The College of Education has been up to a few things this past school year. We’re very happy to share our Year in Review with our students and their families, alumni, and supporters. In this publication, you’ll hear stories from faculty, students, and alumni! Please take a look at our Year in Review (PDF) magazine. We’d love your feedback. Comment on our Facebook and Twitter pages!
We know how much amazing work is being done in the field of education by our alumni, and we are hoping to do a better job of keeping up with all of you! Have you recently been recognized, won an award, taken a new position, presented, published, etc? We want to know about it and help celebrate you! Please take a moment to fill out the form below (it’s very brief) and catch us up with all you have going on. Feel free to send this update form to other alumni or update for others you know who have news to celebrate.
Thank you for all you do for kids and for letting us share in your accomplishments!
COE Alumni Zachary Zimmer, ’08, is one of 30 finalists for the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grants! Zach is a middle school social studies teacher at Westfield Middle School. Zach is hoping to win the travel grant and use the funds to travel to Egypt to enhance his cultural understanding, visit important historical locations, and gain new knowledge to connect to Indiana 7th grade social studies standards. Help Zach win one of 15 grants by voting for him today! We are proud of the fantastic work Zach is doing in the classroom and hope he is able to take this trip of a lifetime to improve his knowledge even more!
Take a minute to vote for Zach!
Guest Post: A Week at Opal School
We, Ena Shelley and Louise Cadwell, just returned from an amazing and wonderful educational week at Opal School of the Portland Children’s Museum, a public charter school now 11 years old. This is the second year that Butler University has offered an intensive week-long seminar entitled: Creativity, Imagination and Learning: A Field Study in Early and Elementary Education based at Opal School in Portland, OR. Ena Shelley (Dean of the College of Education at Butler University) and Louise co-teach the course along with Susan MacKay and the staff at Opal. Perhaps because we had laid the groundwork last year, this year, we were able to journey even deeper into the work, the philosophy and practice at Opal. This year, we were also ready to make more and stronger connections between our experience during the week and our contexts and schools back home.
Last week, participants were struck over and over again by the language used by all the teachers at Opal that invites children’s best selves and best thinking into the classroom in every discipline and during every social occasion. For example, “James, would you share your thinking about this idea?” ”Could we make room for Cindy’s voice?” “Jane, who would be a good thinking partner for you?” “What does it mean to be wild?” “Who lives underground?” “What can your hands do with clay?” “Where do stories come from?”
This practice of language choice and framing open questions, has grown over the years, influenced greatly by the practice in Reggio Emilia, Italy and also many authors and educators here in the United States, among others, Ellin Keene and Karen Gallasin literacy, Catherine Fosnot and Maarten Dolk in mathematics, and David Orr andFritjof Capra in systems thinking and sustainability. A book that they are reading at Opal right now is Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives by Peter Johnston. Louise read it before she arrived in Oregon and it is worth ordering right now to read right away. So applicable immediately to your classroom and school, it is filled with examples and stories about what kind of language and stance supports a flexible learning mindset and what closes learning down to a fixed mindset. Johnston sites Carol Dweck’s research and takes it farther.
Every time we go, we come home from Opal thinking something like this, “This is it. If you want to see complex theories in action, learning for the future taking place right now, rich, inspiring places and spaces and the real-life, hard work of collaboration that is paying off for children and their community, go to Opal.” And, we are always re-inspired to do the work that we do with renewed insight and clarity, purpose and passion.
You can gain a peek into the life and experience of Opal by reading their blog. Every week there are posts, stories of learning, links to books and other worthwhile events and opportunities. Louise will write her next few posts for the Cadwell Collaborative blog on aspects of last week because there is so much more to reflect on and to share. In the meantime, we suggest that you follow the Opal blog and take advantage of all that they have to offer in professional development even if you can not go there. There is an on-line course that you can sign up for now that was very successful the first time it was offered. There is also a free webinar on Sunday the 24th offered by NCTE and Susan MacKay.
In a world where we are all looking for mentors, leaders, and paradigm shifters, Opal is one place where you will find them. Thank you, thank you, Opal School.
You can find the posting on The Opal School blog. Please visit to learn more about The Opal School and see reader comments!
The COE has been excited for several weeks to meet admitted students and their families at the Butler Bound event which was held on Friday, February 22nd. Despite ice and snow throughout the surrounding area, we had just shy of 100% attendance and met so many amazing students and families on Friday!
The day started at Clowes Hall in the Krannert Room and included at visit to the Butler Lab School and an option to attend the Butler vs. Saint Louis mens basketball game that evening. Current students, faculty, staff and alumni were all involved in the day and spoke about the COE and the great experiences and education available here. Our students and alumni did a great job of expressing how the COE feels like “home” and supports students in all their interests and preparation.
We can’t wait to see these admitted students on campus in August as they begin the amazing experience of being a Butler student! Thanks to all the students and families who braved the weather to be a part of this day, and to all the faculty, students, alumni and staff who spent time preparing and presenting at this event.