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Duquesne Faculty Chosen as Sizemore Fellows to Research Urban Education

The Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Fellows Program at Duquesne University has named its inaugural scholars for 2010-2011. Seed grants were awarded to the following School of Education faculty completing research focused on issues in urban education. The Sizemore Fellows will be recognized at the July 21-22 inaugural Barbara A. Sizemore Summer ConferenceReconceptualizing Urban Education: In Search of a New Paradigm.

Dr. Terri Rodriguez and Dr. Nihat Polat are currently researching equity for English language learners in urban contexts. Increasing numbers of linguistically and culturally diverse K-12 students are in classrooms with teachers whose backgrounds and life experiences differ from their teachers. They will study diverse pre-service teachers’ beliefs and identities and whether (and how) such teachers’ beliefs actually differ from those of white teachers, especially if they are also middle or upper class.

Dr. Gretchen Generett’s research will document the impact of culturally relevant teaching practices on teachers’ professional lives and students’ success. This research will center on improving the professional experiences of teachers by integrating professional development experiences that support teachers’ everyday teaching lives as they work with students of color.

Dr. Alexandra Santau and Dr. Jason Ritter are investigating elementary teachers’ views on teaching inquiry-based, interdisciplinary science and social studies in urban settings. Current predominant teaching practices within the science and social studies disciplines involve memorization of terms, formulas and theories. Inquiry-based teaching methods offer another way of developing knowledge and understanding of science and social studies content conducive to learning.

Dr. Julia Williams and Dr. Rosemary Mautino are studying effective literacy practices for early childhood teachers in urban centers. They are researching preschool and pre-kindergarten contexts for African-American children. Through this project, they work closely with the Hill House Association and with other early childhood programs.

Dr. Jinhee Kim’s research investigates teacher perceptions concerning homeless children. Rather than blaming homeless children and their families for living in poverty, Kim’s research encourages teachers to examine the realities of homelessness in the lives of young children and to reflect on their own perceptions about those children.

Dr. Temple Lovelace and Dr. Kara McGoey will examine the effects of culturally responsive practice in urban, early-childhood education programs using Response to Intervention with preschoolers in at-risk situations. Although students of color are disproportionately represented in many categories of special education, two of the most immediate concerns are the number of students that are being referred for emotional and/or behavior disorders, as well as for mild intellectual disabilities.

The Sizemore Fellows Program strives to enhance research on urban education, provide faculty with experience in grant writing with committee review, enhance the quality of proposal writing and provide mentoring to faculty in the School of Education.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.