Students from the Department of Teacher Education at Shawnee State University (SSU) participated in the Ohio Middle Level Association (OMLA) State Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati Oct. 27-28.
The students themselves conducted four sessions, providing them with the opportunity to present their own research alongside nationally recognized education leaders, Rick Wormeli, Anthony Muhammad and Jack Berckemeyer.
“I have taken students to this conference for at least the past 10 to 12 years, SSU was actually one of the first universities to bring students,” said Dr. Gay Lynn Shipley.
Shipley serves as the Middle Childhood and Adolescent Young Adult Program Coordinator.
“At Shawnee, we have five domains of teacher capacity,” Shipley said. “The first domain is content knowledge, the second domain is diverse learners, the third is learning context and environments, the fourth domain is instructional strategies and assessments and the fifth domain is professionalism. By attending a conference like this, they’re not only learning these domains, it gives them exposure to other colleagues in their licensure area, it exposes them to different teaching strategies and provides them with opportunities to hear Nationally recognized educators.”
The first session titled, “Same but Different,” lead by Ryan Conley, Julie Woodruff, Jessie Monroe and Malissa Bambic, focused on the various strategies for instruction that allow teaching students to identify similarities and differences in content, based on the “Essentials for Achieving Rigor” series by Connie Scoles West and Robert Marzano.
“Our research went over not only the different the types of graphic organizers and matrices that you can use as a teacher, but when and at what developmental stage you can use them at in order to be most effective in the classroom,” said Ryan Conley.
Students Karleigh Murnahan, Marissa Nuti and Casey Meenach, presented on the Socratic method and its effectiveness in regards to formal discussion in a seventh grade classroom.
“The Socratic method is a form of discussion and questioning skills, where you give students some guided questions and the room is arranged in two semi circles,” explained Shipley. “The group that is in the inner circle is allowed to have the discussion and talk. The group that’s in the outside circle simply listens to the conversation. If someone from the outside circle really wants to make a comment, then they had a seat in the middle called the hot-seat and one person could come and get in the hot-seat and add to the conversation. Then they change roles. “
The third session,”The Effectiveness of Technology Integration When Reviewing for Tests on Students’ Test Scores,” was based on a study conducted by students Alex Eben, Abby Brinkman and Lacrissa Woolridge. The survey was designed to gauge the effectiveness of using technology to review test material with students prior to an exam.
According to their study, On average students test scores increase by 4.73 percent when technology was integrated into the review before the tests were given. Based upon their qualitative results, they found that students preferred the technology review by about 75 percent. The data shows that students were more actively engaged during the entire class period when technology was used and they were more positive about the review in general.
And the last session, “Knowing What is Critical,” centered around teaching strategies that empower students and their abilities to identify critical content for learning. This session, led by Mikelle Moon, Ian Snyder and Kendi Congrove, was based upon principals from the “Essentials for Achieving Rigor” series by Senn, Rutherford, and Marzano.
After presenting their own sessions, the students were free to attend other presentations that piqued interest or related to their stance on education and educational philosophy.
“Overall the conference went really well. The informational sessions usually had a couple of inspirational ideas on how to effectively manage a classroom, better assessments for students, and how to offer a better education in general,” said student Alex Eben. “Even if there were sessions that went over information that we already knew, it was comforting because it showed that Shawnee’s education department is doing a pretty good job of educating us.”
For more information about the Teacher Education department at Shawnee State, you can go online to www.shawnee.edu/academics/teacher-education or by calling 740-351-3451.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.