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Convo 2018 Click Game Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our $750 Convo 2019 Stipend Winner, Emily Janssen! and to the (10) winners of $20 off an order from the KDP Store:

Kaylee Davis, Ashley Meenen, Emily Fishbeck, Anna Wetherell, Bailey Riley, Leana Malinowsky, Nicolette Broda, Caroline Baron, Lynn Nagle, and Tina Manus.

Keep an eye out for next year’s challenges and prizes at #KDPconvo19, October 24–26, 2019 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Norfolk, VA! See you there!

Thanks for playing!

 

But It’s Only a Theory! A Case for Great Science Teaching in Elementary School

Today’s blogger is Lauren Madden, an Associate Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at The College of New Jersey, whose recently published article Teaching Science Is a Sacred Art” appears in the special issue of The Educational Forum on educator activism in politically polarized times. In that article, she argues for enhancing elementary science and offers tools to help teachers in this process.

So often, when the public or political sphere engages in debate about scientific ideas, “it’s only a theory!” becomes a popular refrain from those denying the existence of evolution, the pattern of climate change, or the efficacy of vaccines.

Once the term theory is mentioned, somehow an enormous body of visual, mathematical, and practical evidence gets equated to a guess as to which Kardashian sibling might be pregnant.

As a result, the public begins to question the expertise of actual scientific experts, and science becomes politicized.

Well, so what is a theory? In science, a theory “is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing” (Ghose, 2013). Some theories that are not [yet] controversial include cell theory, or the idea that all living things are made of cells, and the theory of heliocentrism, the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. These are not simply guesses—they are critical ideas that explain the way in which our world works. Knowing what theories are, along with other aspects of the nature of science, is essential for unpacking political debates about science and necessary for building a scientifically literate citizenry. And this process must start with the youngest students at the elementary years.

Then where do we start? In a recent essay in a special issue of The Education Forum dedicated to educational activism, I outlined a broader argument for enhancing elementary science teaching and offered tools to aid teachers in this process (Madden, 2018). One such tool is Lederman’s (2014) guest editorial in Science and Children, which provides straightforward suggestions for elementary teachers to help their students better understand what science is (and isn’t).

Teachers do not need to be experts on everything, but they do need to know what makes science science and how to help students learn to be good consumers of scientific information.

For teachers looking for tools specific to science topics that have become controversial, KDP offers some excellent ideas. For example, the UNESCO guidelines for teaching about climate change can be found at KDP’s climate education resource center.

Teachers are sometimes seen as change agents, but at a simpler level than that, teachers are knowledge agents. Elementary teachers hold the key to helping future generations understand the scientific process and navigate a highly politicized world. And perhaps in the future, we can look forward to eye rolls at the misuse of terms like “theory.”

What strategies do you use to help students unpack politicized nonscientific information?

Leave your ideas in the comments, and let’s work together to build a scientifically knowledgeable populace.

KDP is proud to partner with Routledge to share an essay from the special issue of The Educational Forum with the education community. Access the article at Taylor and Francis Online, free through September 30, 2018.

 

References

Ghouse, T. (2013). “Just a theory”: 7 misused science words. Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/just-a-theory-7-misused-science-words

Lederman, N. (2014). Nature of science and its fundamental importance to the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards. Science and Children, 52(1), 8–10. doi:10.2505/4/sc14_052_01_8

Madden, L. (2018) Teaching science is a sacred act. The Educational Forum, 82(3), 303–308, doi:10.1080/00131725.2018.1458360

Proudly Announcing the 2017-2018 Award Winners

These awards honor individuals and chapters for their significant contributions to Kappa Delta Pi and the education world.

This year’s pool of winners include chapters with inventive and impactful programming, dedicated counselors and officers who are leaving an incredible legacy for their respective chapters, and chapters who serve their institutions well through their overall actions to support the education community both on and off campus. Thank you to all who applied for your thoughtful entries!

Winners will be recognized at Convo 2018 and throughout the KDP Chapter webpages, blogs, and chapter highlights.

Chapter Program Awards

The Program Awards recognize chapters for demonstrating excellence in one of six program areas: service, professional development, fundraising, membership, education for sustainability and communication.

Professional Development

Kean University — Professional Development Workshop: Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning with Practicing Educators
Lindenwood University —Teacher Tips
Mercyhurst University — Teaching and Learning Expo
Rowan University — Mindfulness in the Classroom
Seton Hall University — Praxis Prep!
Shepherd University — Literacy Leaders Conference
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte — Teacher Toolbox Tuesdays
University of Rhode Island — KDP Career Fair Spring 2018

Membership

Nova Southeastern University — Membership Initiation – Virtual Ceremony
Stevenson University — KDP Family
University of Nebraska at Kearney — DESIGNING THE FUTURE: Building & Growing Our Legacy

Community Service

Governors State University — Hashtag Lunchbag
Indiana Wesleyan University — Books: The Gift That Opens Minds
Middlesex County College— Hands of Hope Fall Harvest Festival
Rowan University — Annual Pajama Party
University of North Texas — Teach Denton Mentorship

Education for Sustainability

Seton Hall University — ELLs in the Mainstream: A Toolkit for Pre-Service Teachers
Governors State University — Education for Sustainability: A Political Action Event

Fundraising

Kean University – Yankee Candle Fundraiser
Liberty University — Concessions Nights
Stevenson University — 20th Anniversary Celebration Raffle Baskets
University of Rhode Island — URI School of Education T-Shirt Fundraiser

Communications

Purdue University Ft. Wayne — Communication Plan to Promote Rho Kappa Chapter
Shepherd University — Kappa Delta Pi – Delta Psi Facebook Page

Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award recognizes those chapters that have taken significant action to improve their overall level of effectiveness in chapter management and programming.

Alpha Zeta Xi Chapter – Reinhardt University

Distinguished Chapter Officer Award

The Distinguished Chapter Officer Award honors current or immediate-past officers who set positive examples for their chapters by representing the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi.

Alexandra Schrunk, — Membership Chair, University of North Texas
Caitlyn Murphy — President, Kean University
Cassandra Marques-Leach — President, University of Rhode Island
Grace Kibe — President, University of Memphis
Hannah Gaston — President, Liberty University
Jessica Thompson — Treasurer, University of Central Florida
Miranda Rachel Spina — President, Camden County College
Paige Millirons — President, University of South Florida
Yasmeen Anis — President, Flagler College

Regional Chapter Counselor Award

The Chapter Counselors achieving this award are leaders who represent the mission and ideals of KDP and who have achieved excellence in the role of Counselor.

MidwestDr. Susan Beesley, Marian University, Indianapolis
NortheastLeana R. Malinowsky, Kean University
Southeast Dr. Sandra Trotman, Nova Southeastern University
WestDr. Jeanne Tunks & Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez-Carriedo, University of North Texas
Community College/OnlineMrs. Jennifer Souza, American Public University

Dr. Victoria Tusken Becomes KDP Executive Council President

(July 1, 2018, Indianapolis, IN) – Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) is proud to welcome the newly elected 2018–2020 Executive Council President. Dr. Victoria Tusken will lead the Executive Council in realizing the strategic goals of the Society and developing a vision for the organization’s next 3 to 5 years that allows it to be of maximum service to teachers and the teaching profession. The Executive Council will work in partnership with KDP Executive Director Faye Snodgress, as well as Snodgress’ successor.

“All of us, who have a role in education,” shared Tusken, “bear the responsibility to equip today’s students with the necessary skills to become participating citizens of an increasingly global 21st century. To that end, Kappa Delta Pi remains committed to supporting quality teacher preparation and programs, to retaining quality teachers in the classroom, and to advocating for equity and global sustainability for all.”

Effective now through June 2020, the KDP Executive Council includes the following leaders:

Victoria Tusken (DeKalb Community Unit School District #428), President

Elizabeth Elliott (Florida Gulf Coast University), President-Elect

Peggy Moch (Valdosta State University), Immediate Past-President

Rose Cardarelli (Eagle Development, LLC), Member

Peggy Marciniec (University of Wisconsin–Platteville), Member

Barbara B. Meyer (Illinois State University), Member

Shannon L. Rice (Jefferson Central School), Member

Suellen Reed (Indiana Department of Education, retired), Member

Christine Sleeter (California State University–Monterey Bay), Laureate Representative

David C. Berliner (Arizona State University), Advisory Member

Ali Jafari (CourseNetworking), Advisory Member

Tusken was first elected to the Executive Council in February 2014 to serve a 2-year term as the Professional Representative, a position that no longer exists on this leadership board. In February 2016, she was elected to the Executive Council to serve as the President-Elect for the 2018–2020 biennium.

To learn more about the leadership of Kappa Delta Pi, please visit our website at http://www.kdp.org/aboutkdp/index.php.

Important Announcement from KDP

Dear KDP Member,

As an ardent believer in the power of education to effect positive change in the world, having a job that allows me to serve teachers—those who make that change possible—is a dream come true.

However, after 17 wonderful years, the time has come for me to step aside. I will be relinquishing my position as Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi at the end of December 2018.

I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such dedicated and hard-working staff, volunteers, and board members who share my belief that there is no profession as important as teaching. In our role of serving and supporting you—members of the KDP community—we celebrate your successes and share your concerns and challenges.

Over the years, I developed many special and supportive friendships for which I am most grateful. It is because of so many of you who have served as volunteers and leaders, who have taken on projects and so generously shared your expertise, that KDP and I have been successful in serving educators and contributing to the teaching profession.

As I reflect on my tenure with the Society, I’m pleased that we have been able to offer financial support to our practicing professionals through our Classroom Teacher Grants; have grown internationally, which has served to enrich the KDP community; have become an NGO of the United Nations, which has allowed KDP to be a leader in sustainable education; and have increased our professional support of all educators, including a soon-to-be-announced professional development program. None of these things would have happened without the commitment and hard work of so many people, both members and staff.

Some of you may be familiar with my “Faye-isms,” which have become part of the Headquarters culture. These are phrases I frequently use in discussions about members and the development of resources and services. I would like to conclude this note with a few as a reminder of what drives the work we do.

“People join people, not organizations.”
This has been true from the day Kappa Delta Pi was founded in 1911. In one way or another, people want to connect with others and for professionals, it is the best way to improve our practice.

“Never assume you know what members need.”
There is a lot of talk in the media and in politics about what teachers want and need in order to be successful; and often education reforms fail because actual teachers were never consulted. We strive to keep educators involved in all decisions made regarding membership benefits, events, and programs.

“When it comes to service, kill them with kindness.”
It’s 2018. The reality is that our lives are over-programmed; we are all busier than we ever imagined. We have made it a priority to design positive experiences from the first day of KDP membership.

While it will be difficult to leave, I deeply appreciate having had the honor and privilege to serve you—you who make the difference in the lives of our youth every single day. I will miss you, but I am excited about KDP’s future and the many new opportunities that are on the horizon. I look forward to seeing a new leader advancing KDP’s important mission to the next level.

Sincerely,

Faye Snodgress
Executive Director

Kappa Delta Pi and CourseNetworking Team Up to Support New Teachers

(INDIANAPOLIS)—Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, is partnering with CourseNetworking (CN), an innovative Indianapolis-based technology company in education, to draw on the Society’s rich legacy of high standards and excellence to support the professional growth and retention of new teachers.

Beginning teachers have high turnover rates that cost schools billions of dollars each year. One effective way to combat the revolving door of teachers and its negative effects on schools and students is to offer new teachers professional development. Dr. Richard Ingersoll, a prominent researcher and member of KDP’s esteemed Laureate Chapter, shared, “Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of those that go into teaching are gone within 5 years.” KDP is perfectly positioned to address the needs of beginning teachers, as the organization has a presence on the campuses of more than 650 institutions nationwide, helping to graduate nearly 10,000 education students into the profession each year.

Beginning in fall 2018, KDP will offer new opportunities for educators to expand their knowledge and skills through online learning as well as to establish a permanent eportfolio. A selection of courses, which will be both affordable and convenient, will help teachers develop competencies that can be applied immediately in their classrooms. After successfully proving their competencies in each course, teachers will earn micro-credentials in the form of official badges, and have an opportunity to earn certificates they can use as proof of their skills, as continuing education, and as evidence of these accomplishments on their eportfolio. Among the initial topics for P–12 teachers will be areas that KDP research has identified to be the most challenging for new teachers. The majority of the course offerings will be asynchronous, with learner engagement both independently and within an online community.

“CN is very excited to work with KDP in implementing the most advanced new-age learning environment, the CN Learning Suite,” shared Dr. Ali Jafari, CN Chairman and CEO. “The CN LMS provides easy access to new KDP certification and badge-based courses while the CN Social Network connects KDP members globally to network and collaborate. The CN ePortfolio offers a lifelong professional cyber image for all KDP members. With this collaboration, we can change the way scholarly societies network and conduct continued professional development.”

KDP President-Elect Dr. Victoria Tusken, who has worked in education for 30 years—including 4 as a Secondary Curriculum Coordinator in Illinois—believes that KDP has an opportunity to be at the forefront of ongoing professional growth for teachers. “To think about micro-credentialing in terms of steps toward mastering specific skills is just good professional development,” said Tusken. “The typical professional development never sticks. Practitioners need ownership of their professional development, and the ‘one-size-fits-all’ format often pushed down from districts proves to be viewed by practitioners as a waste of their time. But, to provide short courses around specific topics and competencies has a deep impact and a lasting value for practitioners.”

Though the initial offerings will be geared toward practicing P–12 educators, KDP plans to leverage its innovative model to address all three major focus areas of the Society’s current strategic vision, which are to (1) Recruit qualified candidates into the profession, (2) Support and enhance quality preparation of teachers, and (3) Retain effective teachers—particularly in high needs areas.

The projected timeline will make the courses and eportfolio available to KDP members and other educators prior to the Society’s 52nd Convocation, to be held in Indianapolis, IN from Wednesday, October 31 through Saturday, November 3, 2018. This year’s Convocation, themed ”Designing the Future,” will feature a cutting-edge experience where all attendees of all generations and experience levels not only gain knowledge and strategies, but also collaborate to design a future that is sustainable, equitable, and promising for ALL learners.

For more information about the eportfolio, please visit http://www.thecn.com/eportfolio, and for more information about KDP, please visit http://www.kdp.org. You can view the official press release here.

About Kappa Delta Pi
Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. As a professional membership association and international honor society in education, KDP provides programs, services, and resources to its member educators to support and enhance their professional growth—all in an effort to advance quality education for all and to inspire teachers to prepare all learners for future challenges. With more than 650 active chapters and nearly 40,000 active members, the organization has seen great accomplishments and milestones in its 107-year history and is looking forward to a future where all children receive a quality education.

About CourseNetworking, LLC
CourseNetworking (CN) has a unique, next-generation technology solution for the education Industry supported by many years of thinking and research invested prior to the commercialization of the product. Built on a global education platform, the CN Suite offers a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS), Social Portfolio, Global Academic Social Network, and Badging, as well as other social collaboration functionalities to transform teaching and learning. The CN was built to ensure that teaching and learning opportunities are available for everyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, through the web or the mobile app. The CN also provides a full turnkey solution for system implementation in institutions. The CN is the fourth major research and entrepreneurial project of the IUPUI CyberLab. The CourseNetworking LLC was created by a capital investment from Indiana University and Ali Jafari in 2011.

Celebrating the Life and Leadership of Dr. Frank E. Marsh

Faye Snodgress is Executive Director of Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Frank Marsh

With a very heavy heart, I share news of the death of Dr. Frank E. Marsh, Professor Emeritus of Northeastern University, and a truly outstanding and dedicated leader of Kappa Delta Pi International for nearly 7 decades. Inducted into KDP’s Beta Beta Chapter at The University of New Hampshire in 1949, his service goes back far enough that he had opportunities to meet the founders of KDP and often shared interesting stories about KDP in the early years.

It is fitting at his passing to acknowledge his many significant contributions to the Society. There is no one who matched his sustained effort in leadership excellence. He captured the spirit of KDP in all the work he accomplished in his professional life as a teacher, coach, university professor, and Dean. He personified the ideals of the Society.

When we reflect on his legacy, there are many significant firsts associated with his term as President of the Society (1972–1974), many of which are still in place today, such as offering regional one-day conferences for members, training of new Chapter Counselors at Headquarters, holding student forums at Convocation, and establishing the Educational Foundation, where he served as Board Chair for 18 years. During his tenure as leader, the Foundation raised millions of dollars, resulting in increased scholarships, awards to teachers, national conference sponsorships, and the completion of a fundraising campaign to purchase a new headquarters’ facility in Indianapolis.

Dr. Richard Judd (L) with Dr. Frank Marsh (C)

“Frank was the one who nominated me for President. A true leader in all respects. As Frank’s leaf dies and drops from sight, other substances of his abundant life will take their place. His place remains, and in spirit remains very, very present with us. As theologian Karl Rahner has said, ‘Every person is a person of eternity, and not just noble spirits of memory.’ All who knew Frank knew that we had been invited to a special table of life that was anything but ordinary, if not quite extraordinary. We realize that sharing his life and our participation with Frank came as a gift, not a given. We are all thankful for the opportunity we had to be part of Frank’s life—his world of the mind, family, colleagues, friends, and conviviality.” –Richard Judd, Former KDP President

In addition to his service as the Chair of the Educational Foundation, his leadership benefited the Society through his service as the Academic Editor of the Kappa Delta Pi Record from 1996 through 2001, on multiple Convocation Planning Committees, on the President’s Advisory Committee, and as the founding counselor of the Kappa Zeta Chapter at Northeastern University. A constant in all of his leadership roles was his ability to provide the vision and initiatives for improvements in these organizations.

He always provided steadfast support of the Society, the staff, and all educators in its community. His consistently positive and gracious disposition set him apart and served to make him a special mentor, coach, and beloved leader.

Honoring his significant and longtime contribution of service to Kappa Delta Pi, he was inducted in 2015 as a member of the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Chapter—one of the highest recognitions bestowed by the Society.

In addition to Frank’s sustained service and leadership in KDP, what impressed me most is that every conversation I ever had with Frank, he was always positive and hopeful of the great things that lie ahead. He definitely had a “glass half full” disposition . . . a most gracious and kind man. May he rest in peace.