Mobile, AL 36688-0002
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, University of South Alabama, 1983
Ph.D., Early Childhood Education, Florida State University, 1988
Brookfield’s (1990) statement on the pedagogical purpose of teaching clearly reflects my own. As a teacher with experience working with learners from four-years-old through adulthood, I believe that teaching is about making a positive difference in the lives of others. As teacher educators, we have the additional responsibility and reward of knowing that our influence has the potential to reach beyond our own students as they become teachers themselves. It has become common practice to ask myself the evaluative question posed by Brookfield, “What effect am I having on students and their learning?” as I continually reflect on my own teaching methods and its impact on students in my classes.
Constructivist learning theory dictates my own approach to teaching and is a dominant theory presented in classes. Students take part in learning activities similar to those that they will be teaching. For example, when learning about the writing process, students take part in a mini-writing workshop in which they personally move through the stages of writing from generating topics to sharing a finished piece with an audience. In doing so, they are “constructing” their own understanding of what it means to be a writer. They also serve as mentors to student-writers and teach the writing process to one or more students. Through these assignments, they understand how to implement writing workshop because they have seen it modeled and been an active participant.
Constructivist learning theory contributes to the philosophy that teaching others how to learn is our ultimate goal as educators. Students of all ages should be equipped to investigate a range of topics using a variety of methods so that learning becomes a continuous and satisfying endeavor. In this era of high stakes testing and documentation of standards, it is important to maintain focus on the authentic meaning of learning.
Outreach also includes serving on various committees at the University, College, and Departmental levels including the University General Education Assessment Committee (2006-present) and COE Representative to the University Library Committee (2007-2012, Chair 2009-2010). I have also served on the COE Faculty Council and as the Division Representative for the Faculty/Staff Annual Fund Campaign.
EEC 300 - Creating Environment for Learning and Play
RED 334 - Literature for Young Children
RED 352 - Adolescent Literature
EEC 430 - Student Teaching
EDU 467 - Student Teaching Social Studies in Secondary Schools
EEC 532- Language and Literacy Development in Elementary Schools
EEC 553 - Organizational Patterns and Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
EEC 554 - Language Development in Early Childhood Education
EEC 577 - Literature for the Gifted and High Ability Child
EDM 533 - Curriculum Media for Children
EDM 552 - Curriculum Media for Young Adults
EEC 595 - Internship in Elementary Education
EEC 690 - Special Topics: Survey of Early Childhood Education
EEC 699 - Research Project