

In the future, Dr. Garriott plans to investigate help seeking behaviors among historically underrepresented students in higher education as well as socioeconomically distressed individuals. He continues to have an active research lab of around 10-15 Master’s and Doctoral students and welcomes student interest in research. Dr. Garriott is also working in collaboration with faculty from Higher Education and Sociology as well as the DU Center for Multicultural Excellence to qualitatively examine student perceptions of campus climate at DU. He hopes this work can have an impact at the macro level and inform institutional practices around inclusion and equity.

The Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver is hosting its annual Students of Color Reception.

We are Celebrating a More Inclusive College. The Students of Color Reception: Celebrating a More Inclusive College allows us to recognize the ways in which our students of color and faculty are working to be transformational leaders. With a highlight on the student experience, prospective students and the greater Denver Metro area community share in an opportunity to explore the Morgridge College, including accessibility of academic programs, services and financial aid.

We would love for you to join us and see some of the amazing work in which our college is involved. This is a chance for prospective students of color to engage in a welcoming atmosphere, and see how a diverse, inclusive and innovative environment drives our commitment to social justice.

For more information call: (303)871-2509 and click here to RSVP.

Also, visit our Facebook page.


If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Like many twenty-somethings fresh out of undergrad, I landed in a position that felt more like a career than not, but certainly didn’t fulfill an all-encompassing life purpose. I was simply happy to be working in a position I enjoyed, not thinking too much about the next steps in my career path. I was fortunate to develop experience as a sales manager with a large and reputable company, which would later prove to be invaluable in my career change. But, as I eventually realized that particular job was not going to lead to a place of lasting interest to me, I had to decide how I was going to use the skills I had gained to work my way toward something more fulfilling.

A part time position at a public library lead me to discover something about myself. Whether it would be in libraries or another type of organization, I knew that I needed to pursue something that felt purposeful to me.

I decided it was important to obtain a Library Information Science degree, which would provide me with a basis of knowledge for a library position. I didn’t have a great deal of experience working in libraries, and felt that this would help prepare me for the type of work I was excited to begin doing.

I applied to a handful of LIS programs, and at the top of my list was the University of Denver and Morgridge College of Education’s LIS program. I wanted to be in Colorado if possible, and I wanted a program that would offer an in-person academic experience. Networking and learning from professionals face to face was one of my priorities, and DU delivered.

I was able to learn from many different professionals working in the field locally. The in-person program provided me with a variety of hands-on, practical experiences that boosted my knowledge and local support system. I graduated with my MLIS and a job in public libraries at the end of 2 years. And, during that time, I discovered a particular interest within libraries and non-profits I wouldn’t have known existed without going through the LIS program within Morgridge.

With the many opportunities the program led to, I discovered evaluation, analysis, and assessment in libraries and non-profits. The work is an excellent match to my passion that was there before I even knew what to do with it. While completing the LIS program, I became familiar with the Research Methods and Statistics program in MCE, and it proved to be the perfect avenue to continue my studies and deepen my focus in my chosen field. I’m completing my first year in the RMS doctorate program now, while continuing to work in public libraries, which will inform my work in research to come.

The faculty in MCE have been continuously supportive and steadfast in assisting me in reaching my goals. I’m continually challenged to think about my path, the steps I’m taking to get there, and how this is fulfilling my goal and professional purpose. My time working on my graduate studies at MCE has certainly shaped me as a professional, as an individual, as well as a seeker of education. Community and education is the thread of passion that links all MCE graduate students together. I’ve discovered that, as varied as our careers and interests are, our common goal is to do meaningful work in our fields.


In the state of Colorado, licensed school psychologists are required to have an EdS or a PhD degree. Previously, an EdS in Child, Family and School Psychology was thought to be a terminal degree, but what happens when those licensed school psychologists with an EdS want to pursue further education? In 2008, Karin Dittrick-Nathan, Director of the Child, Family, and School Psychology Psychoeducational Clinic, and Gloria Miller, Professor and CFSP Program Coordinator, created a program that fit the needs of working professionals with an EdS to advance their degree to a PhD; the Pathways program in Child, Family and School Psychology was born offering an opportunity unique to MCE.

Dittrick-Nathan expresses her excitement about the program’s success: “It has been gratifying to see these individuals that have been in the field and love it so much, that they are at a point where they want to increase the contribution they are making to the field: either in research, or an administrative position in a district, or coming into academia to pass along the experience that they’ve had as practitioners.”


Through MCE’s 52 credit hour Pathways program, school psychologists with an EdS degree can get a PhD in 2-7 years, depending on full-time or part-time enrollment. Students work closely with an advisor and take a flexible array of advanced courses in child and family studies, family and systems service delivery, organizational management, research and program evaluation, and policy development that are designed to develop expertise that is matched to individual interests and proficiency.

The unique program was created for working professionals, offering a flexible class schedule and coursework plan that is individualized to put the students’ research InContext with their professional career. Each student declares a research cognate, or area of specialization, which helps to pair up MCE faculty and students with similar research interests. Research topics currently taking place in MCE’s Child, Family and School Psychology department include: learning styles for students with special needs, behavior or learning disorders, early language literacy, school and family engagement, play therapy, and bullying, among many others.

Students interested in applying for the Pathways PhD program must have graduated from a NASP program accredited within the last 7 years, and must hold a professional license as a school psychologist. Please contact MCE’s Office of Admissions for additional information and instructions on how to apply.

Question: What brings 23 educators and administrators from across Colorado together to embark on a 4-year educational journey?

Answer: A unique EdD program at MCE that helps meet Colorado’s needs in Gifted Education

A new cohort began this summer for a select group of students pursuing an EdD in Gifted Education. “We were intentional to make sure that we were including representatives from across the state”, states Norma Hafenstein, the Director of the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education and founder of the Ricks Center for Gifted Children. She goes on to explain: “As funding decreases across varying local districts, the need for advocates for Gifted Education is even greater. To have professionals with a formal doctoral level degree doing research in districts across the state will enhance gifted education and have great impact on those communities.”

Morgridge College of Education is unique in its commitment to and support of gifted education. MCE offers a full service model for gifted education, from teacher training in specialized degree programs, to the research and outreach at Institute for Gifted Education, to direct service to the community through the Ricks Center for Gifted Children.

MCE’s Gifted Education EdD program in Curriculum Studies and Leadership is unique in that the cohort is a blended model of distance education, InContextOpportunities and on-campus learning. The cohort comes together for summer classes at the University of Denver’s campus while, during the academic year, the classes are held online so that students of the cohort can maintain their professional positions in districts across the state. Classroom and online learning are applied InContext to each student’s experience and career, as students are encouraged to conduct doctoral research that implements change and solves educational issues within their practicing districts.

With support from the Bradley Foundation, Dr. Norma Hafentstein and her colleagues, Bruce Uhrmacher and Richard Kitchen, will be documenting the growth and impact of the Gifted Education Cohort and at the end of the program, they plan on publishing the collection of doctoral research projects to learn about the various topics in Gifted Education that are impacting the entire state. “We look forward to seeing the impact at the end of the program”, Hafenstein stated.

In the few months the Gifted Education Cohort has been in session, the students, ranging from those who have been teaching for a few years to several decades, are impressed with their program choice:

  • “The classes have taught me a tremendous amount of knowledge that will go with me forever;”
  • “I am eager to share what I’ve learned with my partners back in my Gifted Education offices;”
  • “Thank you for helping me realize why I am in this field and providing such a fabulous opportunity.”

Morgridge College of Education offers several EdD tracks for educators and administrators who have a Masters degree and are looking to pursue further education. Concentrations are available in Curriculum Studies and Teaching, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Higher Education. Please contact the Office of Admissions to learn more about programs and how to apply.


The Early Childhood Leadership Commission recently named new members, appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper, to their groundbreaking organization. Doug Clements, PhD, Morgridge College of Education Professor, Kennedy Chair and Executive Director of the Marsico Institute, was selected to serve as a Representative of Foundations and Non-profits on the 3-year-old committee with the mission to improve outcomes for young children ages birth to eight.

“I was delighted to be invited to join this committee, which is doing such important work for the young children of our state. Colorado is far ahead of most other states in bringing together the diverse organizations, institutions, and individuals concerned with early education and helping them combine their forces and visions to support the development and education of all young children.”

Colorado is a national leader in early childhood education and has been cited for exceptional work in the update to “From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development” sponsored by the National Research Council (of the National Academy for Science).

Colorado has established a network of 30 local early childhood councils serving 55 counties to collaboratively plan, network, develop resources and implement early childhood initiatives at the community level. The aim is to materially improve the quality of, and access to, services for young children and their families.

“I had read that update to From Neurons to Neighborhoods,” remembers Clements, “ just before our research team moved from New York state to Morgridge College of Education here at the University of Denver. I saw Colorado, in specific, mentioned as a national leader. That report and what I have seen firsthand, confirms my notion that the climate for innovative early childhood education is exceptional in here in Colorado.”

“Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma,” by Dr. Carolyn Lunsford Mears, recently won the 2013 Colorado Book Award in the anthology genre at the 22nd annual awards ceremony in Aspen. The award was given by the Colorado Humanities and Colorado Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Colorado awards recognize talented authors, editors and illustrators in the state.

Mears’ anthology is a collection of stories from people who have experienced traumatic events such as the Columbine shootings, September 11th attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. “It shows a real variety of experiences and relationships to different tragedies and different types of challenges, broadening the concept of trauma,” stated Mears. She goes on to explain, “I think it’s a book of hope, reconciliation, trials, and redemption. The contributors gave me their stories with the purpose of helping others; it is very much their experience, and I wanted their voices to be represented.”

Carolyn Mears, a Researcher, Adjunct Professor and Dissertation Advisor at Morgridge College of Education, is herself a Columbine mom whose son survived the tragic events on April 20, 1999. Her life was forever changed by the incident, sparking her desire to become knowledgeable about ways people cope with trauma and reaching out to affected individuals and communities through her books, presentations and consulting. Mears shares stories of healing to expand the base of knowledge around schools and communities that have experienced tragedy. Carolyn elaborates: “When someone experiences trauma, it becomes a part of their life story . . . who they are. Other people don’t understand what it is like, and because of what happened in my community and my research, I think I can help with that.”

Carolyn entered the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies PhD program at Morgridge College of Education specifically so she could design a course plan and an outcome that matched her passion, who she was, and what she wanted to do. Through the flexibility of the program and high quality of faculty, research and rigor, Mears conducted research for her dissertation, “Experiences of Columbine Parents: Finding a Way to Tomorrow”, winner of the 2005 AERA Qualitative Dissertation of the Year.

Through the innovative method she developed for her research, AERA recognized Carolyn’s work as having created a “distinctive qualitative approach” that brings the research to life, evoking deep understanding while addressing subjectivity and removing the researcher from the equation. “I try to be invisible,” Mears comments. In order to share her approach with others, she wrote“Interviewing for Education and Social Science Research: The Gateway Approach,” a finalist for the 2010 AERA Book of the Year Award. Carolyn Mears continued studying the aftermath of traumatic events and exploring the broader community implications, which led to publishing the award-winning anthology,“Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Reflecting on the impact of her work, Mears states: “There is a gift that can accompany the pain of trauma; it is an increased awareness for human life that resonates with all of humanity, that connects people in broadest and most personal sense, providing a deeper appreciation of how intimately connected we all are. My hope is that when people read this book, they understand more about themselves and the world we all live in, in order to help each other when the unthinkable happens.”

Mears continues to assist people affected by tragic events and speaks internationally about trauma and planning for recovery. She comments, “Schools are the place where we grow our future; when someone attacks a school, it’s an attack on our collective future.” She hopes her work will influence educators and community leaders to plan in advance for meeting the needs that accompany traumatic experience, both large-scale disasters and personal victimization. In every classroom and every school and every community in the world, there are individuals who have experienced traumatizing situations. By learning more about what this means, we can better know how to prepare and how to help.

Ken Wright has a background in education; as a physics teacher, Ken was inspired to pursue his doctorate studies at Vanderbilt. Shortly after finishing his PhD, he came to the University of Denver to work with leaders in the field of mathematics education for young learners. Over the last several months, Wright, a post doc at Morgridge College of Education, has dived into research that will likely transform the realm of mathematics in Early Childhood Education by assisting Douglas Clements and Julie Sarama in the NSF funded CREMAT research. Along with participating in powerful research, Wright recently received the honored Gordon Fellowship.

Through the CREMAT research, Wright works alongside Clements, Sarama and their colleagues to develop an adaptive test for early childhood mathematics by using statistical innovations and computer technology. This responsive test adapts to the way a child answers questions, gathering a richer set of information to build a profile about what the child conceptually understands rather than just scoring him/her on a numeric scale. The CREMAT will provide more thorough results in less time than current mathematics assessments while also giving opportunities for individualized teaching and learning to improve the areas in which the child is struggling. Wright, with others, has started gathering data for a baseline of results by administering the assessment, analyzing the assessment items and writing and rewriting the questions that are posed to a child to best determine his/her knowledge and skills. In Wright’s pilot testing, he has collected data from Fisher Early Learning Center and Cherry Creek Schools, while the team works to establish additional sites for further field testing.

Upon coming to Morgridge College of Education and working on the CREMAT project, Wright was awarded the Gordon Fellowship, which aligns distinguished scholars with mentors to further dialogue on the topic of educational assessment. “The Gordon Fellowship is an effort to bring assessment into coordination with teaching and learning, encouraging all Gordon Fellows to think as a society about how we’ve come to understand what children are learning, what they know and how they respond to it.” Wright states. Ken explains the importance of establishing proper assessments within the educational system: “It’s not an assessment unless you are taking that information and making it available to the student and the teacher in a way where both can adjust what they are doing.”

As a Gordon Fellow, Wright will use the CREMAT research experience to participate in a collaborative mentoring group, creating ongoing dialogue between the Gordon Commission’s experienced authors and an aspiring younger generation of scholars about adding new life and new ideas for improving teaching methods, assessments, and policy.

Colorado ranks 48th in the nation in college access for minorities; and even closer to home, the most recent academic research shows only 9% of ninth graders in Denver Public Schools (DPS) completed college within ten years. That’s where Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) steps in. The mission of DSF is focused on promoting college access and success for DPS students, which in turn supports the Colorado education system and Colorado’s economy.

Since its establishment in 2006, Denver Scholarship Foundation has made tremendous progress in bridging the gap between high school and college by awarding scholarships to qualifying students, offering comprehensive college advising services, and partnering with colleges to support student success. In the seven years that DSF has been active, it has awarded over $17 million in scholarships to more than 3,300 DPS graduates. Eight out of 10 DSF Scholarship recipients have completed their program or are still enrolled in college, making progress .

Denver Scholarship Foundation and Morgridge College of Education are closely connected in that they share a similar vision of college access and success. This past academic year, Danielle Sulick, Assessment and Evaluation Manager at DSF and MCE graduate, was an adjunct professor for the Higher Education program at Morgridge College of Education, teaching a class on Access and Opportunity. As part of the class, students participated in internships and volunteer opportunities to see Access and Opportunity InContext with high school students in the community. Half of Sulick’s class volunteered at DSF on both the access and success sides of the organization – working in the High School Future Centers advising students on college preparation, helping process scholarship applications in the DSF office, supporting FAFSA workshops, reminding students about important deadlines, and helping to plan DSF events among many other tasks. Ellery Kendrick, Volunteer and Alumni Relations Coordinator, explains the importance of the organization and volunteer’s efforts: “DSF is positioned as a beacon of light at the end of the educational tunnel, showing DPS students that there is an organization that will help them go to college if they work hard; showing them that it’s possible.”

The Denver Scholarship Foundation supports students to pursue all paths of higher education, Danielle Sulick elaborates: “We aim to create a commitment between the student and our organization – providing scholars the opportunity to go to college and the support to succeed within their program. We have partnered with 20 colleges across the state and have set up a support system at each institution – ranging from scholar cohorts to DSF advisors on campus – we know what our scholars need and figure out spaces where DSF and each college campus can fulfill our scholars’ needs.”

Sarah Pfeifer, an MCE student and recent intern at DSF, was encouraged by the success of the organization and its scholars: “It’s amazing how it all comes full circle – DSF scholars come back to help out with the organization. It’s such a strong way to impact incoming scholars – to see this person, who was in similar circumstances, go through school, graduate, and come back to support the organization and its systematic relationships.”

DU’s Higher Education program plans to continue to develop this community partnership with DSF, expanding service learning opportunities and tying them directly to coursework. MCE’s Ryan Evely Gildersleeve and DSF’s Danielle Sulick are leading the efforts in strengthening the relationship between the two organizations. There are also plenty of opportunities for MCE students in other academic programs to volunteer and intern at DSF. For example, DSF has opportunities for the Research Methods and Statistics students to serve as program evaluation interns – analyzing the relationships and DSF support systems at partnering Colorado colleges and universities. Community partners like Denver Scholarship Foundation provide InContext opportunities for MCE students, alumni, and community members to gain real world experiences of College Access and Opportunity and to be agents of change within our local Denver community.

“Not all teaching situations are equal,” states Kent Seidel, Associate Professor at DU’s Morgridge College of Education, “kids do the work of learning and it is the teacher’s job to understand their students, understand what they need to learn and be responsive to support their students.” Seidel has been working alongside Kathy Green, Research Methods and Statistics professor, and Derek Briggs, CU-Boulder, co-principal investigators, and 13 additional faculty and graduate research assistants on an IES (Institute of Education Sciences) funded grant to investigate the relationships among student outcomes and teachers’ Core Competencies measured with surveys of new teachers, beginning teachers, faculty in teacher preparation programs, teacher classroom observations, and review of program documents. This three-year mixed-method, state-wide study involves surveys, observations, and data from 1,200 novice 3rd-8th grade teachers and their students with a specific focus on mathematics, reading and writing.

The United States has been chasing the achievement gap for decades, trying time and time again to create equal educational opportunities and promote academic success for all students from all backgrounds. “We are hoping that our research can help bridge a lot of those gaps, to do good, meaningful research on how to help kids who aren’t doing well in the system”, Seidel affirms. Even with current improvement efforts, evaluations, and assessments in place, there are a lot of disconnects in the current education system: disconnects between districts and schools, between schools and policy-makers, between teachers and administration and sometimes between teachers and their students. Seidel explains: “It comes down to alignment – we need to be effectively supporting our teachers to be prepared for all students, whether in a context that is a classroom of gifted learners, or English Language Learners, or any specific group of kids.”

By focusing their study on the Core Competencies of novice teachers, Seidel and his colleagues’ research is rigorous in looking at a full range of program and teacher variation, where much of earlier research focused on teacher effectiveness has included a limited sampling of  teachers, often selected as “high-quality” by principal referrals. The study of novice teachers takes into account teacher preparation programs, as well as students, classrooms, and other challenges. Seidel clarifies: “We are interested in improving preparation for teachers to be ready for the kids that they will be teaching, not to see which teacher prep program is producing more effective teachers. We are looking to find what helps [teachers] be as strong and effective as possible as early as possible – to understand what is necessary to help a teacher motivate and support every kid.”

Kathy Green, co-leading the measurement, data, and statistical analysis portion of the Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching project remarked, “The entire grant, from a statistical view, is measurement – validation and how you define what helps teachers be better prepared for students. We are working as methodologists sorting through massive amounts of data, looking at where these benchmark definitions hold true and understanding the context of school and how it relates to how to measure these things.” Green adds, “This first year has been very technical, developing pilot surveys and refining them and cross-analyzing them across multiple sources. We are looking at a lovely trove of data: survey data from multiple groups, quantified document review, and observational data, linked to student achievement data.”

With more than a year and a half left in the research study, results are only in early preliminary stages. Stay tuned to see the findings of this groundbreaking research and the possible effects it will have on changing the scene of education.

Julia Blase will be participating in the Library of Congress’ National Digital Stewardship Residency to continue learning InContext and gain experiences with some of Washington D.C.’s most renown archives and collections. Blase was selected to be one of the eight residents for the 2013-2014 NDSR program.

According to the National Digital Stewardship Residency’s website, the mission is “to build a dedicated community of professionals who will advance our nation’s capabilities in managing, preserving, and making accessible the digital record of human achievement. This will enable current and future generations to fully realize the potential of digital resources now and for years to come.”

To help carry out that mission, Julia will be at the National Security Archive working on digital stewardship, performing a diagnostic of and proposing improvements to the National Security Archive’s digital asset ingestion, management, and dissemination process. Blase will also complete an intensive two-week digital stewardship immersion workshop at the Library of Congress and, throughout the year, will attend a series of guest lectures and actively participate in the collaborative education community established by the residency program. At the conclusion of the program, she will present a summary of her project to a national audience at a professional conference.

Blase commented that MCE’s assistant professor, Dr. Krystyna Matusiak was instrumental in obtaining the residency.

Barth Quenzer, Teacher Education Program graduate and DU change agent, was recently recognized for his exceptional teaching at Brown International Academy when he received the $25,000 Milken Educator Award. Barth’s passion for helping kids and active involvement in writing new art standards for Colorado contribute to the qualities that make Barth a model teacher for the state and the nation. With a natural tendency to teach and engage his classroom, Barth is impacting the way his students view and learn art.

At Brown International Academy, Quenzer has established a classroom for kindergarten through fifth grade students that isn’t just about teaching art, but teaching students to be artists.  Quenzer created a collaborative art space for his students to be artists in their specific talents, working together toward a greater vision. Barth also runs the after-school art club further elaborating on the importance of collaboration and community when it comes to understanding art.

Starting in 1985, the Milken Educator Awards were created to give educators the recognition they deserve. The Milken Educator Awards celebrate and ignite excellence in the education sector. Each year, outstanding teachers across the nation are selected to receive the Milken Educator Awards based on instructional practices, educational accomplishments, contributions to education, and inspiring classroom presence. Quenzer was one of the 40 teachers recognized nationwide this year by the Milken Family Foundation. Like many Milken Educators, Barth is and will continue to be an agent of change in reforming and strengthening K-12 education for years to come.

Among other professional achievements, Barth has also been awarded the 2012 Elementary Art Educator of the Year from the Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) and the 2009 Mile High Teacher of the Year Award. Barth has been selected to serve as Content Collaborative member by the Colorado Department of Education to develop assessment and effective teaching strategies in visual arts.

Barth was Morgridge College of Education’s featured guest for the Winter Signature Event on January 17, 2013.

Find out more about Barth and the Milken Educator awards here


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