Gonference Serves Dual Purpose by linxiaoqin


									    Dorothy C. Armsftong, Ph.D., professorin
Advanced            in            has
             Srudies Education, beenselect-
ed by the Deans'Council at GVSU to receive   the
Distinguished Faculty Award presentedannually
by the Michigan Association of Governing
Boards of Colleeesand Universities.The statet
top educators be recognized t]reir achieve-
               wif               for
ments at Michigan State University's Kellogg                 ontrary to popularopinion, smalleris bet-    cated and disenfranchised   students'drug, unem-
Center in April.                                             ter when it comesto educatinestudents.       ploynent, welfare and prison costssome five, 10
    "Dorothy is someone                                                                                   or 15 yearsafter dropping out, whether it be phys-
                                                         Americanshavefor decades      prided themselves ically, mentally or emotionally? The expense of
certainly deserving of this
honor," GVSU President                               on theft large comprehensive     sihools. The myth   improvedurban schoolbuildingspalesin compar-
Arend D. Lubbers said.                               "Bigger is better" has beenperpetuated educa- ison to the $1.4 billion spent eachyear to main-
"She continuesto be looked                           tional leadersand schoolboards.The public was        tain the stateorison svstem.
upon by people at the uni-                           led to believe that a "better" school was bigger,         Once elementaryschool populationsreach
versity and people in her                            becauseit supposedlyprovided a more diverse 300 studentsand middle or hieh schoolsexceed
field asan outstandingpro-                           curriculum and more instructionalsoecialists    and  600, the climate beginsto g.i i.p.rronal and
fessor."                                             srudent  service  oDtions.                           bureaucratic. Teachersdont know other teachers
    Armstrong is the second Dorothy Armstrong             Compelling ividence over two decades,     how-  or students like their counterDartsin smaller
memberfrom the Schoolof                              ever,demonstrates     that large schoolsare not as schools.    They dont talk asfrequindy aboutindi-
Education to receivethe Distinguished Faculry        efficient astheir smallercounterparts,                                                           in
                                                                                             particularly vidual studentsor about curricularissues facul-
Award. Dr. Faite Mack was recognized 1986.           for the most vulnerablekids.                         ty meetings.
    "It's an incredible honor," Armstrong said.          Studieshaveshown that schoolsizehas more              Studentsin large schoolsseetheir fiiends less
"I've beenan educator more than 30 yearsand
                        for                          influenceon studentachievement       than any other  freouentlv in extracurricular activities - includ-
this is a culminationof a career which eachstep
                               in                    factor controllable by educators.Students from       ing-athleiics- and have much lessopportunity
hasbeenrewarding.                                    smallerschoolssignificandyout-perform thosein        to hold leadershippositions.Parentsdo not visit
    "I see myself as representingmy School of        larse schoolson standardized    testsofbasic skills.              as frequendy or know their child's
Educationcolleagues    who makesimilar efforts.It    Srnaller-school students are more likely than        :[;:L*t
is a representation ofthe work all ofus do."         thosein larger schoolsto passmajor subjects     and       First and foremost,urban school facilities-
    Among the many programs Armstrong has            progress  towardgraduation.   National studiescon-   which are unsafe,unhealthy and inadequatein
assistedin developing and facilitating are the       firm that youngsters   learn more in reading,math,   terms ofhaving structural flaws, heating, electrical
FocusOn Ability summer program for gifted and        science and history in small schoolsthan in large and asbestos     problems- need to be updated to
talented students and the Graduate Teacher           ones.                                                meet current health. safew and fire codes.     These
Certification curriculum.                                As far back as the 1970s,researchers      found  costsare significant, but improved facilities repre-
    Armstrong has been afiiliated with GVSU          that lower-achieving   students performedbetter in   sent an investment in the future of our cities and
since 1980 and was Director of International         small schools.                                       our children.
Studiesfrom 1985-88 beforejoining the School               Smaller schoolscan becomethe focal ooint            State legislatorscould, and should, provide
of Education. In 1994, Armstrong receivedthe         for regeneratingcommunities and encouraging incentivegrantsand low-interestloansto any dis-
Outstanding Educator Award from GVSU.                more parentalsupport.                                trict - especiallypoor ones - to recreatemore
                                                                                                          humanely sized schoolsor design smaller school
                                                                Weighing Dollars With Sense
                                                                                                          units within larse school facfities.
                                                         Taxpayers led to beljevethat large schools            And while-financial support is needed to
   Teacher Education numbers at GVSU are uo          aremore economical.     Breakingup a 2,000 student upgrade outdated physical infrastructures of the
12.8 percentwith 380 studentsand 386 field           high schoolinto four separate   schools,criticscon-  buildings, the main resourceneeded to create
olacements the Fall semester
            in                   and 440students     tend. is too expensive    and reducesthe available smaller, more efficient learning communities
and 516 field placements during the current          resources  for      school,but the long-term edu-    within those walls is innovative thinking and col-
semester. Since 1990, graduate enrollment has        cational, "uih
                                                               psychological socialcosi and rami-
                                                                              and                         laborationamong educational     leaders.
increasedbv almost40 percent.                                  of failing to do so have neverbeen esti-        By reducing the size of our schools, big, big
   University              is at an all-time high    i?::^                                                things can happenfor our students.
with nearly 15,000 students attending classes            What community has determined how much
during the t997-98 academicyear.                     largeschoolsmay havecontributedto its misedu-             Robert Hagerty, Ed.D. h in his second   year as

    The School of Education is moving the
Teacher Education program and all administra-
                                                     Gonference Serves Dual Purpose
tive offices from Au Sable Hall to a newly con-         A recent conferencehosted bv faculw and                         -
                                                                                                          ferent aspects pro and con - ofthe School of
structed wing of Mackinac Hall for the start of      students wasaimedat preparing     first-yearieach-   Education program. Focus groups discussed
the 1998 Fall Semester.The move will provide         ers to better serve as classroommentors while        mentoring and collaboration, special education
the School of Education with additionJ class-        providing the School of Education with a             issues and laws, classroom management and
rooms and increasedfaculty office space.             detailed critioue of its curriculum.                 instruction, multi-age classroomstrategies,mid-
                                                        Grants orovided bv the Center For                 dle school practices,diversity and graduateedu-
ONTHE COVEk Dr. Frank Sebastian,left, and            Philanthropy^AndNonprofit Leadershipand the          cationalopporrunities.
Charles Sturtevant are colleagues education.
                                     in              Teaching and Learning Center enabled the                Facilitatorsfor the conference included SOE
Sturteoant is Facilitator of Secondary ducation
                                     E        for    School ofEducation to dissectcritical classroom      professors Linda McCrea, Joe Fisher, Patsy Fox,
Grand Rapids Public Schookand Sebastianis the        issuesat its first Mentoring Conference in the       Loretta Konecki, Sandra Miller, Barbxa
principal it Craton High School.  Elementaryschool   FalI of 1997.The workshop reunited recentgrad-       Reinken. Liz Storev and Connie Widdis and
teather Bridget Reiths is actively invokted tuith    uateswith current educationstudents.                 Grand Haven Pubiic Schools instructor Barb
Proiect WLD lessons.                                    Participantswere askedto reflect on the dif:      Sepura.

                                                           t*                        Grand     state(Jntutersity ofEducation
                                                                                          valley             school

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