80 Years of The Educational Forum: Educational Research During Tumultuous Times

alan-amtzisToday’s blogger is Dr. Alan Amtzis, academic editor of The Educational Forum. He is Director of the Master of Education in Instruction Program at The College of New Jersey.            

This year marks the 80th anniversary of The Educational Forum.

forumtitle2Out of curiosity, I returned to the first issue of The Educational Forum to see how we began and what educational research looked like in November 1936 as the planet perched on the brink of encroaching war, struggling against both worldwide depression and growing fascist threat.

Our first issue contained 10 articles, and not one author’s name was familiar to me now in 2016. That issue also included an editorial, a poem, and 20 pages of book reviews. The only reviewed book I’d ever heard of was Gone With the Wind—a book whose popularity is legendary, but whose contribution to educational research and practice rather eludes me.

As one of the academic editors of The Educational Forum, I admit to some pride about the direction that KDP and my coeditors (Tabitha Dell’Angelo and Ryan Flessner) have given to the journal.

In addition to theme issues on aesthetic education, sexuality and gender identity, and global citizenship, we have also offered guest-edited issues by such senior scholars as Michael Apple (“The Politics of Educational Reforms,” 2016), Pedro Noguera (“Racial Inequality and Education,” forthcoming in 2017), and Ana María Villegas (“Linguistically Diverse Classrooms,” forthcoming in 2018). In addition, we’ve published a wide array of research developed by emerging scholars, many of whom are still in their pre-tenure phase.

This combined range of experience and perspective offers our readers a substantial complement of the ideas that are important to users of educational research, as evidenced by the fact that many of our most cited articles have been published within the past 6 years.

Still, I can’t help wondering if these issues and names will be known to readers 80 years from now.

It’s an interesting and even challenging time right now to be the editor of an educational journal.

In fact, it’s an interesting and challenging time to be an educator.

Here at the close of 2016, we face what many feel is a pivotal moment in U.S. and world history, with challenges ahead we can only guess at. For me, this moment raises questions about the ability of educational research to not only reflect the interests of our readers, but also to influence and contribute to the world of education…and the world beyond the classroom.

Are there opportunities for our work at The Educational Forum to inform and even influence policy? Can we withstand the current storm to publish work that will be of interest to a new generation of educators?

Of course, these questions are difficult, at best, to answer and the outcomes may be impossible to predict, but the changes around us may prompt us to envision a kind of educational activism as part of our mission—one that might help the journal endure another 80 years.

 

#GivingTuesday: Let’s Listen and Use Our Imagination!

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Let’s Listen and Use Our Imagination!”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Dana Roffe. She teaches Pre-K and has 6 years of teaching experience.

Application for Funding:

All students should be given the opportunity to learn how to read in their own unique way. As of now, I am able to provide a reading center, but having listening center equipment would provide another form of reading. As educators, we know that students learn in different ways. By having a listening center, students are able to know where to go to listen to various stories. This would provide another outlet for students to hear a story differently rather than a teacher reading the story or if they try to read the story themselves. Having a listening center would reinforce a story and allow the students to think about how he/she can relate to the story.

Many of the students are hungry and only receive food at school. Many of the students speak another language (Spanish, Vietnamese, Creole, and French). I have a few students with Individual Education Program/Plan (IEP) in the classroom as well. Many of the students live in apartments and do not own many new items. In my classroom, I only received $150 for two classes, which is not enough money to support the students.

How the $150 would be spent:

The $150 grant will be spent on the listening center equipment called Ready-To-Go Listening Center for 4 from Lakeshore. The listening center equipment cost $129 without tax. Maryland tax is $7.74 and the shipping is 19.35 in 7-10 business days. The total is $156.09.

I would pay the difference as I really want the listening center equipment. I would not be able to get the listening center equipment otherwise without the help of Kappa Delta classroom teacher grant, as I do not have that much money for my classroom.

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!

#GivingTuesday: Designers-R-Us

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Designers-R-Us”, a Classroom Project by Elsie Morris. She teaches 9th – 12th grades at Joplin High School and has 14 years of teaching experience.

Application for Funding:

Designers-R-Us is a hands-on apparel design project for high school students currently enrolled in Fashion Design I & II classes at Joplin High School. It provides basic and advanced methods of creating wearable apparel and accessories designed and created by the students. It integrates knowledge, skills, and practices required for careers in textiles and apparels, as specified by National Association of State Administrators of Family Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS).

Five years ago, Joplin High School was decimated by an F-5 tornado. Although the building has been rebuilt, classroom materials, supplies and sewing machines have not been adequately replaced. The lack of needed fabrics and sewing notions has limited the abilities of students to reach their highest potential when learning and applying Fashion Design and Construction techniques. By providing needed fabrics and notions, my Fashion Design students will be able to not only practice, put to perfect their craft. This will allow them to demonstrate skills needed to produce, alter, or repair fashion, apparel, and textile products.

How the $150 would be spent:

If I am selected to receive a KDP grant, I will purchase basic sewing supplies for students to use in the classroom.  Items include fabric, needles and thread, pins, water soluble fabric markers, thimbles, pin cushions, and hem tape.  Each of these supplies will enable students to learn their proper functions in fashion design, and will allow students to have real-world experience with items not currently supplied for our coursework.

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!

#GivingTuesday: Multicultural Literature

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Multicultural Literature”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Elizabeth Exo. She teaches 2nd grade and has 4 years of teaching experience.

image_exo-elizabeth-1Application for Funding:

As a bilingual educator, I am constantly looking for ways to give my bilingual students enriching, multicultural experiences with literature. My students come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, where literacy is not always a daily part of their home life. Thus, in school I make it my mission to give them the best opportunities to read high quality, multicultural literature. Additionally, as a bilingual educator, I often find it difficult to find enough Spanish literature at an affordable price.

How the $150 would be spent:

I will spend the $150 on high quality, multicultural children’s literature to be used in the classroom library.

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!

#GivingTuesday: Technology for Talented 3rd Graders

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Technology for Talented 3rd Graders”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Stephanie Cancglin. She teaches 3rd grade and has 3 years of teaching experience.

image_cancglin-stephanie-1Application for Funding:

Students will use these Chromebooks to amplify our learning by infusing it with technology at many points throughout our school day. For example, students will utilize Google Classroom to gather group research, collaborate across projects and peer edit writing. Students will use the Chromebooks to create visuals for data collection, improve our literacy skills by reading online articles, and enhance their skills at composing writing responses on the computer.

image_cancglin-stephanie-2My students are expected to take the PARCC test at the end of 3rd grade. On this test, students must read passages and stories on the screen. Then, students must compose articulate written responses to their reading. These Chromebooks will allow my students to practice these imperative skills all year long.

How the $150 would be spent:

The $150 grant would be used to purchase one Lenovo IdeaPad. This chromebook, plus the donation through DonorsChoose, will be the driving force needed for my goal of a 1:1 device to student ratio to be reached in my 3rd grade classroom. The grant will allow my students to become successful in the 21st century.

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!

#GivingTuesday: Chemical Manipulatives Models

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Chemical Manipulatives Models”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Arthur Scott. He teaches 10th – 12th grade and has 1 year of teaching experience.

Application for Funding:

image_scott-arthur-1I teach in a Title I school in Memphis TN. I teach 5 classes of chemistry and 1 of physics for about 160 students total. My kids do not learn the material by rote memory or looking at white board notes. My students learn by tactile and visual simulation to capture the concepts. I teach from a cognitive constructivist approach. I require them to learn the concepts rather than random facts. Some of the most important tools that I use in this approach are models and manipulatives. I can 3D draw these on my smartboard to meet the visual approach of my students but if I had models that my students could handle it would meet the tactile needs of my students. I find it difficult to teach the molecular concept to my students without these types of manipulatives.

How the $150 would be spent:

I will deposit these funds into my school account and generate a School PO from Flinn Scientific to order the models.

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!

#GivingTuesday: Fidgets and Wiggle Seats to Assist Students with ADHD & Anxiety

Help KDP fund a Classroom Teacher Grant for “Fidgets and Wiggle Seats to Assist Students with ADHD & Anxiety”, a Classroom Manipulatives project by Sarah Pence. She teaches 4th grade and has 5 years of teaching experience.

Application for Funding:

image_pence-sarah-1This grant would allow me to purchase more fidgets and a wiggle seat for my classroom. I currently have one seat like this in my class and the kids love it! It allows them to wiggle and rock in their seat while they focus in on their learning.

I have 11 students who deal with ADHD (hyperactive or inattentive types), general inattentiveness, or anxiety. Have an extra wiggle seat (Hokki Stool) available to share among the students would allow more students to have seating that meets their need to be active. Also, having more than the 4 fidgets I currently have will give children choice in what tool may help them keep their hands busy but brain alert, or what may help them relax and reduce stress or anxiety in the classroom.

How the $150 would be spent:

image_pence-sarah-2I will spend $124 on the Hokki Stool (purchased from Amazon.com). The remaining $26 will be used to purchase fidgets such as putty, stress balls, and chewy pencil toppers to help students with ADHD and anxiety; I have several students who chew on their shirts or pencils when they are nervous or anxious. It will be a healthier outlet for them to use the fidgets to combat stress and keep their hands or mouths busy in a safe way. (See https://www.therapyshoppe.com/category/1051-fidget-toys-calming-fidgets-stress-sensory-balls-quiet-focus-toys for an example of the types of fidgets I will buy.)

Learn more about KDP Classroom Teacher Grants.

Read about our #GivingTuesday campaign. Every dollar given to KDP through Tuesday will go directly into the hands of an educator.

Donate today!