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Faculty News

Project Coach Co-Founders and Faculty Directors, Sam Intrator and Don Siegel, Investigate Out-Of-School Programs Helping Underserved Youth in Their New Book, The Quest for Mastery.

In The Quest for Mastery, Sam Intrator and Don Siegel investigate an emerging trend: the growth of out-of-school programs dedicated to helping underserved youth develop the personal qulaities and capacities that will help them succeed in school, college, and beyond.

Intensive programs from rowing to youth radio, from lacrosse to studio art, aim to create "communities of practice" that capture young people's interest and support them as they strive to excel.

By documenting the powerful effect out-of school programs like these can have in transforming lives, Intrator and Seigel show how young people can become engaged in meaningful and productive learning experiences.


Professor Rosetta Marantz Cohen Researches How Teachers Around the World Feel About Their Work.

Professor Rosetta Marantz Cohen has been researching how teachers around the world feel about their work, revealing surprising similarities to their American counterparts. Her quest: To redefine the way we think about and value teachers.

Despite the vital role teachers play, actual public perceptions of teaching are eroding, even in countries like Japan where the profession was once venerated. Rosetta Cohen's research, featured in a recent article in Insight, offers insights into how to encourage smart, committed professionals to pursue lifelong careers in teaching- careers in which they remain passionate about their work and they are recognized and valued.

Shannon Audley-Piotrowski, Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Child Study, Wins SAGE/STP Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award.

Shannon Audley-Piotrowski, Assistant Professor in Education and Child Study, just returned from the American Psychological Association (APA) 2013 Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Professor Audley-Piotrowski co-chaired a symposium titled, "Open Pedagogy: How Open Educational Resources Shape Pedagogy: Student Perceptions of Effectiveness." She participated in another symposium titled, Interviewing Children-- Bridging Psychological Subdisciplines Through Negotiation and presented, Child-Researcher Dialogue and Children's Justifications of Prosocial Behaviors.

Audley-Piotrowski also won the SAGE/STP (Society for the Teaching of Psychology) Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award.

Project Coach Leaders Present at The Partners in After School Education Conference in New York City

On Tuesday, July 30, Sam Intrator, Andy Wood, Don Siegel and Kayleigh Colombero presented at thePartners in After School Education Conference in New York City. The conference, which drew 400 leaders from the after school world was focused on leadership and the impact of after school programs on youth development.

The presentation was titled Making Youth Development Principles Work in Sports-Themed Programs. The presentation focused on research being done in the Project Coach out-of-school program run by Smith Faculty and students in Springfield. Project Coach is a core element of the Smith College Urban Education Initiative, a program that provides Smith students the opportunity to engag in the scholarly study of urban educational policy, reform and practice by taking classes and working in urban educational contexts.

Campus School teacher Tom Weiner presented at the Westfield State University program for teachers on July 10th. His talk was entitled: Beyond the History Textbook: Engaging Students in the Common Core Curriculum. The focus was social justice curriculum, and Tom presented several of his units including aspects of the Industrial Revolution, African American Contributors and accompanying literature studies. Westfield State has developed a terrific website that offers resources, lesson plans and suggested materials to enable teachers to implement social justice curriculum throughout the elementary years: http://visionsofliberty.net/

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, in collaboration with CREC-Soundbridge, hosted a free introductory webinar on infant hearing loss at noon EST on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. The webinar is titled From the Ears to the Brain and covered auditory perception in infants and toddlers and the development of the listening brain.

This engaging talk was presented by Janice Gatty, Ph.D. (Clarke Northampton), Barbara Hecht, Ph.D. (Clarke Boston), and Elizabeth Cole, Ed.D. (CREC Soundbridge). CART reporting (live captioning) was also available to all registrants.

The webinar is the second in Clarke’s 2012/13 Wednesday Webinar Series. The first webinar, Childhood Hearing in the 21st Century, took place on November 28, 2012 and attracted nearly 200 participants from throughout the United States and Canada. An archive of the webinar, as well as a full transcript, is available at clarkeschools.org/edresources. Future 2013 topics include Family Centered Practice for Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Loss and How Do Infants and Toddlers with Hearing Loss Learn to Listen and Talk? Visit clarkeschools.org/webinars to learn more, view the full schedule or register online.

Carol Berner, a Smith College lecturer in the Department of Education and Child Study and regional coordinator for River of Words, an environmental art and poetry project in collaboration with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, was recently featured in an article in The Greenfield Recorder. Berner collaborated with Nancy Meagher, the art teacher in the Gill Montague Public Schools on the River of Words project.

Berner conducted poetry workshops with the students in the spring to help them express in words what they had spent the school year drawing.

The poetry and images created last year have since appeared in a collection of 10 postcards and the book “A Children’s Guide to Turners Falls,” with pictures and poetry by the children accompanied by descriptions written by honors students in the University of Massachusetts art program. Bridging Communities: How Does the River Connect Us? highlights K-6 artwork and poetry from Gill-Montague and includes a description of the project.

Two current Smith College students have also been involved with the River of Words-CT River Project. Smith senior, Jacklyn Majewski, spent last fall writing place-based poetry with second graders at Montague Elementary School, as her fieldwork for the Children Learning to Read class that Berner teaches. Another Smith College senior, Abby Dornbusch, will be doing an independent study this spring on communicating environmental concepts like watershed to a broad range of audiences. Abby is student teaching in middle school math and science in Springfield this semester.

Carol Berner teaches several courses for the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College, including Children Learning to Read and The American Middle and High School. Smith students interested in working with Professor Berner on this project should contact her at cberner@smith.edu.

Rosetta Marantz Cohen, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor of Education and American Studies gave her inaugural speech, "Teaching, Prestige and the Cult of Service," on Monday, November 19 at 4:30 p.m.

Rosetta Marantz Cohen's research and writing was featured in an article about teaching in the Christian Science Monitor: Teachers who excel: A lesson from Miss Smoot

Al Rudnitsky and a team that includes Glenn Ellis from the Department of Engineering were awarded a very prestigious major National Science Foundation award that builds on their long-term work around knowledge building and narrative-based idea stories.

Project Summary: Smith College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) propose a full-scale development project designed to engage children and young teens in engineering through the use of narrative in their native digital medium. The project will apply innovative approaches to learning that are emerging from the learning sciences, including Imaginative Education and knowledge building. Together these approaches will support deep learning and address the critical need of preparing young learners to participate in the knowledge age society. Specifically, this proposal will address the unmet need of providing an engaging resource designed to improve attitudes toward engineering, provide a deeper understanding of what engineering is about, and support the development of cognitive tools and specific engineering skills.