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 Advocacy, Challenges, and the Public Good November 6 & 7, 2017

Breakout Sessions

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Breakout Sessions #1 (9:10-10:10 a.m., Tuesday, November 7)


1C1. Students with an EDGE: Community Partnerships that Support All Learners
Dr. Jill Janes, Director of Innovative Learning, Boone CSD; Kris Byam, Principal, Boone High School

Type: Conversations/Dialogues
Strand: Community Engagement & Partnerships
Room: Oak Room

Today’s pK-12 students are preparing for a future workplace that is being written while they inhabit our classrooms. Educators, employers, and policymakers each have a stake in creating a global-ready workforce, yet each entity alone cannot effectively reach all learners. This session highlights an exemplar model for pK-12 work-based learning that engages all stakeholders in ongoing development of community- and industry-relevant learning experiences. The model encourages community-based career awareness and exploration in elementary grades with more advanced preparation and training in high school. A continuum of structure for accessing work-based learning experiences at the high school provides a culminating learning opportunity that meets all learning needs and prepares students for postsecondary plans. Session participants will engage in reflective dialogue with a panel representing the exemplar model and consider how to put a similar model into practice in their own context.


1D1. Exploring Implicit Bias in Education: Making Sense Together of Research and Practice
Circe Stumbo, President, West Wind Education Policy Inc.; Ellen Daye Owens, Senior Leadership Facilitator, West Wind Education Policy Inc.

Type: Conversations/Dialogues
Strand: Diversity & Cultural Competence
Room: Presidential Room

School districts across Iowa have been experiencing racial disparities in the rates that students are referred to special education, in discipline referrals, in academic achievement, and in the ways students experience school culture and climate. A relatively new understanding of an underlying cause of these historic and persistent disparities is “implicit bias.” We will organize a discussion about the potential that implicit biases impact two core factors of schooling: (1) discipline and (2) achievement. We will briefly share research on implicit bias overall and in each of these areas, stopping to engage in small-group dialogue throughout. We will close by very briefly offering insights into ways to overcome implicit bias individually and throughout organizations.


1D2. Measuring Students’ Perspectives: Implications for Principals in Leading Racially Diverse Schools
Elisabeth Avila Luevanos, Doctoral Student; Dr. Jean Madsen, Professor; Dr. Wen Luo, Associate Professor; Dr. Mario Torres, Associate Professor; Jose Anthony Luevanos, Doctoral Student; and Siqi Chen, Doctoral Student, all from Texas A&M University

Type: Paper
Strand: Diversity & Cultural Competence
Room: Elm Room

Schools are becoming more racially and culturally diverse. Due to changing demographics, how do we know if leaders and teachers are adapting to the diverse needs of students? This research highlights students’ voices and the powerful role they play in measuring teachers’ and leaders’ practices for school inclusion. Using an exploratory student survey, students were surveyed regarding their perspectives on their principals’ and teachers’ abilities to lead a school with changing demographics.


1P1. Google Technology as Inclusive Practice for the Universally Designed Classroom
Patti Bahr, Director, Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER); Dr. Christina Curran, Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa; Sarah Lalk, Tech Services Coordinator, AEA 267; Lea Ann Peschong, Consultant, AEA 267

Type: Conversations/Dialogues
Strand: Personalized & Blended Learning
Room: University Room

Universal design for learning (UDL) is recognized as a best-practice framework in designing instruction for all students. Incorporating technology options in UDL enhances the flexibility of learning experiences, providing personalization as well as inclusive educational opportunities. Schools and districts are increasingly adopting and refining technology practices such as blended and flipped learning, 1:1 technology and BYOD programs. This session will review the guidelines of UDL and how Google extensions, apps, and add-ons used in the classroom can include students of all learning abilities. Our objectives are to apply the three principles of UDL to school and classroom technology policies and practices; identify and evaluate Google tools that support inclusive reading, writing and organization; and connect and discuss classroom applications of Google technology tools supporting personalized and inclusive learning across the classroom and community. Opportunity for dialogue on participant technology innovations, solutions and issues for universal design and personalized learning will be featured.


1S1. Social Emotional Learning – Taking the Challenge Out of Challenging Behaviors
Therese Jurgensen, Director of Student Services & Special Education, Howard-Winneshiek CSD

Type: Conversations/Dialogues
Strand: Social-Emotional Learning
Room: State College Room

We are created for relationships. Diagnosed or undiagnosed, children with Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning Challenges are some of the most misunderstood and often lonely students in schools today. Many educators and even parents do not understand what to do to support these children who do not do well in the current public school system. In February 2017, the Iowa Department of Education wrote an article featuring Howard-Winneshiek’s systems approach to implementing Social Emotional Learning strategies district-wide. Terese Jurgensen will share tools she created for this systems approach, which assesses cognitive skills and social-emotional learning supports. This data outlines how to write individual learning plans for students with challenging behaviors. The Conversation/Dialogue will outline schoolwide strategies and supports for students that are closing the social, emotional, behavioral and communication gaps that prevent students from realizing their true potential and, most importantly, the relationships they are created for.


Breakout Sessions #2 (10:20-11:20 a.m., Tuesday, November 7)


2C1. The Equity Implemented Partnership: A Research-Practice Collaboration in an Iowa School District
Dr. Sarah Bruch, Director, Social and Education Policy Research Program, University of Iowa Public Policy Center; Kingsley Botchway, Director of Equity and Engagement, Iowa City CSD

Type: Paper
Strand: Community Engagement & Partnerships
Room: Oak Room

The Equity Implemented Partnership leverages both the expertise of social science and education policy research at a university, and the practitioner knowledge and expertise found in the District and its schools, to more effectively address persistent inequities in the District. The key focus of the Partnership is student experiences of school climate. The Equity Implemented Partnership uses annual student climate surveys as needs assessments to inform equity programming and policies. Throughout the Partnership, the team has produced three key area policy briefs, convened a task force, collected data from students and teachers, and evaluated equity programming. The Partnership’s goal of achieving equity in student experiences is also aligned with the District’s goals and interest in focusing on student experiences of school climate as a crucial factor impacting student outcomes, and in creating responsible, socially- and civically-competent citizens.


2D1. “You Can Be a Bridge”: Toward Cultural Citizenship in Elementary Classrooms
Dr. Noreen Naseem Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University

Type: Paper
Strand: Diversity & Cultural Competence
Room: Presidential Room

This paper examines how three Asian American elementary teachers' pedagogical decisions regarding the teaching of Asian American history were influenced by their understandings of citizenship and reveals how broader understandings of citizenship can result in more inclusive cultural citizenship education. The theoretical frame of Asian Critical Race Theory (AsianCrit) was essential to this examination as it centered the Asian American experience in the teachers' decision-making processes, asserting the significance of their common identity as Asian Americans in spite of their personal and professional differences. Through their work, the teachers (re)defined what it meant to be Asian American, to be American (citizen), and ultimately enacted cultural citizenship education, which disrupted traditional and normative examples of civic agents and civic action, as they presented their students with Asian American counternarratives. The paper concludes with practical applications of cultural citizenship education for inservice and preservice social studies educators and teacher educators.


2S1. Re-Framing Master Narratives of Dis/ability Through an Emotion Lens: Sophia Cruz’s LD Story at her Intersections
Dr. David Hernandez-Saca, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa

Type: Paper
Strand: Social-Emotional Learning
Room: Elm Room

Learning disabilities (LD) researchers have produced a knowledge base about the academic side of LD. A gap exists concerning the experiences of individuals with LD, particularly their feeling-meaning-making about having LD. Based on a three-year qualitative study using critical ethnographic methods, I center Sophia Cruz's experiences with LD and the label. Sophia experienced the hegemony of smartness and disability micro-aggressions and voiced the idea that LD is a complex multifaceted construct. I discuss implications for the LD field. In addition, I provide tools for participants to improve their ability to work with historically marginalized team members and populations such as students with dis/abilities at their intersections.


2X1. UNI Teacher Preparation: Iowa Principals’ Perceptions
Dr. Victoria Robinson, Associate Vice President for Educator Preparation, University of Northern Iowa; Dr. Mary Losch, Director, Center for Social and Behavioral Research, University of Northern Iowa

Type: Paper
Strand: General/Cross-Strand
Room: State College Room

In Fall 2015, UNI researchers, teacher educators and College of Education leaders met to design an in-depth interview process to help teacher educators better understand what Iowa principals believe is important for teachers to know, be able to do and be like. This study is an example of how educators in pK-12 settings and higher education are looking for ways to support relationships between educators at all levels. The results of this study provide a variety of principals’ current thoughts about what should be important features of teacher education programs. Seven major themes emerged: Pedagogy­­­­­; Content Knowledge; Relationships; Classroom Management; Collaboration; Communication; and Increased Exposure to Classrooms. Seven secondary themes also emerged: Knowledge of Standards-Based Grading; Assessment and Application to Learning; Use of Data; Application of Educational Technology; Personal Passion; Adaptability; and Professionalism.


Breakout Sessions #3 (1:10-2:10 p.m., Tuesday, November 7)


3C1. The Role of Community Support in Navigating the Superintendency for African American Women
Dr. Francemise Kingsberry, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Type: Paper
Strand: Community Engagement & Partnerships
Room: Oak Room

African American women are underrepresented in the superintendency (Angel, Killacky, & Johnson, 2013; Bynum & Young, 2015; Grogan, 2014; Kowalski, McCord, Petersen, Young, & Ellerson, 2011; Liang, Sottile, & Peters, 2016; Robicheau & Krull, 2016). In their journeys, they face barriers such as discrimination based on race and gender, negative stereotypes, and a lack of opportunity (Angel et al., 2013; Grogan, 2014; Kowalski et al., 2011; Liang et al., 2016). This phenomenological study (Glesne, 1999; Moustakas, 1994; van Manen, 1990) examines the barriers experienced by four African American women superintendents in a Southern state as well as the resiliency (Henderson & Milstein, 2003) strategies they employed to overcome the challenges they encountered en route to and within the superintendency. The purpose of this discourse is to highlight the role community support plays in the success of these superintendents to fill a gap in extant research.


3D1. Empathy Mapping: A Method for Facilitating Hispanic Parents’ Voices
J. Anthony Luevanos, Doctoral Student; Elisabeth Avila Luevanos, Doctoral Student; Dr. Jean Madsen, Professor; Dr. Wen Luo, Associate Professor; Dr. Mario Torres, Associate Professor; and S. Lucy Chen, Doctoral Student, all from Texas A&M University

Type: Paper
Strand: Diversity & Cultural Competence
Room: Presidential Room

As new ESSA policies affect the parent-family contingency of public schools, how campus and district-level administrators interact with parents and families becomes a critical public school experience. Administrators may fare better by understanding the added-value factors in working with parent populations; thus, how to connect with families more effectively becomes the issue for schools. Principals’ capacity to garner trust and understand parents’ needs is an active endeavor in moving the needle for school achievement. This paper examines how leaders can use empathy maps as a vehicle for communicating parents’ concerns to both teachers and leaders. This study’s purpose was to explore whether Empathy Mapping (EM) is a useful approach in planning for school-to-home communication toward creating a cohesive climate by establishing the value and nature of communication by using empathy. This study indicates EM is viable for building parent capacity in predominantly Hispanic school communities.


3P1. Personalizing Professional Development
Andrea Stewart, Education Consultant, Mississippi Bend AEA; Jen Sigrist, Director of Personalized Learning and Innovation, Van Meter CSD

Type: Conversation/Dialogue
Strand: Personalized & Blended Learning
Room: University Room

At the end of year four of the Iowa Competency-based Education (CBE) Collaborative, Collaborative members sought evidence of the impact of our collective experiences on shifts in teacher practices toward a personalized, competency-based system. Simultaneously, newer members of the Collaborative sought to understand initial steps one could take as well as steps taken to continue growth and implementation of CBE practices. These driving factors led a group of Collaborative members to create a CBE Innovation Configuration (IC) Map to show the change in practices that teachers and districts might take as they personalize learning in a competency-based system. Two leaders of the work, Andrea Stewart and Jen Sigrist, will break down the components of the CBE IC Map and discuss how it can be used to guide professional learning in local districts, AEAs, or higher education in ways that mirror the personalized learning environments we want for all learners.


3S1. Building Resilience in Students Using a Trauma-Informed Lens: Results of a Pilot Study
Dr. Carol Klose Smith, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Iowa; Dr. Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa; Janis Powers, Doctoral Student, University of Iowa

Type: Paper
Strand: Social-Emotional Learning
Room: State College Room

Approximately 25-66% percent of all children are likely to experience some type of significant adversity during their childhood. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can impact students’ lives in the short-term and have the potential to alter their developmental trajectories. Experiencing trauma has been correlated with lower academic performance, decreases in emotional regulation, higher school absences and increases in violence toward self and others. This presentation will focus on the results of a pilot study conducted in Iowa. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected at five elementary schools and three control schools during one academic year. As compared to the control schools, the schools receiving the We Can! intervention experienced significant increases in teachers’ understanding of students’ behavior from a trauma-informed lens, increased teacher self-efficacy for classroom intervention to promote resilience, and improvements in culture and climate (e.g., staff collegiality and worker satisfaction) throughout the school year. Implications will be discussed.


3S2. Filling the Gap for English Language Learning from Underrepresented Language Students (ELL-UL)
Milan M’Enesti, Doctoral Candidate, University of Oregon

Type: Paper
Strand: Social-Emotional Learning
Room: Elm Room

Multicultural K-12 education in the U.S. is facing more cultural competence challenges. Even though, in the last decade, there is an increase of bicultural programs in public schools, a population of students coming from immigrated families are invisible to such programs: English Language Learners from locally Underrepresented Languages (ELL-UL). These students cannot be part of bilingual programs because there are not funds allocated for hiring bilingual teachers to cover a small number of students. Research shows that ELL students have either a high dropout rate or unsuccessful academic performance: ELL-ULs are the underserved part of this population of students. This paper first describes the special situation the ELL-UL students in the U.S. public education: low self-esteem, stressed cultural pride, unhealthy affective commitment, etc. Secondly, I propose solutions to create a healthy transition to American language and culture that can improve their academic achievement.

The Education Summit is possible thanks to the generous support of the Richard O. Jacobson COE Strategic Program Endowment, which is administered through the UNI Foundation.