Union University’s School of Education Hosts Fifth Education Research Forum
October 19, 2011 - Union University’s School of Education hosted its fifth annual Education Research Forum on its Germantown, TN campus on September 22-23, 2011. The forum brought together university students, teachers, principals, superintendents, professors, and researchers to contemplate ideas surrounding this year’s conference theme: Transforming Education for Diverse and Urban Learners. Dr. Dianne Morgan, Associate Professor of Education, chaired the forum, while assisted by her School of Education colleagues on the Germantown campus.
Former and current graduate students of Union’s School of Education were well represented among conference presenters. Jason Castles and Arthur Scott offered attendees relevant knowledge related to teaching diverse and urban learners. Castles presented, “Intercultural Competence among First-Year College Students”, while Scott shared insight on, “Understanding the Urgent Needs of Urban Students.”
Union faculty members were also among the presenters of the forum. Dr. Tom Rosebrough provided the opening keynote address for the conference. He spoke on, “Beyond the Tyranny of the Present: What We Know and What Matters in Instructional Practice.” Other faculty presenters and topics included the following:
Dr. Robin Scott, “Language’s Glass Ceiling”; Dr. Carren Gallaher, “From Pride through Prejudice: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Dialogue of At-Risk and Privileged Learners”; and Dr. Michele Atkins and Connie Vincent, “The Effect of Mentoring on Mentors’ and Mentored Non-Tenured Teachers’ Perceived Self-Efficacy.”
The forum also included a panel discussion about improving outcomes in diverse and urban educational environments. The panel consisted of two Union University alumni, both of whom are making a profound difference in Memphis-area schools. Dr. Cedrick Gray represented Fayette County School District, as he is currently serving as the Superintendent of Schools in this west Tennessee school district. Dr. Reginald Williams represented Memphis City Schools, as he is currently serving as the principal of Kirby High School in Memphis.
The forum was well represented with attendees present from a wide geographical area. In addition to representation from area schools and colleges, attendees were also present from across Tennessee, Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio.
Anissa Listak, the Founder and Executive Director of Urban Teacher Residency United (UTRU), presented the closing keynote address. Listak spoke on “Teacher Residencies: A New Movement in Teacher Preparation.” She spoke of her passionate reasons for preparing great teachers for urban classrooms through the UTRU network. Union University is partnered with the Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) program, a member of UTRU network. Through the Union and MTR partnership, college graduates are able to earn a Master of Urban Education degree while completing the requirements of their residency program in a high-need, urban school in Memphis. The MUED students were present at the forum and shared insightful knowledge related to their experiences, while also learning from conference presenters.
Executive Dean of the College of Education and Human Studies, Dr. Tom Rosebrough, summarized the event by saying, “I think this Forum was a very significant event in the life of Union’s School of Education.” The forum was presented by the School of Education and sponsored by the Center for Educational Practice.