Transforming Education—April 2017


In time of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.
—Fred Rogers

This column is dedicated to children of all ages and the peacemakers in the world. Only a few weeks ago an act of terrorism occurred in Stockholm, Sweden. This followed on the heels of horrific incidents in Syria. The turmoil in the world demands that we embrace the words of Mr. Rogers as educators, parents, and as global citizens.

My dear friend and colleague, Angelica Granqvist, sent me a text on April 7 to let me know that she and her family were safe in their homeland of Sweden. Last May I had the honor of traveling to Sweden to learn from Angelica and her peers as fellow educators. In her school, Vallentuna Gymnasium, I met students from many countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. They had to master the Swedish language first and then English. I was touched to hear the phrase “newly arrived” used rather than “immigrant.” What I observed was a thriving community of high school students who embodied the wisdom of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I had the opportunity to travel with Angelica to other cities as well as Gotland Island in the Baltic Sea. I found the Swedes to be kind and open and the pace of life to be peaceful.

Unfortunately their peace has now been disrupted by a senseless act. But it appears the Swedes are using their ears and hearts as they embrace the questions in this situation. Swedes have placed mounds of flowers and thousands joined hands in a public gathering. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven stated, “This shows that there is strength in Sweden that nobody can take away from us.” I read an interview of a 75-year-old Swedish woman who said maybe there is hope in this tragedy so that “fellow Swedes would become even more open and welcoming.” She is keeping her heart and mind open in the midst of the questions that surround a tragedy.

This May I will return to Sweden—this time with a large group of Butler University faculty. We must continue to realize the importance of the connections across the world, our role as peacemakers, and how education is the way to change the world. While we must take precautions, we cannot live our lives in fear. As adults we must continue to help our students ask the questions knowing that there are many answers, not just one. Sadly the days of the Mister Rogers Neighborhood show are in the past, but his wisdom lives on. Perhaps introducing the younger generation to him on Google would be worthy! As our students and children see the world events play out on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, they could frame it as Mister Rogers did: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” May we each work to help heal the world with our ears and hearts open always.

Dr. Ena Shelley
Dean, College of Education

Human Movement and Health Science Education collaborates with the Center for Academic Technology

Dr. Mindpe331 1y Welch and her PE 331 Physical and Health Education Methods for Early and Middle Childhood class were first to utilize the new Video Lounge in the Center for Academic Technology (CAT), recently relocated to the third floor of Irwin Library. CAT hosted their annual digital videography orientation. This is the eighth consecutive year that Dr. Mindy Welch has worked closely with Jeana Rogers, Academic Technology Specialist, to lead the digital video trainings for her class. Information Commons student assistant, Sammie Chalmers, also helped with the training session. Butler’s Academic Technology Specialists are equipped to help find solutions to the technology needs of the faculty and are able to discuss how technology can be effectively used in their classrooms.

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All students in the Human Movement and Health Science Education (HMHSE) program experience a three-semester Methods course sequence. Digital video technology is paramount for all three courses. HMHSE students. The students use digital video technology to video and audio record a total of 28 teaching episodes in their practicum. PE 331 students will be at the Butler Lab School for the sixth straight year. They students code the videos and using various systematic observation tools aimed at specific variables, such as teacher movement, teacher feedback, and motor task practices. Video analysis helps students analyze, reflect on, and plan instruction for their own teaching assessments. This group will teach 14 times over 7 weeks at the Butler Lab School with Jill Allen (’13) in the Movement Studio starting Feb. 9. Dr. Welch has created an innovative way to use digital/video technology for assessment, in turn creating better teachers who possess self-awareness!

Holiday families from the IPS/Butler Lab School and Shortridge High School

Please join us in the College of Education as we offer assistance to a few families in need this holiday season.  We have worked with social workers at our two of our partnership laboratory schools (IPS/Butler Lab School and Shortridge High School: An IB World School) to identify two families from each school who would be grateful for our donations.

Several of the families need household items such as:

Blue winter background with stars

  • Towels of all sizes (must be NEW)
  • Sheets (full/queen), several sets needed (must be NEW)
  • Personal care items for family dealing with health issues  (must be NEW)
  • Pots/pans (sets would be ideal)
  • Dishes (glasses, dinnerware sets, utensils)
  • Cooking gadgets
  • Candles
  • Other housewares

We will accept new and gently used (in good condition) items.

The generosity of the Butler University community is strong, and we’re hoping to help these families have a good holiday, which can set the tone for the coming year.

  • Financial contributions can be delivered to JH171 and will be accepted until noon on Monday, December 14.
  • Household items can be delivered to JH 180 until noon on Monday, December 14.

Thank you for your support!

With gratitude,
The College of Education

Indiana Partnership for Young Writers | Anthology showcases 175 young authors, award-winning illustrator

The Indiana Partnership for Young Writers, a program of the Butler University College of Education, will release its sixth anthology of student writing on December 14, 2015. The book, titled Listening Still, features poems, essays, articles and fiction by 175 students in grades pre-K through eight. The work comes from 29 schools in Indiana.

listening still coverThe featured texts were chosen from close to 1,000 submissions and represent the diverse array of genres that are taught in classrooms with rigorous writing workshops. The works exhibit the same characteristics as prized literature—understanding of audience and purpose, strong voice and intentional application of a variety of literary devices.

“What’s most impressive about the texts in this book—and in writing workshop—is the clear sense that these writers have something to say and can approximate the work of the professional authors they read,” said Susan Adamson, director of the Partnership.

As the student writing was compiled, Adamson saw four themes emerging—students finding beauty in the world, discovering the power of observation, wrestling with complex thinking and social issues, and experimenting with humor and joyful word play. These themes provide the frames for the four distinct chapters of Listening Still.

The anthology’s impact is heightened by four original paintings created specifically for the book by highly acclaimed artist Michele Wood. Recipient of a prestigious American Book Award and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Wood crafted the paintings in response to the student-authored texts. Inspired by the students’ words and her trademark connections to both the natural world and her cultural history, Wood responded with images from her childhood, an interpretive farm scene, sunrise over the ocean and a resilient single flower gilded with gold leaf.

Listening Still will be unveiled at a public celebration at Christian Theological Seminary’s Shelton Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on December 14.

College of Education’s Year in Review

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!