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Issue 6 - April 2010

UNI Teacher Education News

Issue 6: April, 2010


Welcome to the sixth edition of UNI Teacher Education News - the e-newsletter for faculty, staff and students. The Office of Teacher Education in collaboration with the College of Education will produce a bi-monthly newsletter to share with campus. The purpose of the newsletter is to share information about what UNI is doing in Pre-K through 12 education and UNI's teacher education program. For more information, contact Maxine Davis, Instructional Resources and Technology Services at, or 3-3339.


Nadene Davidson

interim director of teacher education,

I want to thank all the teacher education faculty and students, alumni, mentor and cooperating teachers, field experience supervisors, department heads, deans and the provost for their cheerful and active participation in the state program review visit March 7-11. I very much appreciate the willingness of everyone to provide requested information in a timely fashion, meet with members of the review team and sacrifice class time so team members could talk with students. While the visit itself made for a very hectic week, working with all of you made everything much easier. Thank you!

I have two major projects this summer. First, the Teacher Education Website will be undergoing some long needed revisions. I would welcome any suggestions anyone has regarding how to create a truly user-friendly site that works well for faculty, students, advisors and visitors. Second, I will be developing a teacher education faculty guide which will include information related to professional sequence advising, useful contact information and directions and suggestions for filing a notification of concern. I would very much like to hear from faculty regarding what information they think would be most helpful to have at the click of a mouse or touch pad. All suggestions for either the website or the faculty guide are welcome, and should be sent to me at this e-mail address:


U.S. Department of Education awards $9 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant to state of Iowa

The U.S. Department of Education announced the Iowa Department of Education, in partnership with UNI, Stanford University and UCLA is one of 12 organizations to receive a more than $9 million Teacher Quality Partnership grant, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The purpose of Iowa's Teacher Quality Partnership is to reform traditional university teacher preparation and improve learning and achievement in high-need schools. Distinct components of the grant include the use of innovation and technology in Iowa's classrooms and UNI's educator preparation program. UNI teacher preparation students will be able to gain more hands-on learning experiences in various rural high-needs classrooms in Iowa through online technology such as video conferencing. To view the news release, visit

NIACC and UNI Announce Early Childhood Education Articulation Agreement

UNI and NIACC have created an articulation agreement for students to earn an Associate of Arts degree in early childhood education at NIACC, and transfer seamlessly to earn their Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education at UNI. For more information, visit

Technology Education Program

The Technology Education program at UNI continues to evolve and align more closely with engineering as a result of several factors including the National Academy of Engineering's strong involvement with technology education, business interests and a strong emphasis at the state and national level on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These initiatives call for some important curricular changes and an increase in mathematics and science content for pre-service technology teacher education. The strong emergence of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in Iowa high schools has also raised the profile of engineering in grades seven through 12. A PLTW Pre-service Teacher Preparation Curriculum Project is underway in UNI's Technology Education program, designed to compliment current PLTW training programs offered through the Colleges of Engineering at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. UNI's pre-service technology education and physical science education graduates will be trained to teach PLTW courses. For more information, contact Doug Hotek, associate professor in industrial technology at

Iowa Mathematics & Science Education Partnership - UNI ITeach Program

The UNI ITeach program, funded by the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP), is playing a positive role in recruiting more students to math and science teaching careers. Although it's too soon to have statistical data attesting to the success of this program, there are more students declaring mathematics or science teaching majors. Some students completing the one-credit hour seminar have committed to science and mathematics teaching majors. In addition to the seminar, 52 UNI ITeach scholarships have been awarded to UNI students pursuing degrees in mathematics or science teaching. This is the second part of ITeach's focus -- to retain teachers in these fields. The ITeach program also allows students an opportunity for summer or academic year internships. Todd, a student who completed the UNI ITeach program said, "I thought that the [seminar] did a great job. Â… I had the idea that I wanted to teach but wasn't really sure. My advisor at orientation told me to take the class and it was a great decision. You can go to a lot of different classes and they will sit down and lecture on HOW to teach, but I don't think any classes will teach you WHY to teach....The class helped me decide I want to pursue a career as a math teacher."

Christian Educators Network at UNI (CEN@UNI)

Christian Educators Network at UNI equips, encourages and empowers future Christian teachers for jobs in public and private schools. The group meets monthly to discuss a wide variety of topics, including the legal rights of Christians in the classroom and questions about the teaching profession. For more information, contact Jenny Nelson at

Special Needs Research

Katie Stevenson and Joy Taylor, graduate students along with faculty members Donna Raschke and Frank Kohler in special education, have conducted research on an audio device called the B-calm and its effects on the attentional behaviors of two preschool children who are differently-abled. The device was created by a local dentist and showed promising results for the attentional behaviors of young children with special needs. For more information, contact Donna Raschke at

UNI Professor Discusses School Consolidation

Tim Gilson, assistant professor of educational leadership, counseling & postsecondary education, was interviewed by the Dubuque Telegraph Herald about current research done by UNI faculty on school consolidation and students' academic achievement. To view the article, visit


PLS Earns ASCD Award

In March, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) named Price Laboratory School (PLS) the winner of the association's first-ever Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. The award recognizes schools that move beyond a narrow focus on academic achievement to take action for the whole child, creating learners who are knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically active, artistically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency and ready for the world beyond formal schooling. For more information about PLS's award and remarks at the annual ASCD conference, listen to the podcast at or visit the website at

PLS Instructor Participates in Congressional Hearing in Washington, D.C.

Clare Struck, instructor at PLS participated in a Congressional hearing on April 22 for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Schools Education Act (ESEA)/No Child Left Behind. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) will be promoting PLS's participation in the hearing as a result of the recent ASCD award.

PLS develops lessons plans for Iowa Core Curriculum

PLS has been developing lesson plan units for the Iowa Core Curriculum. Lyn Countryman, professor of science education and a professor at PLS, and Nadene Davidson, interim head and assistant professor of teaching, worked with Iowa Public Television at PLS to develop a health literacy unit on nutrition. Countryman was awarded 2nd prize for this unit (out of 700 national entries) in the 2010 PBS Teachers Innovator awards. Video is available on YouTube at:


Hot Topics in Education

Leigh Zeitz presented "Innovating Education," on Wednesday, April 14, at the Hot Topics in Education series. He discussed 21st century learning and how to build collaborative learning environments in and out of the classroom through technology. Guests learned how innovation is expanding educational opportunities.  To listen to Zeitz's presentation visit
For more information about his presentation and work, visit

Elementary Literacy and Reading Conference

The 42nd Annual Elementary Literacy Conference & Reading Recovery Conference formerly known as the Beginning Reading Conference was held on Thursday and Friday, April 22-23. For more information, visit


May 13-14
Global Forum for Physical Education Pedagogy 2010 (GoFPEP 2010)

More than 70 educators, health professionals, administrators and policy makers from 30 countries -- representing 64 universities, institutions, organizations and schools will attend the first-ever in the U.S. international health and physical education global forum hosted by UNI and Grundy Center Community schools. Participants will discuss reform in health and physical education programs for K-12 students. For more information, visit

May 23-25
STEM in Early Education and Development Conference

More than 50 of the nation's top early childhood education scholars and professionals will attend this conference hosted by the Center for Early Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CEESTEM). For more information, contact Betty Zan, director of the Center for Early Developmental Education, at or 3-2101.

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Last Updated: April 20, 2010