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Education Program News

Congratulations to Mary Jo Louters

Mary Jo Louters has retired after 21 years in the Education Department! Mary Jo placed hundreds of teacher interns, served as an Education advisor, and worked on many important projects such as the expansion of student teaching placement to locations across the U.S.

Chinese Program Approved

We are pleased to announce that the Michigan Department of Education has approved Calvin to certify teachers in Chinese. From the MDE approval letter: "As the only Christian college in North America offering a comprehensive program in Chinese language - and the only program in Michigan west of Lansing - the potential for this program to fill a critical shortage area for educators in Michigan and beyond with highly effective teachers is particularly high." Contact advisor Larry Herzberg for details. Click here for the GR Press article.

Education in Zambia

Professors Nalova Westbrook and Marj Terpstra are in Zambia with 15 Calvin students. Calvin students will identify and describe culturally sustaining practices and beliefs among Christian educators in several schools in Zambia. Students will observe and engage education in Zambia in order to recognize the value of culturally-relevant pedagogy. This project has been funded by a 2014 Nagel Fellowship Grant.

West Elementary Partnership

Calvin students and faculty have been involved with mathematics instruction at West Elementary since 2011.

Beversluis Award in Christian Philosophy of Education

This award is given in honor of the late Dr. N. Henry Beversluis, who was a long time professor of the philosophy of education courses at Calvin College (1966-1979) and had previously served as a teacher and principal in several Christian schools. The aim of the award is to foster responsible thinking among students about Christian schooling in contemporary society and is given to students who best exemplify and express their Christian philosophy of education as determined by current professors of the philosophy of education course.

2013-2014 Winners are: Derek Buursma, Nate Brees, and Gabe Gunnink

Vander Ark Distinguished Teacher Education Student Award

This award reflects exemplary performance in student teaching as well as an excellent academic record.

2013-2014 Winners are:
Elementary - Kelley Farrell (nominated by Susan Wilkins); Kimbra Fillipini (nominated by Susan Verwys); and Jee Sun Kim (nominated by Susan Verwys)
Secondary - Derek Buursma, Social Studies (nominated by Robert Schoone-Jongen); Dave Sarkipato, Math (nominated by Gary Talsma)

2014 Faith & Learning Award

Dr. Tom Hoeksema, special education professor emeritus, has been chosen to receive the 2014 Faith & Learning Award from the Calvin Alumni Association. This award honors a former faculty member who has successfully and consistently integrated faith and learning in the classroom.

Tripod Initiative

Calvin is pioneering the Tripod student survey project during spring 2014. We will administer surveys to the K-12 students with whom our candidates are working during student teaching. The surveys are designed to assess student perceptions of teaching effectiveness, student engagement, student satisfaction, and classroom climate. We look forward to receiving valuable feedback about the performance of our candidates in the classroom.

Technology and Christian Schooling

Beginning summer 2014, the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning at Calvin College will be conducting a three-year research study based at Holland Christian Schools and involving researchers from the Education and Economics departments at Calvin College. The purpose of the study, to be carried out by Steve McMullen, Kara Sevensma, David Smith, and Marj Terpstra, is to explore how rapid technological change interacts with the Christian goals, beliefs, and practices of a faith-based school, an area in which there has been very little research despite the current pace of change in educational technology. We hope to generate insight and resources that can both help Holland Christian Schools to gain additional insight into their own work and provide guidance for other Christian schools facing similar changes.

What it really means to support the arts for kids

Art faculty member Jo-Ann Van Reuuwyk talks about why – and how – West Michigan should advocate for arts education for all of its children.

Jo Kuyvenhoven leads nationwide literacy effort in Sierra Leone

Education Professor Jo Kuyvenhoven has returned to Sierra Leone every year, educating herself about the country and about the circumstances in which children are learning to read and about the level of training teachers receive. Kuyvenhoven was asked by World Bank’s Global Partnership for Education to help head up the largest component of the $17.9 million “Revitalize Education Development Project” for Sierra Leone.

Vander Ark Distinguished Teacher Education Student Award
This award reflects exemplary performance in student teaching as well as an excellent academic record.

2012-2013 Winners are:
Elementary - Sarah Fennema, Averi McEwen, and Ana Meekhof
Secondary - Kendra Beekman, Math; Eun Sub Cho, Integrated Science; Caleb Lagerway, History

Beversluis Award in Christian Philosophy of Education
This award is given in honor of the late Dr. N. Henry Beversluis, who was a long time professor of the philosophy of education courses at Calvin College (1966-1979) and had previously served as a teacher and principal in several Christian schools. The aim of the award is to foster responsible thinking among students about Christian schooling in contemporary society and is given to students who best exemplify and express their Christian philosophy of education as determined by current professors of the philosophy of education course.

2012-2013 Winners are: Tara Elders and Eun Sub Cho

TEAC Accreditation

On May 3, 2013 the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) Accreditation Committee accepted the Accreditation Panel's recommendation for initial accreditation, five years, with no weaknesses and no stipulations, for the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program at Calvin College. The Summary of the Case describes Calvin's claims and program assessment plans.

Improving Teacher Quality Grants

Two $200,000 grants will enable Calvin faculty to work with local educators on effective ways to teach writing and mathematics.

Dr. John Walcott received the Scholar Award from the Association of Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education (AILACTE).

Dr. Walcott has designed a research project investigating how colleges prepare teachers to work in urban schools.

Interim 2013: Indonesian Intersections: Business, Education and Culture

Students met with leaders in business, religion, healthcare, and education as they traveled across Java, Bali, and Sulawesi by plane, boat, bike, and automobile. The group visited a Balinese Hindu school and eight Christian K-12 schools supported by Reformed and Presbyterian churches in Indonesia. Education students shadowed teachers in International and National schools. They also met with college students and professors in business and education at UPH, a Christian university near Jakarta.

Interim 2013: Learning, Poverty, and Schooling

Participants developed an understanding of the challenges of urban education while visiting urban schools in Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Honors Program in Education

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for the new Honors Program in Education.

Congratulations to Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk

Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk has been recognized as the 2013 Michigan Art Education Association Higher Ed. Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching art education courses at Calvin since 2001.

Education students intern at Calvin's Ecosystem Preserve

Education students assist with camps for kids at Calvin's preserve.

Literacy in Local Schools

Dr. Ron Sjoerdsma's secondary education students are using games, music, art and other strategies to teach literacy in two local middle schools.
Lament Psalms and Children
Q&A on the Worship Institute website with Education professor Robert Keeley and his wife, Laura, who co-direct children's ministries at their church in Holland, on making lament psalms accessible to children.
Improving Literacy Instruction
A $200,000 Teacher Quality Grant allows Calvin's education department to enhance the teaching of reading in local schools.
Improving Math Teaching in Grand Rapids
Calvin math professor Jan Koop is using a $200,000 Michigan Department of Education grant to help area teachers understand and teach mathematics.
Dr. Thomas Hoeksema Retires
Dr. Hoeksema retired from the Education Department in 2011 after 35 years at Calvin.
Student Teacher of the Year
Please join us in congratulating DeDe Orlando who was recognized as the 2011 Michigan Student Teacher of the Year!
Frederik Meijer Gardens Internship
View a short video piece on a senior education student who had an internship at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park during Summer 2010.
Grant Supports Mathematics Education
Congratulations to Professor Jan Koop who was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Education to provide professional development in mathematics to 41 educators.
Dr. Jim Rooks appointed as Dean of Education
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jim Rooks will begin his term as Dean of Education during the fall 2009 semester.
Literacy in Sierra Leone
Dr. Johanna Kuyvenhoven was awarded a planning grant from the Higher Education for Development program in 2009 to support her work in Sierra Leone. Jo and her collaborators will develop a teaching of reading syllabus to be used in teacher training colleges. Her book, The Crocodile's Reward, was distributed to teachers throughout the country in 2008.
The Joys and Challenges of Urban Music Education
Six Calvin students spent Interim teaching music in the Grand Rapids Public Schools as part of a class led by Professor Phillip Hash.
Grants Support Partnerships with Local Schools
Teacher Education Program faculty have been awarded over $750,000 by the Michigan Department of Education over the past four years.