Educator and author David Sobel, who is core faculty and project director at the Antioch University New England Institute, will make a return visit to Santa Barbara to teach one of the courses. Sobel previously worked with AUSB on In Bloom in Santa Barbara in September and for a lecture also presented by the Wilderness Youth Project in April.
The available courses are:
EDC 528: ECOLOGY OF IMAGINATION IN CHILDHOOD
Instructor: David Sobel (1.5 Units) M-F 8:30-12:00
Course Description: This course investigates ways in which children’s nature play can be used to invigorate the writing process. Making forts, hunting and gathering, constructing small worlds, going on adventures, and fantasy play are children’s instinctive ways of being in the natural world and these activities can be used as the basis for curriculum. We’ll use the surrounding neighborhood and hills to reconnect with childhood play. Out of these natural world experiences, each participant will craft a finished piece of writing by the end of the week.
EDC 503: NATURAL HISTORY FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD
Instructor: Ellen Doris and Andrew Lindsay (1.5 Units) M-F 1:00-4:30
Course Description: The best nature-based childhood teachers are knowledgeable about early childhood and local natural history. This course will focus on the natural history of the Central California Coast that most directly relates to being outdoors with children. Participants will learn the flora, fauna and natural phenomena that intrigue young children. We’ll also consider how tracking, gathering wild edibles, crafting and telling stories can encourage exploration. We’ll discuss both winter and spring natural history with a focus on keeping children engaged under hot and/or wet conditions.
These courses are electives in AUSB’s new proposed Certificate Program, or they can be used as electives for graduate students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Education program. Those who want to take the classes as stand-alone experiences for their own interest or professional development are also welcome. Tuition is $679 per unit or $407 per unit for Antioch alumni. Continuing Education Units are available and included in tuition.
For more information or to reserve your space, please contact Kelly Pena at 805-962-8179 x5315 or kpena[at]antioch.edu.
Posted on November 18, 2015
Gary, an affiliate faculty with the Graduate Education and Credentialing program, published a humorous novel entitled Checking in at the Crowbar Hotel. Based on his own experiences with at-risk youth, the novel gets its name from a slang term for juvenile hall.
“I really liked the challenging adolescents who were a part of my career,” Gary said. “Never a dull moment, and … I learned new things about their lives, their cunning, and even the humanity that motivated them, even while they were locked up.”
Gary believes there is much to learn from delinquent students who enter facilities like the one depicted in Crowbar Hotel and explores these themes in the book. His experiences working with troubled kids has shaped his career.
“Whatever I know about teaching has been informed tremendously by a bunch of kids who were seldom ever in school,” Gary said. “The irony of this continues to intrigue me!”
Crowbar Hotel is available in print and electronically at Amazon.com.
Ann, who teaches as an adjunct in the Master’s in Business Administration program, co-authored her work with British author Kim Stephenson. Their work is the informative Finance Is Personal: Making Your Money Work for You in College and Beyond, a personal finance resource that helps people get what they want out of their money.
In addition to her passion for writing and teaching, Ann currently serves as Treasurer and Board member of The Eleos Foundation in Santa Barbara and volunteers in the financial literacy program with Partners in Education, also in Santa Barbara.
Finance Is Personal is also available in hardcover and for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) is excited to be partnering with Antioch University New England (AUNE), the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers, and the Wilderness Youth Project to offer “In Bloom in Santa Barbara: Promising Practices in Nature-based Urban Early Childhood Education.”
“In Bloom in Santa Barbara” takes place on Saturday, September 19, at the Open Alternative School (OAS) in Santa Barbara at 4025 Foothill Road (map). The seminar will spend time indoors and outdoors exploring the school grounds and nearby urban gardens as well as visiting accessible green spaces in the nearby neighborhood. All early childhood and early elementary parents, teachers, outdoor educators, and administrators with an interest in connecting children to the nearby natural and built environments are invited. Cost is $75, and registration is at www.antiochsb.edu/ibsb.
The event features two keynote presentations followed by workshops. The morning keynote is entitled “Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens: Why 21st Century Children Need Nature” by David Sobel, senior faculty at AUNE and author of Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens: The Handbook for Outdoor Learning. In the afternoon, Elaine Gibson will speak on “Child-Centered Nature Play: The Museum Backyard.” Gibson is a credentialed elementary school teacher and parenting coach and was Interim Director of Education at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in 2006 when she created the outdoor education program.
AUSB and OAS have maintained a professional partnership since 2013 for the purpose of forwarding a common vision of experiential, learner-centered education that promotes the values of social justice, ecological literacy, and advocacy.
For more information about this event, please contact Kelly Peña at AUSB at 805-962-8179 x5315 or email@example.com.
Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Graduate Education and Credentialing program hosted Bill Jacob and Monica Mendoza from UCSB’s Center from Mathematical Inquiry for a three-day math workshop in July for teachers and administrators.
Participants studied the developmental trajectory of measurement and geometry in Pre-K through the 6th grade and addressed the big idea of the Common Core State Standards. The workshop focused on problem solving that develops facility with special operations such as decomposing and composing geometric shapes to students are ready for geometry beyond the 6th grade. All participants collaborated with their grade level peers and take with them a curricular unit to use in their classrooms.
The workshop was attended by 18 educators, some former AUSB students, and Cooperating Teachers. Thanks to Gary Delanoeye, a faculty member for AUSB’s Education program, for snapping some photos and providing background on the workshop.
Those on campus over the past week likely noticed a much higher than normal number of guitars and other stringed instruments at Antioch University Santa Barbara.
That’s because the Graduate Education and Credentialing Program offered a free Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) workshop from July 13-17 for AUSB students and working teachers to learn how to bring music into their classrooms.
Participating teachers and students, some of whom had no previous music experience, learned to play the guitar and ukulele, sing, and write songs in order to bring these skills back to their classrooms and studies.
GITC’s Executive Director Jessica Baron was on hand to teach the workshop at AUSB. “They (the Antioch students) were hands-down brilliant. Their openness to learning and trying new things was way beyond my expectations,” Jessica said. “They passed through a full year of training in just one week.”
GITC is a national non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego, and it has conducted programs in 32 states and in parts of Canada. GITC’s mission is to provide free music classes for teachers to deepen students’ learning area in all subject areas.
“We were a real good fit because we share the Antioch philosophy,” Jessica said.
See more photos from the workshop on the AUSB Facebook page. And for more information, visit www.guitarsintheclassroom.org.
Almost 150 Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) students walked across the stage to collect their hard-earned diplomas at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort on Friday, June 19, and transitioned from student to alumni.
At this year’s commencement, 147 students received degrees from AUSB’s academic programs. Of those, 77 received their Bachelor of Arts degrees; 13 completed the Graduate Education and Credentialing program; 42 finished the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program; 5 received their Master’s in Psychology degrees; and 10 completed the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program.
Dr. Nancy Leffert, AUSB President, and Victoria Riskin, chair of the AUSB Board of Trustees, gave welcoming remarks, and Lynn Houston, who received her BA from AUSB in 2011 and was honored with this year’s Distinguished Graduate Award, spoke on behalf of the alumni.
“It is my honor this year, as it is every year, to usher a new class of Antioch graduates into the world to continue the good work they have already begun on furthering their careers and professional lives,” Leffert said.
Linda Hoover, who graduated from the PsyD program, and Miranda Rich, a Bachelor of Arts graduate with concentrations in Communication & Media and Marketing, were named as the commencement student speakers.
“Being selected as a commencement speaker is the crowning jewel in my academic journey,” Hoover said. “I am honored by the privilege to represent the PsyD program and graduates this year.”
“My Antioch experience taught me that the goal of my education was not to leave knowing the threats that exist today but is to leave having the passion to fight them,” Rich said.
Susan Lang, MA, an affiliate faculty member at AUSB, received the 5th Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching at the ceremony.
Lang has taught at AUSB for over 15 years in both the Graduate Education and Bachelor of Arts programs and routinely receives stellar student evaluations. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Barbara Lipinski wrote that Susan’s “dedication to student learning and success in the areas of child development, psychology, and education is commendable. She brings innovative learning techniques that make the material in challenging courses accessible and comprehensible.”
Five Master of Arts in Education candidates presented their thesis topics to the Antioch University Santa Barbara community on Wednesday, June 3, by constructing posters showing their work and to spark conversations about their chosen subjects. The five students – Shawn Amaro, Mark Duran, Courtney Fleming, Charlene Macharia, and Heather Young – gathered in a classroom packed with staff, faculty, students, and members of the public to discuss their work.
Their topics and abstracts were as follows:
Shawn Amaro: Professional Tensions in Correctional Schools
The purpose of this paper is to identify the potential for conflict between correctional officers and correctional educators. Research shows that pay, benefits, and promotional opportunities vary between correctional officers and correctional educators despite the fact they both work in a prison setting with potentially dangerous individuals. The research design was mixed method, including qualitative interviews and an ethnographic viewpoint. This paper includes a prison tour, interviews with two current correctional officers, and interviews with two former correctional educators. The study shows that there is indeed conflict present between correctional officers and correctional educators. The scale of the conflict is often determined on a personal level and is on a case by case basis between correctional employees.
Mark Duran: Integrating Social Justice and Environmentalism
Some educators and educational theorists have proposed that to make education more relevant, and address a degrading environment and worsening social conditions, we should teach from an awareness of the fundamental interdependence of these usually segregated areas of study. Some scholars, such as Friere, have promoted the necessity of an educational context of social justice. Others, such as Sobel, have placed the focus on environmental literacy and restoration. Still others, most notably Gruenwald, have suggested that these traditions have a deep and necessary natural affinity. This qualitative study uses interviews, ethnographic research, and force field analysis, to investigate the current status of educational organizations and individuals that attempt to unify the themes of environmental restoration/justice with social justice/restoration. So far, results indicate that such educational endeavors are rare in practice, usually take place in small private schools, and face both institutional and practical resistance.
Courtney Fleming: Sources of Conflict in an Elementary Classroom
In a First Grade classroom with 20 different personalities, conflict is bound to arise. The purpose of this study was to determine the themes, context, and role of gender in First Grade conflicts. With an action research design, I had the specific intention of creating small-scale change and improving my classroom practice. I collected my data in the form of daily reflective journals with a deep reflection and analysis into the conflicts of my first grade classroom. This paper will include background research about how children, ages 5-10, create and respond to conflict with other children. Some researchers claim that conflict in the classroom originates from prior and current familial experiences while some argue that attachment to parents may have to do with a child’s ability to handle conflict that arises. As a First Grade teacher, I was in a unique position to conduct the research in my own classroom during the 2014-2015 school year.
Charlene Macharia: Building Positive Communities
Isla Vista history is rooted in music and the arts though there have been periods of time where artistic expression decreased. Following the increased crime rates in 2014 and the tragedy that happened in Isla Vista resulting in the killing of 6 UCSB students, Isla Vista First Friday (IVFF) was created as a means of positively shifting the culture. IVFF is a musical and artistic event that occurs at a park in Isla Vista every First Friday of the month and IV Open Lab is the UCSB course that meets weekly to plan IVFF and engages in other collaborative art projects. My research will gauge the impact of IVFF on students, other Isla Vista community members and the culture of the city in general, as well as evaluate IV Open Lab as model to re-think and reform the education system. I used quantitative data in the form of a survey that was passed out during some of the Isla Vista First Friday (IVFF) events and an online survey as an end of year evaluation for students and community members. I also used qualitative data in the form of interviews of the art professor who started IVFF, the student and community members involved in organizing as well as those who just attended the events. The results are tentative as since data collection is still in progress.
Heather Young: Evaluating FOSS Science Programs
My research is a program evaluation of the implementation of a science curriculum called Full Option Science System (FOSS). Force Field Analysis was applied to see what factors helped and impeded teachers in the implementation of the FOSS program. I used quantitative data in the form of two electronic surveys sent to teachers, one in 2014 and the other in 2015, to inquire of their individual application of the program. In addition to the quantitative data, I used qualitative data in the form of three interviews; two science consultants and one administrator from a school district. They were asked as to why the FOSS program was selected and how might the district aid teachers in their execution of the program. The results were mixed and suggest that more time was needed for implementation and fidelity to the program was not consistent.
Susan has taught at AUSB for over 15 years, in both the Graduate Education and Bachelor of Arts programs and routinely receives stellar student evaluations. Her award was announced by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Barbara Lipinski this week. In the announcement, Barbara wrote that Susan’s “dedication to student learning and success in the areas of child development, psychology, and education is commendable. She brings innovative learning techniques that make the material in challenging courses accessible and comprehensible.”
In addition to a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from California State University Northridge, Susan also earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from AUSB. She also has taught courses at CSU Northridge and at Santa Barbara City College.
AUSB’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is an annual recognition of a faculty member by his/her faculty peers based on the following criteria:
- Excellence in teaching in general, particularly in teaching AUSB’s core purposes.
- Excellence in instruction design to achieve the school’s and the student’s goals.
- Engagement in teaching, stimulating, and educating students.
- Passion for inspiring students “above and beyond the call of duty.”
The first award in 2011 recognized John Forhan, JD, Adjunct Faculty in the BA program. Subsequent winners are:
2012: Juliet Rohde-Brown, PhD, Core Faculty and Chair of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD).
2013: Dawn Murray, PhD, Core Faculty and current Chair in the BA program.
2014: Frank Rust III, PhD, Adjunct Faculty in the BA program.
Miranda Rich of the BA program and Linda Hoover of the PsyD program previously were announced as student speakers at this year’s Commencement, to be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 19 at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara. For more information on the 2015 Commencement, visit antiochsb.edu/commencement.
The 30-year-old Ashley, who is a teacher at La Cumbre Junior High School in Santa Barbara, and her family have set up a GoFundMe account to help offset the high medical costs incurred by her treatment, and they have spread the word via social media using both Twitter and Facebook.
Ashley’s story has attracted media attention, including a recent profile written by local outlet Noozhawk. In the story, Ashley outlines her plans for the future.
“I want to have a family,” she said. “I want to do something with education. I still have so much I want to do.”
The David Sobel lecture co-sponsored by Antioch University Santa Barbara originally planned for Tuesday, February 17 has been rescheduled to Monday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Sobel has been unable to get a flight out of Boston due to the extreme winter conditions affecting air travel throughout the New England region.
The free lecture and Q&A session by educator and author Sobel is now scheduled for the evening of Monday, April 20 in the Fleischmann Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, located at 2559 Puesta del Sol.
Sobel’s lecture is entitled “The Peace of Wild Things: Nature Education for the 21st Century” and is presented by the Wilderness Youth Project, based in Santa Barbara.
The lecture is designed for parents and educators to learn about the importance of nature-focused learning.
Sobel is a Senior Faculty Member and the Director of the Center For Place-Based Education at AUSB’s sister campus at Antioch University New England. Sobel also has authored numerous books, including Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education.
For further information, please contact the Wilderness Youth Project at 805-964-8096 or wyp.org.
Posted on February 16, 2015
Antioch University Santa Barbara Graduate Education and Credentialing program alumna Lindsay Johnson and Cooperating Teachers Brandon Sportel and Laura Donner have been recognized recently for their professional accomplishments.
Lindsay Johnson, who earned her M.Ed. at AUSB in 2014 after finishing her inquiry project on “Sustaining School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms in Santa Barbara County Schools,” recently was named Executive Director at Explore Ecology, an organization that originated with the Art From Scrap program and now offers environmental education programs that combine science and art. Explore Ecology will hold a Grand Re-Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 13 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. where Lindsay will share her vision for the direction of the organization. Click here for more details on the ceremony. The Santa Barbara Independent recently ran a profile on Lindsay and her work.
Brandon Sportel is a Cooperating Teacher who works with Education Specialist teacher candidates at AUSB and teaches at Canalino Elementary School in Carpinteria. Brandon recently was honored as the Educator of the Year for the Carpinteria Unified School District. Jamie Persoon, principal at Canalino, was thrilled at Brandon’s award. “In Brandon fashion, he accepted his award while giving much credit to his six instructional assistants, who were in attendance for the event: Laura, Lillian, Catherine, Kalani, Hannah, and Beth,” Jamie wrote in an email to Marianne D’Emidio-Caston, chair of AUSB’s Education program.
Finally, Laura Donner, an adjunct faculty at AUSB and also a Cooperating Teacher with the program, has been named Principal at Santa Barbara Charter School. Laura has worked at SBCS since 1995, where she strives to teach developmentally appropriate curriculum that is student-centered and brain-based. Laura also teaches Mediation and Conflict Resolution in the Schools and Classroom Organization: Theory and Practice at AUSB.
Antioch University Santa Barbara is offering a free Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) Review Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m.-noon in room 343 at the AUSB campus at 602 Anacapa Street.
This workshop, hosted by AUSB adjunct faculty Dr. Ann Lippincott, is designed for students working toward a credential who have not yet passed the RICA requirement.
Please RSVP before the event to Kelly Pena.
RICA is a part of California’s effort to improve student reading skills. State law requires the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to administer the RICA to develop prospective teachers to deliver high-quality reading instruction to students. Click here to learn more about RICA.
Four more Master of Education students at Antioch University Santa Barbara presented their educational project portfolios on November 15 as part of the “Public Conversations with Critical Friends” series, an updated formulation of the more traditional master’s thesis defense. Four other MEd students previously presented their projects in September.
The four students – Amelia Horner, Lindsay Johnson, Janet Lemons, and Angela Sturgeon – presented their year-long Inquiry Projects on the topics listed below.
Titles and Abstracts of MEd Inquiry Projects:
Amelia Horner: Importance of and Ways to Integrate Art Within Elementary School Multiple Subject Classrooms
“The purpose of this inquiry project is to illustrate the importance of integrating art within elementary school multiple subject classrooms, and ways in which it can be integrated. By sharing my personal experiences and passion for various art forms I hope to establish a classroom culture where students use art materials as a vehicle to learn various academic subjects such as Social Science, Math, and Language Arts. My proposed lesson style would utilize project based learning, classroom routines, and provide various forms of learning opportunities designed to address multiple intelligences as described by Howard Gardener. Lastly, this inquiry project focuses on teaching a rounded arts education which flourishes when students are taught Art History, art criticism, and aesthetics alongside the discipline of creation. When students are taught those four pieces of art education together they learn how to appreciate creative efforts, express their response to specific works, and develop their own personal aesthetic.”
Lindsay Johnson: Sustaining School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms in Santa Barbara County Elementary Schools
“This study looks at the importance of gardens as outdoor classrooms on Elementary School campuses. I chose this project because of my passion for outdoor and environmental education. This topic is very relevant to me because I work for an organization that recently adopted one of the largest school garden programs in the nation. I am learning the logistics of operating thirty two school gardens in nine school districts with thirteen Garden Educators administering garden and nutrition based curriculum to approximately eight thousand elementary aged students. During this work, I have taken the time to look at myself as a leader of a local non-profit organization while examining the partnerships and interactions within the community that have developed myself and the organization to where we are today.”
Janet Lemons: How Am I As A Positive Mentor/Teacher Going to Advocate for Students in Foster Care
“It is important for teachers to understand the obstacles students have who are placed in foster care. This study has confirmed that there are a high percentage of foster care students that have attended seven or more schools between their elementary and high school years. This research assists teachers in recognizing how vital it is for students in foster care to have at least one positive role model in their lives. Students in foster care who have a mentor have a higher success rate in school than those that do not have a mentor as a positive role model. After meeting with community members affiliated with the foster care system and teachers in both the Goleta and Santa Barbara School Districts I have discovered that teachers need to establish consistency in their classroom for children who face challenges of volatile homes. It is imperative that teachers have routines and structure to help make the foster care student feel safe and secure. This helps build confidence in their daily life. It is essential to keep lines of communication open between the relationships built between the teacher and foster parent as well as all the court mandated Social Workers and Child Appointed Special Advocates. This will help to plan and provide services for foster care students. The findings confirm how important my role is as a teacher to be a positive mentor to foster care students. With the evidence I have found I believe my commitment will lead to a higher success rate of foster care students graduating from high school and going onto college.”
Angela Sturgeon: Mapping the Future: Geo-Literacy in the Elementary Classroom
“This inquiry project supports my belief that geo-literacy is at the core of global understanding and that, as a teacher, I have a responsibility to prepare my students to be citizens of our globally interconnected world. The focus of my inquiry was “how can I help increase students’ geographical knowledge so that they learn to recognize the relationships between people, places, and environments both locally and globally?” I looked at the five themes of geography, the current state and national geography standards, and historical and current research on geography teaching. I collected numerous children’s books that can be used to develop children’s geographical knowledge. I also collaborated with teachers and other experts in order to learn more about the current state of geography teaching in elementary schools. My project proposes that we teach with maps and globes at hand and incorporate the study of geography across all content areas so that our students learn to identify and make connections between themselves and other people and places in the world.”
Marianne D’Emidio-Caston, Acting Chair of the Graduate Education Program at AUSB, presented “Educating Teachers to Inspire Moral Development through the Arts” at the California Council on Teaching Education’s Fall 2014 conference in San Diego on Oct. 25.
“(The presentation) supports AUSB graduate education and credential programs’ mission to advocate for elementary school classrooms as caring learning communities where children reach their full potential as self-motivated, resilient learners,” Marianne said. “Creativity through the arts energizes learning with self expression.”
The conference described Marianne’s presentation further: “Even without explicit instruction, influences on moral development are inescapable in school contexts because of the powerful relationships that occur throughout schooling – relationships that may or may not foster a strong sense of caring and fairness. This institute will explore classroom teaching for moral development as an inherent function of public schools, using various artistic media. Participants will engage in thoughtful inquiry into the moral side of teaching Common Core State Standards (CCSS) using graphic and performing arts, as well as linguistic forms of artistic expression. Teacher educators will leave the institute with a more explicit notion of how integration of the arts can be used in course settings to engage teacher candidates in thinking about the important role they can play in the moral lives of their own students while they are addressing the CCSS.”
The Antioch University Santa Barbara MEd program hosted “Professional Conversations” on Sept. 20, an updated formulation of the more traditional master’s thesis defense.
Four students – Danielle Dzoga, Lauren Fernandez, Marlen Limon, and Amy Rosen – presented their year-long Inquiry Projects to an audience of faculty, graduate students, and professionals from the Santa Barbara community who work within the fields examined by each. Presentations were interactive, lively, and demonstrated a developed “Theory of Practice” and mastery of the field.
The next series of Professional Conversations will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1. Those interested in attending should contact Dr. Damian Corbin Jenkins or Dr. Marianne D’Emidio-Caston, as space is limited and by invitation only.
Titles and Abstracts of MEd Inquiry Projects:
Danielle Dzoga: How Can I Help Students to Develop a Life-long Love of Learning?
The thesis was created while attending the Antioch University MEd program. During this program I was a full time student as well as a Student Teacher at two different alternative schools on the Central Coast. I was able to both teach and observe in these classrooms. I have drawn the conclusions presented in this project by synthesizing the work of theorists with my observations and experiences in the classroom. This project has allowed me to more clearly define my teaching practice. I have found that in order to foster a life-long love of learning in students, it is crucial to make the classroom as well as the student’s experiences more appropriate for children. This manifests in many ways including creating a safe and inviting environment, teaching by providing context and encouraging self-guided inquiry, and maintaining a fun environment where students have the opportunity to explore their interests.
Lauren Fernandez: Making Connections: An Inquiry into How Technology Can Differentiate Instruction and Connect Students with Learning
This inquiry project explores how technology can be utilized in the classroom to differentiate instruction and connect students with the learning. I have come to see firsthand (through extensive literature review and action research) how effectively technology can differentiate instruction with multiple intelligences and learning styles in mind. If utilized with a clear objective, in the hands of the student, and addressing multiple intelligences and learning styles, technology can be a very effective tool for student engagement and learning. Students will become autonomous, self-directed learners, and will be prepared to thrive in the 21st century workplace.
Marlen Limon: An Inquiry on How Different Teaching Approaches Inform My Practice as a Teacher in the Making
In this project, I examine traditional and alternative teaching approaches to inform my practice as a teacher in the making. Evidence from educational research, action research, collection and analysis of artifacts, and collaboration with community members reveal similarities and differences amongst these two teaching approaches. Some of these differences include the effects on the type of school environments found in both teaching approaches, attitude towards students, types of community building in the classroom, and classroom structure and layout. Interviews with community members showed the overlap in the teachers’ values for education and teaching however, their philosophies are enacted differently in the classroom in both traditional and alternative settings. The results of this inquiry project helped me focus the strategies and methods that I will use into my own practice as I begin my first year teaching. My Theory of Practice includes the teacher being the facilitator in the classroom, creating an active and positive learning environment, using subject matter as a tool for life-long learning and students learning to apply the content to the world beyond the classroom.
Amy Rosen: Strategies for and Outcomes of Creating a Sense of Community in the Classroom
Throughout this project, I explore the strategies for and outcomes of creating a sense of community within a contained classroom setting. Evidence from educational research, action research, collection and analysis of artifacts, and collaboration with community members reveals that taking the steps to create a sense of community within the classroom is an essential part of student wellbeing and learning. Strategies include providing choice, autonomy, responsibilities, collaborative projects, recognizing individuality within the group, maintaining a communal space, and fostering open dialogue. Findings show that the outcomes of these strategies are students who develop empathy and interpersonal skills, better their academics, and decrease problem behaviors and substance abuse.
William Johnson crossed the graduation stage at AUSB’s commencement on June 20, 2014, to receive his Masters in Education degree, just steps behind his wife Bernadette, whom also received the same degree. At Antioch, William focused on issues of social justice – chiefly issues of poverty, political policy, and imprisonment – and leaves here passionate about integrating his learning and love for teaching into his life and work in order to educate others.
“The biggest contribution Antioch makes is the inspiration and insight it gives its students,” said William. “A lot of that has to do with not just the philosophy of Antioch but the approach of the professors.”
William has been involved inside the education system for many years, serving as a substitute teacher for a breadth of ages ranging from preschool to community college levels. But he said that the insight and example of AUSB faculty shaped his concept of self and perspectives on teaching and the influence he can have.
“As a teacher, I enjoy generating ideas – seeing the kids minds open up to new ideas as they get a hunger and thirst for knowledge,” said William. “I always tell them, it’s not about teaching as much as learning.”
The Johnson’s raised their family – they have five kids and 13 grandkids – in Santa Barbara for 20 years, but since have relocated to Lompoc, where William pastors an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.
William and Bernadette’s family was present to watch them receive their diplomas, and although their achievements are a significant accomplishment, what is more is they embody – for their family and for others – what it means to pursue a life of learning for the purpose of personal and social change.
“It’s been a true inspiration for our kids and grandkids, as we hope they will continue on in life’s pursuit of knowledge,” said William.
“My experience at Antioch was greatly enriched by my contact with warm and concerned staff and a strong cohort of study partners. I am greatly indebted to my wife, Bernadette, for introducing me to Antioch University, for inspiring and motivating me through the depression of a physical injury… I am indebted to our children and grandchildren who believed in me and encouraged me. This degree is a tribute to them.”
– William Johnson