Conferences, Workshops and Community Engagement

Second Annual Film Screening on Education Issues Features 'Underwater Dreams'

In February, the School of Education co-sponsored the second annual film screening on current issues in pk-16 education. This year’s documentary film, "Underwater Dreams," features a group of undocumented high school students and their efforts to compete in a national robotics competition and access post-secondary education.

The screening was followed by a panel of Cal Poly faculty, students and community college and high school guidance counselors who discussed the struggles that undocumented youth face in the pursuit of secondary and post-secondary education. The event was a cross-disciplinary collaboration led by Tanya Flushman, professor of elementary literacy education and partners from the Cal Poly Multicultural Engineering Program, Volunteers in Service to America, the Materials Engineering Department, and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

CSU Early Assessment Program Creates Community Connections

The Early Assessments Program (EAP) was developed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office to test and support California high school students with specific courses and curriculum that allow them to succeed in college. This year, the School of Education integrated EAP into its programming activities. Professors Frances Mayer and Sidonie Wiedenkeller are coordinating Cal Poly's community outreach for the program and have received positive results.

They held their first workshop on the Expository Reading and Writing Course in February at Pioneer Valley High School. English teachers and teacher candidates from English teachers and teacher candidate participants at that workshop will come from Pioneer Valley, Righetti, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande and New Tech high schools attended.

These growing relationships with area high schools also led to high attendance at January's Xicano Youth Conference, hosted by MEXA, Cal Poly's Latino fraternity. The conference helps middle and high school minority and at-risk students learn how to pursue and complete a college education.

Author Lee Mun Wah Leads Diversity Workshop for Educators

Each year, the School of Education brings a well-known author to the Central Coast. This year, diversity trainer and author Lee Mun Wah from StirFry Seminars and Consulting facilitated a workshop on creating community in diverse school settings. Workshop participants learned to identify unconscious bias in educational practices and build trusting relationships with students and families of diverse backgrounds. Over 100 students, staff and faculty from Cal Poly and local schools attended the workshop.

Candidates Travel to Bilingual Educators Conference

Each spring, teacher candidates and faculty in the Bilingual Authorization Program attend the California Association for Bilingual Educators conference. The conference gives teacher candidates a better understanding of how to support and educate California's growing population of emerging English Language Learners, focusing on teaching strategies and social justice issues. Participants select the topics and themes of greatest interest to them. This year nine bilingual candidates and faculty members Julee Bauer and Briana Ronan attended the conference in San Diego, Calif. This opportunity is funded in part through a private donation.

Professor Collaborates on Project-Based Science Units for Elementary School

Shirley Magnusson is joining former colleagues from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University to develop project-based units geared to the Next Generation Science Standards for third through fifth grades. The five-year, $5 million project is funded by the George Lucas Foundation and led by Joe Krajcik, director of the Create for STEM Institute at Michigan State University. The units will also incorporate concepts from the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Annemarie Palincsar, the project's co-leader, is a national expert in the area of literacy. Magnusson and Palincsar are known for their development of novel elementary-level texts that are modeled after the notebook of a scientist. The units developed during this project will include this type of text along with technology-based tools for integrating science and literacy.

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School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407