News and notes for Fall 2018 Learning Connections

News and Notes

Video game encourages students to discover, experience history

After collaborating with educators and students from across the state, Wisconsin Public T›elevision (WPT) Education and the Field Day Lab released a new online video game, “Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case,” that encourages students to experience history as they discover it for themselves.

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case video game“Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case,” set in and around the Wisconsin State Capitol, assists educators in teaching history while engaging students as “history detectives” to immerse them in the action. It is a tool for students to engage in critical thinking and historical inquiry.

The game, which is free, was launched in October with the help of a cohort of teachers and students from around the state. The Field Day Lab is an educational game developer within UW–Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, which is housed within the School of Education.

To address Wisconsin Academic Standards for grades three through five in social studies, English language arts and information and technology literacy, players use detective skills to solve mysteries about real artifacts from Wisconsin’s history and use evidence to prove their discoveries. As the plot unfolds, players discover primary source materials. Then, like real historians, players engage in investigation, identification, corroboration and contextualization of evidence with their primary sources. To win each challenge, players must summarize the evidence and argue their case.

Teachers involved in the game’s creation have praised the ways that both the design process and the finished product have inspired their students.

“The experience of having a window into the game production process has been incredible for my students,” says Mike Scoville, a K–12 library media specialist with Door County’s Gibraltar Area School District. “As we play-tested each version, we saw how WPT and Field Day incorporated students’ suggestions into the game.”

To learn more or to play the game, visit this Field Day Lab website:

Elizabeth Larson, Paul Chryst, William Hoyt and Nick FrostHoyt, Larson guest coaches
for Badgers’ game at Camp Randall

School of Education faculty members William Hoyt and Elizabeth Larson served as guest coaches during the Badger football team’s game against Brigham Young University at Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 15.

Hoyt is a professor with the Department of Counseling Psychology and is the School’s associate dean for health areas, while Larson is an associate professor with the Department of Kinesiology’s occupational therapy program.

Both were given this opportunity due to their efforts to support student-athletes on campus.

Hoyt and Larson toured the Fetzer Center for student-athletes, watched the football team practice Sept. 14 and met with UW football coach Paul Chryst after practice.

On game day Sept. 15, they were invited to a brunch with recruits, got to watch warmups on the field, followed the team back out onto the field prior to kickoff and watched the first quarter on the sidelines before heading into the stands.

Joining Hoyt as a guest was Nick Frost, a new faculty member with the Department of Counseling Psychology.

After 75 years, OT program building on tradition of excellence

OT 75th Welcome event with Brittany Travers, Michael and Carla Austin, Ruth Benedict and Bucky BadgerUW–Madison’s occupational therapy (OT) program — which is housed within the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and is recognized as one of the best in the nation — celebrated its 75th anniversary with a series of events Sept. 13-15 on campus.

There was a welcome party at the Memorial Union’s Tripp Commons on Thursday night, Sept. 13, followed by a research symposium, the 39th annual Caroline Thompson Lecture and an alumni banquet on Friday, Sept. 14. The festivities wrapped up with a brunch and

trip to Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 15, to watch the Badger football team play BYU.

“We are not simply celebrating a program’s longevity,” said School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “The exceptional research, scholarship and instruction that have kept our university’s OT program at the forefront of its field for decades are both impressive and worthy of this wonderful occasion.”

In all, nearly 300 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the OT program took part in the various events.

“This program enjoyed a great deal of success in its first 75 years — and we are excited to build from that strong foundation to bolster the university’s tradition of excellence and educate occupational therapists who will promote the health and well-being of our state, our nation and the global community for years to come,” says UW–Madison’s Ruth Benedict, a professor and director of the OT program.

Center for Research on Early Childhood Education launches

Early childhood education is a well-studied field.

However, Beth Graue, the Sorenson Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and a former kindergarten teacher, realized something was missing. She decided a new type of research initiative was needed — one that grounds its work in the practical wisdom of classroom teaching.

On Oct. 24, the Center for Research on Early Childhood Education, also known by the acronym CRECE (Spanish for “it grows” and pronounced “cray-say”), launched as the latest research project at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) within the School of Education.

CRECE logo“The new center will increase equal educational opportunities for young children, their families and their teachers through high-quality research-to-practice in very particular ways,” explains Graue, CRECE’s director. “We want to speak with practice, rather than over practice.”

Specifically, the new center will support cross-disciplinary research, critical policy analyses, high-impact teacher education, professional development for current and next- generation early childhood education researchers, and outreach to the early childhood community.

Amy Claessens, a newly hired associate professor with the Department of Educational Policy Studies and the Gulbrandsen Distinguished Chair in Early Childhood Education, is partnering with Graue to lead the new center. Claessens brings a rich skillset in advocacy and lobbying for early childhood education policy, and has extensive experience as a researcher working directly with teachers, families and home-based childcare providers.

“It is a great opportunity for me to be part of building something in early childhood education from the ground up that will be really important on campus, in the community and in the state,” says Claessens, who worked previously at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

These two high-profile researchers envision CRECE as a national center that will attract researchers, faculty, students, educators, policymakers and the community surrounding early childhood education to WCER.

Jackson, Hillman receive major honors form ASHE

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in October announced its annual award winners leading up to the organization’s 2018 conference, and two faculty members with the School of Education received significant recognition.

Jackson and HillmanJerlando Jackson was awarded the CEP Mildred García Award for Exemplary Scholarship (Senior), while Nicholas Hillman was recognized with the CPPHE Excellence in Public Policy in Higher Education (Individual) Award.

The 43rd annual ASHE Conference was held in Tampa, Florida, with the awards ceremony taking place on Friday evening, Nov. 16.

Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and is chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He also is director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). Jackson’s central research interest is organizational science in higher education, with a special interest in hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity and workplace discrimination. He also has a portfolio of research focused on interventions designed to broaden participation for underrepresented groups in the scientific workforce.

Hillman is an associate professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Much of Hillman’s research centers on the topic of educational equity and looking at ways to give more people a fair shot at both accessing, and succeeding in, college. Hillman inspects these issues through a financial lens, examining how states distribute their funds, including where they decide to locate colleges and universities. On the federal side, he also studies the funding of higher education, mainly as it relates to student loan and grant programs.

Around the School . . .

12 new faculty hires at School's annual welcome back event• The School of Education is hiring 18 talented new faculty members during the 2018-19 academic year, with 13 arriving on campus for the fall semester. The 18 new faculty hires marks one of the largest jumps in faculty since the School’s founding in 1930. ​Here (pictured at left) are 12 new faculty members who were able to attend the School’s annual welcome back event on Aug. 31. They are (left-to-right): Yeohyun Ahn, assistant professor, Art Department; Tomiko Jones, assistant professor, Art Department; Katie Eklund, assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychology; Amy Claessens, associate professor and Gulbrandsen Chair, Department of Educational Policy Studies; Malachy Bishop, professor and Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Chair, Department of Re- habilitation Psychology and Special Education; Colleen Conroy, assistant professor, Department of Theatre and Drama; Nickolas Frost, assistant professor, Department of Counseling Psychology; Sarah Short, assistant professor, Department of Educational Psychology; Simon Goldberg, assistant professor, Department of Coun- seling Psychology; Susan Andreae, assistant professor, Department of Kinesiology; Stephen Kilgus, associate professor, Department of Educational Psychology; and Zhe (Gigi) An, assistant professor, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. 

• The National Science Foundation (NSF) in July selected Robert Mathieu, the director of the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, as an inaugural member of the STEM Education Advisory Panel. Mathieu, who also is the Albert E. Whitford Professor of Astronomy at UW–Madison and the associate dean for research in the School of Education, started his first term on the national panel immediately and could serve up to three years.

David Kaplan will be spending two weeks in January as a visiting researcher at the Luxembourg Institute for Social and Economic Research (LISER). Kaplan is the Patricia Busk Professor of Quantitative Methods with the School’s No. 1-ranked Department of Educational Psychology. During his time at LISER, Kaplan will be presenting his recent work on Bayesian approaches to estimating country-level trajectories in educational outcomes and collaborating on multiple LISER-based projects.

• Tom Popkewitz delivered a keynote speech at the European Educational Research Association’s annual conference in Bolzano, Italy, in September. Popkewitz is a professor with the No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction. His research focuses on the systems of reason that govern curriculum reforms, the sciences of education and teacher education. His keynote was titled, “The Paradox of Research: The Good Intentions of Inclusion that Excludes and Abjects."

Craig Albers was named in September by the Society for the Study of School Psychology as the 11th editor of the Journal of School Psychology (JSP). Albers is an associate professor with the Department of Educational Psychology, where he is director of the school psychology program. Albers will begin his term as editor-elect in January of 2019 and he will serve as editor from January 2020 through the end of 2024.

• Rich Halverson was named the School of Education’s new associate dean for innovation, outreach and partnerships, a position he started Aug. 1. Halverson is a professor with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and the director of the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Network (The Network) within the School of Education. In his new role, Halverson is leading plans to expand the School’s current office of Education Outreach and Partnerships into a larger, more comprehensive unit.

• The School of Education filled two key leadership positions for its new Teacher Education Center, which is set to launch later in the 2018-19 academic year. Kimber Wilkerson, a professor with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, was named the faculty director of the center and started her new position on July 1. Samantha Baruah is filling the role of associate director, a post she started on Aug. 6 after arriving from Michigan State University. The new Teacher Education Center will support research, policy work and innovation in teacher education, as well as in the School’s mission-driven PK–12 educator preparation programs.

• Christina Klawitter started in September as the School’s new associate dean for student academic affairs. She is an alumnus of the School of Education and had served the past seven years as dean of students at Beloit College.

• In late October, a “Women Take the Polls” art project (see photos below), which was designed to encourage people to vote, covered light poles on and around Bascom Hill with colorful “yarn bomb cozies.” This non-partisan act of “craftivism” was the idea of artists Kelly Parks Snider and Chele Isaac, who earned her master of fine arts degree from the School of Education’s Art Department in 2008. The project’s sponsors included the Art Department, the Arts + Literature Laboratory, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Arts in Action, and BLINK! Madison Arts Commission.

I vote because photos

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