Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry

Walking the Talk

YWCA Racial Justice in Education Award

YWCA Racial Justice in Education Award Drs. Ilene Allgood, Traci Baxley and Dilys Schoorman, who represent the Multicultural Education program area in the Department of Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry were the recipients of the YWCA 2017 Racial Justice in Education Award for their work in Multicultural Teacher Education. The award was presented at the “Stand against Racism” luncheon on April 28th 2017 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Many thanks to Dr. Nancy Brown for her nomination.

YWCA Racial Justice in Education Award Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities. This campaign is one part of the larger national strategy to fulfill their mission of eliminating racism.


New Book on Equity Pedagogy

We are proud to announce the 2017 publication of Dr. Kalisha Waldon and Dr. Traci Baxley’s book: Equity Pedagogy: Teaching Diverse Student Populations.

To create this impressive book, Drs. Baxley and Waldon collaborated with many distinguished scholars in the field who brought their expertise to bear on this project. Among these scholars are several current and former FAU faculty who have contributed chapters or “Voices from the Field” to the project. Among them are: Ilene Allgood, Gail Burnaford, Carlos Diaz, Rosanna Gatens, Dilys Schoorman, Sabrina Sembiante, Rachayita Shah, Samantha Uribe, and Michelle Vaughan. Also making significant contributions to this textbook are: Dominic Grasso, Allyson Hall, Iris Minor, Ramonia Rochester, and Leila Shatara.

Dr. Baxley reflects on her hope and the imperative for multicultural education. In her own words:

“My hope is that educators see the value in and necessity for multicultural education. Reexamining pedagogical practices in our schools, teacher education programs, and the educational system, in general is a key goal for MCE. Teachers who engage in self-reflection and cultural competency can begin to transform the educational experiences for students, because all of our children are valued and worthy."

Dr. Waldon’s thoughts about the importance of this book are best described in her own words:

“This book problematizes the mundane politics of using "cookie cutter" approaches to teach and assess students and challenges deficit ideologies, prejudices, and biases that often inform how we do what we do in our schools and classrooms. It echoes the call for us to meaningfully prepare and educate preservice teachers and broader audiences on ways we can acknowledge, embrace, and integrate students' assets - funds of knowledge, learning styles, cultural experiences- into the classroom through the use of culturally responsive teaching methodologies”.

This textbook is aimed at introducing pedagogical content knowledge and practices through a critical multicultural lens. The authors’ intent of this text is two-fold:

  • to ensure equity in education through the curriculum and for traditionally marginalized student populations and
  • to meaningfully engage pre-service teachers and broader audiences in the critical discussion of our role to meet the needs of students in a diverse society.

This is imperative to our understanding of the students we teach, and the need to honor their funds of knowledge, ways of knowing, and cultural experiences in schools.

This text invites readers to problematize their personal knowledge and biases through a series of self-reflective activities. It also engages readers through the integration of case studies, voices from the field, and theoretical foundations through practical applications.

K.A., Waldon, K. & Baxley, T.P., (2017) Equity Pedagogy: Teaching Diverse
Student Populations. Kendall Hunt.


Michelle Vaughan Receives the FAU eLearning Faculty Award for Full-Time Faculty

Michelle Vaughan Michelle Vaughan, Ed.D. Associate Professor with CCEI, recently received the FAU eLearning Faculty Award for full-time faculty. This award honors dedication to excellence, innovation, and student success in online education. The requirements for the faculty award include innovation in course design, commitment to student success through teacher presence, community building, student support, authentic assessment, and multimedia content delivery. Our University’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of education makes FAU a leader in online learning.

Vaughan indicated that “eLearning is a way to give students a voice who may not have it in a traditional classroom. It provides a means of differentiating teaching and learning in new and exciting ways.”

Michelle Vaughan Professor Vaughan credits her students’ needs with her connection to online learning. She recognizes that students are dealing with the pressures of deadlines and time commitments, even as pre-service teachers, well before entering the ranks of professional educators. Vaughan sees the online component as means of providing her students with course content to fit their own schedules. It is important to Professor Vaughan to allow students to develop skills through their Field Experience and class activities. Teacher presence is a key concept for Vaughan, she provides video content and feedback to them throughout her courses. Her courses are highly interactive even through the online component, as students consistently interact with her, with each other, as well as with the course content.

Michelle Vaughan has been committed to student success throughout her teaching career. The Center for eLearning provides her with effective ways of adding online components to her courses, thus, adding an additional layer to that level of commitment.

Link to short video interview with Victoria Brown, Ed.D. Associate Provost of the Center for eLearning
FAUelearning Interview with Michelle Vaughan

Nancy Brown: Keynote Speaker at COE Research Symposium

November, 2016

Nancy Brown, Ed.D. delivered the keynote address at the Student Advisory Council’s Annual Research Symposium of the College of Education on November 18th 2016.

In a presentation titled, "Scholars as Activists: The Sustainable Development Goals and the World’s Children," Professor Brown highlighted the central role of research in advocacy work. It was a thoughtful and impactful address that urged participants to conduct sound research in order to support human well-being and global sustainability.

Thereafter, the following students representing the CCEI doctoral program made individual presentations:

Iris Minor - STEM and Multicultural Education

Cole Kervin - Undergraduate Research in Teacher Education Programs: A Literature Review

Yoonhee Lee – The Importance of Messy Play for Young Children

David Mann – Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Educate Emerging Bilingual Students: A Textual Analysis of Teacher Education Curriculum in Elementary Level Language Arts Methods Textbooks.

Mario Toussaint – Students’ Perceptions of Instruction Across Course Development Models.

Connecting the Dots: Building Inquiry and Research in Teacher Education

Traci Baxley Michelle Vaughan Traci Baxley, Ed.D. and Michelle Vaughan, Ed.D. share a commitment to student success. As faculty in both graduate and undergraduate programs, they believe that a successful undergraduate program is a key component in support of an effective graduate program for the department and for FAU. Professor Baxley has taught several sections of a required undergraduate course, EDF 2085 Introduction to Diversity for many years. Professor Vaughan has taught several sections of EDF 2005, Introduction to the Teaching Profession, for several years. Both courses are valuable foundations courses for our pre-service teachers, essential in providing crucial information for teachers in South Florida and across the country. Effective teachers must have a solid understanding of educational research and be able to apply that research in their teaching. This includes being able to read the current research in the field as well as the ability to contribute to the field of education. The Masters in Curriculum and Instruction for the department culminates in an Action Research project in which all aspects of research are included, with a documented research report as the final project.

An underlying thread both Baxley and Vaughan discovered as they taught the undergraduate courses is that there is a research gap along the way. They realized that our students were missing the link between educational research and the ability to improve what happens in the classroom, that important connection to literature in the field.

In 2015 the University encouraged a strong undergraduate research initiative with the “Distinction through Discovery” program. Traci Baxley and Michelle Vaughan believed that this could provide a valuable contribution to the education program. Both had realized that undergraduate students are challenged with effective question development as well as the concept of connecting research to teaching.

The DtD grant offering allowed Baxley and Vaughan to create a set of research assignments for the courses, then study the results. Students selected a challenge in the field of education, searched the literature for peer-reviewed articles pertaining to that challenge and write Annotated Bibliographies for the articles. Their next task was to write a problem statement addressing the challenge based on the results of the articles. This activity was combined with a group project in which the students synthesized the related problems to share and create a visual presentation. The rubrics for each of these components provided students a way to recognize the expectations of the assignments. They were also given the opportunity to re-write and re-submit based on the feedback. This allowed Traci Baxley and Michelle Vaughan to document the improvement in skill levels on all counts.

The results of the first phase of this study provided Baxley and Vaughan the impetus to continue the study as well as present their findings at the Council for Undergraduate Research in Spring 2016. The presentation was well received, especially as the field of Education was not highly represented at the conference. Professor Baxley and Professor Vaughan are expanding the study to include additional sections of both courses as a means of creating teachers who can read and apply educational research, thus making that important connection to literature in the field.

Images of some of the presentation projects:

A Life Changing Experience

June, 2016

While most of us appreciate the experiences that travel provides us, especially travel to other countries, this phrase was heard multiple times during a recent reunion meeting of the 2016 Study Abroad – Dublin, Ireland group. The students participating in EDG 6625 Global Perspectives, Ireland course in late June 2016, with Roberta Weber, Ed.D.

The format of the course and the trip allows learners the flexibility to set up their own learning opportunities and experiences within the guidelines of the trip. The course is designed to engage students in a comparative investigation of educational trends and issues in the USA, Ireland, and other European countries. Learners participate in numerous field experience activities at a variety of European sites of their own choosing to support and enhance the cultural exchange component of this unique experience. The students also attend and present at several international conferences taking place during their visit.

"My study abroad experience was an academic endeavor that I now view as a valuable part of my research. The course began as a student-centered curriculum formatted to allow students to tailor their academic needs in correlation with that of the course. I used this opportunity to gain insight into the views of STEM in K-12 from an international perspective. I learned how the UK designs their classrooms around assignments that are problem-based and solution focused. I also learned that Dublin is constantly self-reflecting around their curriculum design to meet the needs of the swiftly growing immigration population"
Iris Minor

Educators, and prospective educators, through the Study Abroad program offered at FAU truly understand the concepts of Global Citizenship and how to apply these concepts in their daily interactions with others.

2017 Dublin, Ireland Study Abroad

S.T.E.A.M. for Social Justice: Using Inquiry Skills to Create Changes in Your World

May, 2016

During the last week of May, Florida Atlantic University’s Student Affairs office, the Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry, and Dillard Elementary School partnered to bring fifty 5th grade students to FAU for an experiential field trip. The week was called: S.T.E.A.M. for Social Justice: Using Inquiry Skills to Create Changes in Your World. FAU Professors, Dr. Traci P. Baxley and Dr. Dilys Schoorman along with Dr. Kalisha Waldon and doctoral students Allyson Hall, Iris Minor, and Ramonia Rochester worked with Karen McDaniels, Director for Strategic Planning and Academic Initiatives, to implement a curriculum that integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) content with tenets of equity and social justice pedagogy.

Students enjoyed a four day, three night stay in one of FAU’s premiere dormitories and were challenged to become socially conscious entrepreneurs of a business focused on developing a service or product that would help to mitigate the effects of Hunger and Abuse in their own community. The focal issues, Hunger and Abuse, came directly from the students’ brainstorming session, which was facilitated at Dillard Elementary by members of the curriculum development team prior to the on campus fieldtrip.

Students were given journals to record their thinking, questions, and experiences during the hands-on lessons which were the foundational components of social issue research, structuring a business and marketing plan, creating a budget, the fundamentals of graphic, logo, and website design, statistical analysis, critical media literacy, engineering, and business communications. Several FAU faculty members from colleges across the campus, including the librarians from the Wimberly library, donated their time and resources to help the students develop their social conscious businesses and hone their inquiry skills.

The week concluded with a presentation to FAU College of Business graduate students, local business owners and political leaders, family and friends. The Dillard students presented their final “pitch” to prominent FAU community members and public figures. In attendance was FAU V.P. of Student Affairs, Dr. Corey King, FAU Interim Chief Sean Brammer, Candidate for Florida State Representative, Whitney Rawls, and Chief Constance Stanley of the Lauderhill Police Department to name a few. Under the tutelage of the CCEI/Dillard instructional team, students participated in a mock “Shark Tank” session where they vied for the support of their business from the panel of judges and received feedback and constructive criticism on their entrepreneurial skills and its ability to make a social, systemic, and sustainable difference in their community.

With the support of Student Affairs, the Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry and Dillard Elementary hope to continue this experience for years to come. We encourage all members of the FAU community to get involved in future partnerships that will help to strengthen community relationships and educate on the imperative of multicultural education.

CCEI bids farewell to Sr. Rachel Sena, O.P., M. Ed.

The department bids a fond farewell to Sr. Rachel Sena, Literacy Educator and Community Activist with whom our faculty have had a long and inspiring relationship.

Sr. Rachel was director of the Maya Ministry Family Literacy Program for 17 years before it was defunded in 2011. The program addressed the literacy needs of recent Maya immigrants, especially those adults who had not experienced the privilege of formal education in their native lands of Guatemala or Mexico. Dr. Hanizah Zainuddin and Dr. Dilys Schoorman were honored to be research partners with the staff and participants of the program, serve as advocates for the families and collaborate as learners and fellow immigrants navigating the cross cultural borders of academic life in the USA.

Sr. Rachel is also an alumna of FAU, having earned her Masters in Social Foundations, specializing in Multicultural Education. She is co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and national/international presentations. She has participated in numerous forums at FAU, never failing to inspire her audiences. She has been a tireless advocate for the impoverished, for immigrants, and for women and has been engaged in issues pertaining to human trafficking, domestic violence, gang violence and, of course, education and literacy. Sr. Rachel returns to her native state of Arizona to be closer to her family, after spending almost 25 years in Florida, following a sojourn in Guatemala at a time when it was dangerous to be an educator or associated with the church. She will be sorely missed!