Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Northeastern State University’s Center for Teaching & Learning will host two screenings of the documentary Waiting for Superman in early March. All those interested in the education of American students are invited to attend and join in a discussion of the issues it brings up.

NSU President Don Betz suggests that this film (and one shown last month–Race to Nowhere) would be excellent vehicles to begin a collaborative campus/community conversation about the future of education and our role in it. Thus far, he has been correct in his assessment, as the first film was well attended and has resulted in positive community conversations and collaborations.

Each event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

The first screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7th in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus.

The second screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th in the Broken Arrow Auditorium on the Broken Arrow campus.

Following the 102-minute movie, administrators and educators will join in a discussion of the realities and potential reform of contemporary education.

According to the director, Waiting for Superman is a “deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it is affecting our children.” The film has been nominated for and won numerous awards for best documentary, including the Academy Awards, Critics’ Choice, and Sundance.

For more information about Waiting for Superman, visit http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/

For more information about the NSU screenings and discussions contact Linda Summers (summerla@nsuok.edu or x6455) or Chuck Ziehr (ziehr@nsuok.edu or x2065).


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As both parent and educator, this is one documentary I think it important to see.
Here’s a link to the film’s main website, if you feel the same: Race to Nowhere.

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Thank you to the Broken Arrow community, the BA Trail Committee, and Dean Jenlink for enhancing the fitness options at NSUBA.

Groundbreakers from left to right:  Melissa Mahan, Patty Kitchen, Kris Rider, Christee Jenlink, Star O’Neal, Olaf Standley, Eric Yost, Scott Esmond.

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It’s a fact that libraries are kept cold to help preserve materials and equipment. It’s also a fact that a librarian’s job is more cognitive than physical. Given these facts, I decided to warm my core by having lunch on the courtyard of the beautiful NSUBA campus.

The image above reveals much of what I saw. Something I found interesting, which the image does not reveal, is the fact that all but one of the students I saw traveling between buildings was carrying a satchel, rather than a backpack.

Other sensory details the image does not reveal include the synthesized sounds of the fountain, highway traffic, and bell tower; the intense heat of a recently microwaved meal; the contrasting tastes of sweet pineapple and tangy vinegar; the wind-blown smell of recently mown grass.

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This research-based video suggests that lower level, rudimentary skills are monetarily motivated, and that higher level, cognitive skills are intrinsically motivated. It also suggests that when the profit motive supersedes the purpose motive, bad things can happen. Though the video focuses on the world of business, I consider it highly relevant to the world of education.

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Yesterday afternoon I traveled from NSU’s satellite campus in Broken Arrow to its main campus in Tahlequah in order to attend a webinar over faculty development and evaluation.As you can see from the map, the 61.1 mile journey (122.2 round trip) runs very near several of Northeastern Oklahoma’s beautiful lakes. Something you can not see from looking at the map are the magnificent rolling hills that surround this scenic drive, which, in combination with the lakes, offers breathtaking views such as the one below:

*Image accessed via River Dreamer’s Flickr account

The webinar was hosted by NSU’s Center for Teaching & Learning and held on the sixth floor of the W. Roger Webb Education Technology Center.

*Image author Caleb Long

Though the focus of the webinar was directed at university administration, the session offered important insight for anyone who oversees the professional development and assessment of others.

One important point the speaker addressed is that it is part of an administrator’s job to help faculty build upon the skills necessary to become and/or remain an effective member of the faculty. One of the primary ways this development can occur is through the process of “encouraging and mentoring faculty.” By openly sharing the knowledge gained through previous experience, mentors can help new faculty more quickly establish a foundation upon which to build professional skills. Mentoring also helps new faculty better understand expectations, so they are more likely to develop the skills that will help them to meet those expectations (i.e., they can’t read minds or adhere to the unclear). Various ways mentioned on how an established member of faculty can help mentor new faculty included such things as helping them to better understand their new environment through an orientation process, assisting with the setting of goals, helping them stay on track in obtaining these goals, and acting as an advocate as new faculty form relationships with those who are more seasoned. The best mentoring process, according to the speaker, is that which includes both an internal mentor, one from within the new environment, and an external mentor, one who has an expertise in the field but does not work for the same institution. Though the reasoning behind such a process was not thoroughly discussed, it was my guess that including both an insider and an outsider as mentors will help faculty to become both participant and observer of the new environment. Another method of mentoring the speaker did not discuss (until I relayed the question at the end of the presentation) was the importance of reverse mentoring.

To be continued…

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