Student and Alumni Success
The Art of Play
Senior Emily Kennedy brightens up the ONU Child Development Center with a new mural.
For young children in school, recess is the time to take a break from the rigors of learning and just have fun with friends. But does that mean that there is no place for learning on the playground? The Ohio Northern University Child Development Center certainly doesn’t think so, and more to the point, they actually commissioned a mural for their playground to reinforce educational concepts to children while they play.
An artist-signed masterpiece.
“We believe that a child’s environment can also act as a teacher,” says June Zimmerman, director of the Child Development Center. “The mural is an interactive tool that we can use when we play games outside that address math, science, literacy and social studies objectives at the preschool level.”
The idea for a mural came from a desire to improve the center both aesthetically and functionally. Zimmerman wanted to “spruce up” the CDC and raise the profile of the facility in the community, and Dr. Sandy Calvert, director of ONU’s Center of Teacher Education, was looking for on-campus opportunities to engage education majors with high-impact, experiential learning.
Student and Director of Teacher Education Present at OCTEO
Danielle Hendershott, a senior seeking teacher licensure in early childhood education and intervention specialist, and Dr. Sandy Calvert presented a round table discussion entitled "Hold Hands, Play Nicely, and Look Both Ways: How Collaboration can Mean Opportunity for Teacher Candidates" at the 2013 Spring Conference of the Ohio Confederation of Teacher Education Organizations (OCTEO).
As one of the facilitators of the round table discussion, Danielle shared her experiences participating in an Ohio Northern University agreement with Bluffton University that allows ONU students to complete course work at Bluffton to earn licensure as intervention specialists.
Center for Teacher Education Students Co-Present with Professor at State Conference
Pictured (left to right) with Dr. Diana Garlough are teacher candidates junior Emily Jones (early childhood education, intervention specialist), senior Kayla Rife (early childhood education), and senior Ashley Clapp (middle childhood education) who co-presented at The Ohio Confederation of Teacher Education Organizations in October of 2012 in Dublin, Ohio. The presentation, “Silent Partners in Teacher Education Programs: Teacher Candidates,” allowed the group to speak about the heart of Ohio Northern’s education program, field experience. The presenters provided an overview of the research in school-university partnerships and field experiences, and provided a venue for teacher candidates to share their experiences.
Garlough’s conception of the presentation stemmed from her high regard for the teacher candidates and their ability to articulate the value of field experience. During the presentation, teacher candidates discussed applying theory to practice, creating meaningful teacher-student relationships, and learning how practitioners reflect and plan as well as seeing exemplary teachers in action. ONU’s Teacher candidates invest over 200 hours of field experiences working mostly in schools with students prior to their student teaching. Teacher candidates obviously have a lot to say about their experiences, what works well and what needs to be improved.
The presentation was well attended by teacher education faculty members from across Ohio from large and small public and private universities. Garlough was pleased with the professional demeanor the teacher candidates displayed, their ability to showcase their understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of field experience, and to handle questions from the other faculty members.
Professors, Students Participate in Social Studies Conference
Dr. James Schul, assistant professor of education, and Dr. Russ Crawford, associate professor of history, along with a team of students, took part in and made presentations at the Ohio Council for the Social Studies annual conference held Oct. 2, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.
Ben Nauman, a senior in social studies from Richwood, Ohio, and Trey Jones, a senior in social studies from Ada, Ohio, gave a presentation with Crawford titled, “Reading History Through Political Cartoons.”
Amarilla Fair, a junior in history from Mercer, Pa., and Tom Walton, a senior from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, gave a presentation with Schul titled, “Reading Visual Texts: Using Imagery in the History Classroom.
Also talking part in the conference were Kayla Rife, a senior in early childhood development from Custar, Ohio; Samson Meyer, a senior in middle childhood development from Troy, Ohio; Dustin Scott, a senior in social studies from Belle Center, Ohio; Aaron Craft, a senior in social studies from St. Mary’s Ohio, and Jared Horstman from Bluffton University.
The event allowed the social studies majors to network with social studies professionals throughout the state and to cultivate valuable resources as they embark upon their careers as middle and secondary social studies teachers.