Curriculum and Instruction

Faculty/Department Highlights 


May 2014

Dee Lee

Education was always highly valued in Debbie Lee’s family. Her grandmother, born in 1896, was a woman beyond her time. She had a Master’s Degree, taught at the college level and inspired Debbie, who planned to teach geometry someday.  Read Full Article 

February 2014

Dr. Jon Jones and Dr. Frances Steward conducted two sessions of “Write It-Do It” in the 2014 Science Olympiad with students in competition from area junior high and high schools.  Students were in partners reading, writing and following multi-directions with specified dimensions from a hands-on, manipulative simulation of objects designed by Dr. LaVerne Logan of WIU's Quad Cities campus.


February 5: Terry Smith received acceptance for publication of Virtual Learning Environments in the peer-reviewed Encyclopedia of Educational Technology published by Sage Publications scheduled for January 2015. The project is edited by J. Michael Spector of the University of North Texas.


Kathy Barclay presented a two-hour statewide webinar for administrators on February 4 entitled "Recognizing Effective Emergent and Early Literacy Practices." The webinar was sponsored by the IL Resource Center/ISBE.

Debbie Lee presented "Scaffolding Play with Indoor and Outdoor Prop Boxes" at the Chicago Metro AEYC Conference on February 1.


January 2014

Debbie Lee taught an Active and Collaborative Learning class on January 25 for the Quad City Professional Development Network.

Terry Smith's paper, Guiding Elementary Preservice Teachers in Global Projects in Clinical Classrooms to Provide Authentic 21st Century Learning Experiences, is being published by the University of Oregon technology journal EdTechnology Ideas in the January-March 2014 issue.


December 2013

Showing our C&I Pride! Dr. Sara Simonson and some of her students on the last day of RDG 588 class on the Quad Cities campus are showing off the new department t-shirt.

Pictured below, left to right: Gail Cahill, Carrie Cooper, Sara Simonson, Jamie DeVilbiss, Lori Jacobson.

Dr. Sara Simonson and RDG 588 QC Students Fall 2013



December 6-7, 2013
Dickens on the Square, Living Windows
Frances Steward, Gregg Jorgansen, and 16 WIU students won 2nd place with 2 Dickens' Living Windows. Students and professors dressed in Victorian costumes read Christmas stories to 11 Macomb area children and 15 adults. Everyone played musical instruments to the theme, Up on the Housetop! Parents, children, students, and professors had lots of fun reading in the bitter cold weather!

Dickens on the Square Group 1

Dickens on the Square Window    Dickens on the Square Story



C&I hosted the first Winter Carnival  for students on December 2. It was a fun time for students and faculty to come together to enjoy activities outside the classroom. Below are some pictures from the event.

Winter Carnival 2013, Mary Jensen Winter Carnival 2013, Students with Cookies

  Winter Carnival 2013, Photo Booth

November 2013

Terry Smith co-presented with a 4th grade teacher from Hannibal, MO at the National Council of the Social Studies Conference in St. Louis on November 22 on the global Landmark Project, an event for elementary and middle school students involving collaboration using technology in culture, geography, history, and global awareness.


Dr. Abha Singh presented at the Illinois  Education and Technology Conference (IETC) on November 15.

Tools for Early Childhood Science: Useful Apps in the Spotlight Teaching Early Childhood Students
Dr. Abha Singh
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL
Illinois  Education and Technology Conference (IETC)
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Springfield, Illinois
Nov 14-15, 2013

Just as a computer plays a central role in developing and applying scientific knowledge, “Apps” can also facilitate the learning of science. This presentation will provide ideas on which apps, and how to implement them for science engagement for early childhood and elementary learners. The National Research Council (1996) recommends it.

1.   Apps are appropriate for early childhood learners for science engagement.
2.   Implementation of apps in a classroom situation for science engagement.
3.   Examine the use of apps to address individual student scientific comprehension with formative assessment with the use of the Apps.
4.   Direct student engagement to foster gradual release of responsibility for students to explore and learn about a science topic.

On Nov. 14-15 Christine Anderson, Melinda Grimm, and Laura Kieran presented a two-hour workshop, Using iPads to Support the Common Core English Language Arts Standards, at the Illinois Education and Technology Conference in Springfield, IL.

Susan Massey published the article The Three C’s of Professional Development: The Coach, Content, and the Context in the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers Thirty-Fifth Yearbook on Nov. 13.

The WIU - Quad Cities 1st Annual Research and Scholarship Symposium took place in the 60th Street campus building on Wednesday, November 13. The aim of the QCRSS network is to help faculty at the Western Illinois University - Quad Cities campus connect with colleagues to develop research partnerships, to gain support, and to share research expertise and accomplishments. C&I department presenters included:

Christine Anderson, Ph.D.; Melinda Grimm; and Laura Kieran, Ph.D.

            Methods Classes and Technology: Powerful Partners

Presenters will share apps and strategies which can be used with and modeled for our students and teacher candidates. These apps can be used to solve two common problems in the classroom: a lack of planning/revision during the writing process and a lack of engagement in the classroom.

On Nov. 7-8 Christine Anderson and Laura Kieran presented two presentations at the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children's 36th annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. On Thursday, November 7, they presented An iPad Writing/Reading Intervention in Secondary Special Education Classroom. Friday, November 8th's presentation was titled Effective Practice Using iPad Apps in Higher Education. Pictured below are Dr. Anderson, left, and Dr. Kieran, right.

Drs. Anderson and Kieran at TED/CEC Nov 2013

On Nov. 7 Kathy Barclay presented a statewide webinar entitled Language Reasoning: Supporting Developmentally Appropriate Practices While Using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale for more than 100 preschool teachers and child care providers. The webinar is part of a series sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education/Illinois Resource Center/Starnet.

Debbie Lee presented On the Cheap, a workshop of making inexpensive materials for the preschool classroom, at the Quad Cities Early Childhood Conference on Nov. 2.

Heather Crouch and Jeanine Wilker presented a session entitled Making Book Comparisons and Asking Thought-Provoking Questions at the Quad Cities Early Childhood Conference on Saturday, November 2. Heather Crouch is pictured below at left, and Jeanine Wilker is pictured below at right.

Crouch - QCECH Conference Wilker - QCECH Cropped

Susan Massey presented iPad ad Use in Elementary Literacy Tutoring Experiences at the Association of Literacy Educators Research 57th annual conference in Dallas, TX on Nov. 1.

Congratulations to Kathy Barclay for receiving a $78,567 grant from the Illinois Reading Council for the "Illinois Reading Council Journal" for FY14!


October 2013

New C&I T-shirt!

This semester we held a departmental t-shirt design contest. There were two winning designs by students Jonathan Deshasier, BS, and Brittany Havrilla, BS. The t-shirt is being debuted for homecoming 2013, and proceeds from sales will benefit future C&I student projects.  Light gray is the chosen color and four sizes (S-XL) are available. Please support the cause! For orders, contact the C&I office at (309) 298-1961.

C&I T-shirt 2013

Front design: Jonathan Deshasier

C&I T-shirt 2013 Back

 Back design: Brittany Havrilla



Announcing the CEC Conference on Professional Interviewing Skills

Friday, November 1
9:00-12: noon
Sponsored By: Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The Council for Exceptional Children will present a half-day conference on professional interview skills. The main speakers are Dr. Mark Twomey, Superintendent of Macomb Public Schools, and a panel of first-year teachers who will present their interview suggestions, experiences, and tips. There will be time for mock interviews where students can volunteer to be interviewed and receive tips from the professionals.

Tentative Schedule:

8:30 - 9:00 Registration and coffee time
9:00 - Welcome from CEC and Dr. Anne Gregory, Chair, Curriculum and Instruction
9:10 - Dr. Twomey, Interviewing Skills for Success
9:50 – Mrs. Richmond, Dressing for Success
10:15 - New Teacher Panel Presentation, Personal Interview Success Stories
          Stephanie Reiher – Macomb School District
          Lisa Davison – Macomb School District
          Lorree Kerr – West Prairie School District
          Shawna McLaughlin – Fulton County / Cuba School District
11:00 - Mock Interviews: Practice your interview skills!
12:00 - Certificates of attendance will be presented

There are a limited number of seats available. The first 75 registrations received will be confirmed for attendance at the conference.

Handouts of Interview information will be provided.

Certificates of attendance will be passed out at the end of the program.


Kathy Barclay presented Sharing a Vision, at theIllinois Collaborative Early Childhood Conference in Springfield, IL on Oct. 3.

Debbie Lee, Teresa Freking of Black Hawk College, and Kathy Conway of Eastern Iowa Community College co-presented the class Designing Courses for the 21st Century on Oct. 5 as part of the Quad Cities Professional Development Network’s Excellence in College Teaching Series. The QCPDN is a consortium of seven colleges and universities in the Quad Cities area.

The Global Monster Project, facilitated by Terry Smith, is under way with participating teachers and students from Sweden, Russia, Canada, Israel, Taiwan, Myanmar, England, and many schools from across the US. Included in the project are recent WIU graduates Ellen Rush, Dena Shaw, Jaclyn Cawthon, Christy Moran, and Rebecca Gallico, along with current WIU pre-service teachers in ELED 470. The project provides a community of practice where veterans and novices work together across boundaries, distances, and languages to create a project-based learning/technology experience for their elementary students. New this year is a Facebook group, which teachers are accessing with cell phones, iPads, and computers to communicate and arrange email pals and Skype sessions. Geographic information and student created media from past and present projects along with photos, videos, class descriptions are available on the project site.

Community involvement facilitated by WIU Infant and Preschool was featured at the Lakeview Nature Center, located just outside Macomb. Family Fun Night was the title of the event that took place adjacent of Spring Lake Park. Twenty-four children and 17 families participated in fun-filled educational activities. Activities ranged from animal puzzles to identifying animal tracks. This event introduced some parents to new areas in the community and allowed children and their families to interact with one another outside of school.


Barry Witten presented Teaching with a Global Perspective at the Illinois Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, held at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, on October 11.

Debbie Lee presented Doing more than Talking the Talk in San Antonio, TX on Oct. 15 at the Critical Questions in Education Conference. Lee's presentation focused on role modeling for her early childhood students on how to teach their perspective young children.    


Kathy Barclay presented "Selecting High Quality Nonfiction to Help K-2 Children Meet the Common Core Standards for Reading" at the Connecticut State Reading Association conference held in Cromwell, CT, on Oct. 18.


Frances Steward and students from her C&I 476 Parent/Community Involvement classes participated in Moon Over Macomb on Oct. 19. They painted pumpkins, distributed free books, and read stories to children who participated in the community event. Melissa Stinnett assisted and is pictured with two participants below.

Melissa Stinnett Moon Over Macomb
Moon Over Macomb Moon Over Macomb



Abha Singh presented Digital Natives: Simulations for Active Learners, at the KDP International Honors Society at Education Conference in Dallas, TX on Oct. 25. 

Laura Kieran and Melissa Stinnett presented iPad Instructions to Increase Teachers’ Technology Integration Skills at the 49th Biennial Kappa Delta Pi Convocation on Oct. 24-26 in Dallas, TX.

September 2013

Sharon Maroney gave two presentations at the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders Fall International Conference, which took place September 26-28 in Chicago, IL:

A Brighter Future: Prevention and Intervention on Behalf of Students with Challenging Behaviors

UDL for EBD - Universal Design for Learning for Students with EBD
Universal design for learning is a powerful model that increases the accessibility of instruction for all students. Several components of UDL directly address the specific needs of students with EBD. This presentation will provide participants with information on a application of UDL to meet the needs of students with EBD. Participants will be provided with the information and tools needed to apply UDL in their classroom instruction.

Moving From Good to Great: Improving Your Teaching Skills
How do good teachers become great teachers? Through honest assessment, information gathering, goal setting, and behavior change. In this presentation participants will be provided with a teacher improvement plan which has been used successfully by several teachers. The primary focus is a set of evidence-based teacher behaviors linked to improved student learning and classroom behavior.

The Kappa Delta Pi Educational Essentials annual conference was held in Horrabin Hall 1 on Saturday, September 28. Due to everyone's help in encouraging students to attend, the participation this year was above average. There were more than 70 participants (60 pre-service and 10 in-service teachers). This year, KDP and WIRC (Western Illinois Reading Council) co-sponsored the annual conference. The program included presentations from in-service teachers from the Galesburg, IL school district as well as professors from the C&I department. The presentations were all very good and useful. Many people commented on how much they were able to take away from the presentations.

My special thank you goes out to Dr. Anne Gregory who stopped by and was able to introduce herself and welcome the participants.

Thank you to Dr. Melissa Stinnett, Dr. Frances Steward, Dr. Terry Smith, Dr. Pam Godt, Melinda Grimm, Dr. Maria Dunston, as well as the WIRC members Jennifer Young, Alissa Tucker, Jeri Kitchin, Becky Carlson, and Jenny Bredemeier who helped with many details of the event as well as presentations.

It would not have been possible without the team.

KDP Counselor

Below: Presentation titled - "Discipline with Dignity," by Alissa Tucker
Discipline with Dignity - Alissa Tucker

Below: Presentation titled - " Common Core - Literacy/Science," by Dr. Melissa Stinnett
Common Core - Literacy/Science by Dr. Melissa Stinnett

Below: Presenters from left: Jeri Kitchin, Alissa Tucker, Melissa Stinnett, Becky Carlson, Jenny Bredemeier
KDP Confrence Presenters

On Sept. 20 Debbie Lee presented Get Up and Get Moving, a workshop on large motor and creative movement activities, to early childhood educators from across the state of Iowa.

Frances Steward
and Boh Young Lee participated in the Macomb Altrusa Club's community partnership activity, International Literacy Day, on September 9 in Chandler Park. The focus of the event and club was to promote and contribute to reading. Children were read age-appropriate books from various genres of interest. Dr. Steward also participated in another community initiative partnership on the same afternoon that was informally initiated with the Food for Thought After School Program located in the First Presbyterian Church of Macomb. Director Will Wetzel coordinates efforts with the Macomb Soup Kitchen (hot meals), area emergency shelters, and is implementing a technology provision for computers with area families who qualify. WIU ELED and Mortar Board Senior Honor Society students will share free books with the children in the program.

Melissa Stinnett has received a fellowship from International Studies to conduct research in New Zealand. She will be investigating a New Zealand school’s curriculum regarding inquiry-based instruction. She will also be exploring learning community’s professional development program and how it impacts the inquiry instruction occurring in the classroom.

Frances Steward held a community service event in Chandler Park, Macomb on September 8. International Literacy Day was the title of the event that consisted of two hours of children reading in the park.

Applause to Gregg Jorgensen! His book, John Dewey and the Dawn of Social Studies, is being reviewed for publication in the Journal of Teachers College Record.

Mary McMurtery is now offering 30-minute weekly yoga classes on Wednesdays at 12:15pm in Horrabin Hall 1 (location subject to change). Contact Mary directly for more details: or (309)298-1961.

The newest class of Faculty Innovators began Friday, September 6, including our own Mary Jensen!

Terry Smith presented Showcase of Western Online Courses and Best Practices on Thursday, Sept. 5.

August 2013

Kathy Barclay published Making Reading Real: Addressing the Common Core State Standards in the Primary Grades on August 12. Her publication can be found in the New Mexico Journal of Reading, Spring/Summer 2013, Vol 33, No 3, pp.15-23.

July 2013

July is a month of new beginnings!

Welcome, Dr. Anne Gregory!

We welcome Dr. Anne E. Gregory as our new Department Chair on July 22, 2013. She comes to us from Boise State University, where she served as Professor in the Department of Literacy. She earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Early Literacy. She received a M.A. in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, emphasizing Adult and Higher Education, and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Purdue. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gregory to WIU!

Dr. Anne Gregory




Thank you, Cindy!

Dr. Cindy Dooley, Department Chair and mainstay of C&I for the past several years, is moving on to a new position in COEHS, having been promoted to Associate Dean of Teacher Education. Congratulations, Cindy! The department came together to honor her service and leadership at the last faculty meeting of the 12-13 academic year on May 10, 2013. We are grateful for all you have done in representing and leading our department, and we look forward to working with you in your new capacity as Associate Dean. All the best and good luck in your new endeavors!

June 2013

Susan Massey presented Text Feature Walks: Helping Students Comprehend Informational Text on June 25 at the annual Iowa Reading Association Annual Conference in Ames, IA.


Two C&I faculty members were honored recently with 2013 COEHS Excellence Awards. They include:

Excellence in Teaching with Technology
Dr. Laura Kieran, Assistant Professor

Prior to coming to Western in 2010, Dr. Kieran was an adjunct instructor at Concordia University (2008-10), where she taught conventional and online courses. Prior to that, she worked as a teacher in the Duluth (MN) Public Schools, where she helped with supporting special education staff with assistive technology and developing materials to help general and special education staff implement principles of universal design for learning. Kieran earned her Ph.D. in special education from Walden University (2012), her master's degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead (1996), and her bachelor's degree from The State University of New York (1988).

Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Christine Anderson, Assistant Professor

In addition to her teaching experience at Western, Anderson served as a teacher and a specialist in elementary, middle, and high schools in Arizona, California, Florida, Utah and South Carolina. She has published about teacher development and preparation and recently delivered the presentation, "Hyperstudio5 for Midwestern Fifth Graders," at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference (March 2013) in New Orleans. In the 2012-13 academic year, Anderson served as the advisor for 10 action-research projects for special education master's degree candidates at WIU. She has also completed extensive research with the population of juvenile offenders, worked with local education agencies to provide training in third-tier behavioral interventions, and authored more than nine academic/scholarly publications. Anderson earned her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Iowa (2008), her master's degree from the University of South Florida (1995), and her bachelor's degree from Charleston Southern University (1973).


May 2013

Debbie Lee was recognized as a Children's Champion in the Illinois House of Representatives on May 7 and honored with other champions at a ceremony and reception at the Governor's Mansion.  The Children's Champion Award is sponsored by the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children and given to those individuals who have made an impact on the lives of young children, their families, and their caregivers.

Debbie Lee award Debbie Lee co-taught the class, QCPDN Designing Courses for 21st Century Learners, with faculty development personnel from Black Hawk College and Eastern Iowa Community College.  Faculty from five different colleges and universities attended the class on May 4, which is part of the Quad Cities Professional Development Network's Excellence in Teaching Certification Program.

April 2013

In addition to being part of the conference planning committee for the Ready to Learn Conference, sponsored by WIU's public television station, WQPT, Dr. Debbie Lee presented Dollar Store Diva Meets Dumpster Diver twice at the conference.  


Dr. Debbie Lee and Anita Sells, WIU HR department, hosted the semi-annual staff exchange for the Quad Cities Professional Development Network, a consortium of seven Quad Cities colleges and universities. 


Kathy Barclay presented Are You Paying Attention to Young Children's Language?  Assessing and Building Pre-K Children's Oral Language as a Base for Literacy and Making Informed Decisions About Informational Text: Selecting High Quality Nonfiction to Help K-2 Children Meet the CCSS for Reading Informational Text at the Plain Talk About Reading Conference on April 23 in New Orleans, LA.


Kathy Barclay presented a workshop entitled Meeting the Common Core Standards for Informational Literature, at the International Reading Association Annual Convention held on April 22 in San Antonio, TX. While at the Convention, she also presented at a Round Table discussion on Publishing a Dynamite State Journal.


Congratulations to Kathy Barclay (editor), Jon Jones (assistant editor), and other literacy faculty for being awarded the editorship of the Illinois Reading Council Journal for a fourth term (through Fall 2016).


On April 7, 2013 The Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society's Initiation Ceremony was held for approximately 34 new initiates for both campuses.

Participants in the ceremony included Terry Smith, Sebastian Szyjka, Frances Steward, Debbie Lee, Fred Isele, Melissa Stinnett, and Abha Singh. Dr. Erskine Smith, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS), represented the college.

In order to be eligible for Kappa Delta Pi, students had to meet the following qualifications:
1. A GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.6 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), with the completion of at least 50 semester hours of course work (undergraduates) or 9 semester hours (graduates);
2. Have completed or are scheduled for 12 or more units in professional education coursework; and
3. Show evidence of promise as an outstanding educator, who exhibits the high ideals of scholarship, high personal standards, and promise in teaching and allied professions.

There are over 600 chapters of KDP worldwide, and it keeps growing.  As you can note by our Chapter number--29--we were one of the first chapters in this organization which was founded in 1911 (over 100 years ago--our Centennial was 2011!).  Our Chapter was organized on February 27, 1925.  A faculty committee composed of Mr. Simpkins, Mr. Ginnings, Mr. Cleveland, and Miss Wild, appointed by President Morgan, studied various national honorary organizations and decided that KDP would be the best one for Western Illinois State Teachers College.  Nine members were initiated at the first initiation ceremony.  The minutes note that the chapter was so young that “as yet, there have been no members who have become widely known in any field and there are no chapter colors, or emblems other than the official KDP insignia. (The colors now are purple and green.)  It was interesting to note that in those days, the initiates were scored on such things as their sociability--which included their courtesy, friendliness, and ability to make conversation, as well as their academic skills, initiative, dependability, and adaptability, which was judged by their practice teaching.

That first year, in 1925, the Kappa Delta Pi association at WIU collected $1,400 and donated the Gateway Monument to the college that is still by the street outside of Sherman Hall. The motto inscribed there reads: “To serve best, we strive for highest professional efficiency.” Later, the organization also donated the first set of carillon chimes to Sherman Hall. Thereafter, we have gathered money to be used for a student KDP scholarship.

Dr. Abha Singh
KDP Chapter Counsellor


Kathy Barclay conducted an invited speech, The Five W’s of the Common Core State Standards at the Illinois Early Childhood Higher Education Faculty Forum sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education on April 5 in Bloomington, IL. Over 100 higher education faculty from institutions across Illinois were in attendance.

Students from the Infant and Preschool have had the opportunity to work alongside WIU students in the garden space between the Rec Center and Waggoner Hall. The I&P students have been learning about gardening and using the garden site as an outdoor classroom during the semester. COEHS graduate assistant Pete Tarantola is in charge of the program.

March 2013

Susan Massey (on right) and Julie Pearson (on left), graduate student at the Quad Cities campus, presented Digital Word Study at the Illinois Reading Conference in Springfield, IL on March 16.


February 2013

Drs. Laverne Logan, Jon Jones, and Frances A. Steward and assistants David Coupland and Megan Pennington conducted 2 separate sessions of Write It, Do It on February 9th with competitive area schools. First Sessions included 8 Junior High Schools Student Partners, and Second Sessions included 9 High Schools Student Partners. One partner studied object designs and wrote the descriptive directions, and the other partner followed the directions to reconstruct the object designs.

January 2013

Kathy Barclay presented Choosing and Using Nonfiction Literature to Meet the Common Core State Standards and Teaching Encoding and Decoding, K-2, at the Illinois Raising Student Achievement Conference in St. Charles, IL.


C&I’s  Graduate Reading Program will offer free diagnostic and tutoring services during Spring 2013 for students in grades kindergarten through fifth. According to Melissa Stinnett, the learning experience will focus on improving participants' reading and writing abilities. The tutoring program will begin Tuesday, Jan. 29, and will be held from 5:30-6:45 p.m. every Tuesday in Horrabin Hall (the north side of the building) on the WIU-Macomb campus. A second section will also be held on Thursday evenings, beginning Jan. 31. Graduate students in the reading program are certified teachers and are currently working toward their master's degrees to become K-12 reading specialists. Registration is required. To register for a Tuesday or Thursday section, or for more information, contact Stinnett at or leave a message at (309) 298-2033.


Dr. Melissa Stinnett was an invited member of the American Federation of Teachers Task Force who worked to create the report, Raising the Bar:  Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession.  The task force was comprised of 15 members, both K-12 and university faculty, who are educators from all over the nation and met in Washington, D.C. during spring 2012 on several occasions.  The task force was charged with examining the research on what works and what does not work in the field of teacher preparation as a basis for making policy recommendations.  Some important questions arose.   Why are nearly half of our new teachers leaving within the first five years of teaching?  How can we support novice teachers in their preparation and in the first years of their career?  What makes good teaching?  How can we create conditions that will promote good teaching?  

When asked about the purpose of the task force, Stinnett described, “The AFT Task Force was in response to current educational policies that place an inordinate emphasis on the test scores of our children which in turn make ‘teaching to the test’ routine curriculum.  It is important to reclaim our profession using teacher knowledge and decision-making.”  

The Raising the Bar Report lists the changes that must occur.  The task force recommends three significant changes that must be made to truly improve teacher preparation and, by extension, improve teaching and learning in our schools.

  •  All stakeholders must collaborate to ensure that teacher preparation standards, programs and assessments are aligned with a well-grounded vision on effective teaching.

  • Teaching, like other respected professions, must have a universal assessment process for entry that includes rigorous preparation centered on clinical practice as well as theory, an in-depth test of subject and pedagogical knowledge, and a comprehensive teacher performance assessment.

  • Primary responsibility for setting and enforcing the standards of the profession and ensuring the quality and coherence of teacher preparation programs must reside with members of the profession—practicing professionals in K-12 and higher education. 

Stinnett describes her contribution, “An area in which I feel like I particularly contributed was talking about the clinical piece.  Our clinicians and student teachers need a lot of time in the classroom.  They also need to be there from the beginning of the school year to the end of the year to see the whole process.  They also need to spend time with a mentor teacher to get that practical, on-the-job training.”

Susan Massey has been working with Korean-based Readers and Story Publishing Company. Massey created early childhood books and materials to enable parents to help their children learn English. This photo is a screen shot of a collection of the materials completed last fall.


Boh Young Lee published the article, Early Literacy Development in Toddlerhood: Publication Trends from 1990 to 2009, in the Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 41, Issue 1, January 2013.

December 2012

Heather Crouch & Dr. Jeanine Wilker presented a session entitled "Student-Student Interactions in a Mandated Math Curriculum: Using the Teacher Performance Assessment" at the American Reading Forum in Sanibel, FL.

November 2012

Kathy Barclay presented Paying Attention to Children’s Language at the National Association for the Education of Young Children on November 9 in Atlanta, GA.

Kathy Barclay received renewal of grant funding ($78,567) from the Illinois Reading Council for the Illinois Reading Council Journal.

Sara Simonson presented in a panel discussion, at the 2012 TED Conference (Teacher Education Division – Council for Exceptional Children) on November 9 in Grand Rapids, MI. The session title was IHE Partnership:  Integrating Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Content into Teacher Preparations Programs.

Terry Smith was a co-presenter with long time Internet project partner, Larisa Tarasevich from Siberia in Seattle, WA on November 17. This was the first time Smith and Tarasevich met in person and it was Tarasevich’s first trip to the United States. The social studies project they presented was Landmark Games:  Global Detectives, a yearly global competition that attracts classrooms from around the world. Smith manages the project for Kidlink International.

Susan Massey recently presented The Three C's of Professional Development: The Coach, the Content, and the Context at the 56th Annual Conference of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers held in Grand Rapids, MI.

Boh Young Lee published the article, Heritage Language Maintenance and Cultural Identity Formation: The Case of Korean Immigrant Parents and their Children in the U.S., in the Early Child Development and Care in November 2012.

October 2012

Kathy Barclay received $78,567 from the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) for "Illinois Reading Council Journal." FY13

Cindy Dooley, COEHS, received $54,422 from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for "West Central Grow Your Own Teachers Education Initiative." FY13

Frances Steward and 29 RDG 433 students guided 22 Macomb community children, ages 3-10, in a musical Book Walk and popcorn fine arts activity on the evening of October 5. This 2.5-hour literacy event was conducted in the Masonic Lodge in response to a children’s participation need during the Macomb Chamber of Commerce Kick-Off’s adult event for the National Breast Cancer Awareness month of October 2012. The students of all ages enjoyed the literacy experience.

Frances Steward and seven RDG 433 students presented a session entitled Literacy Motivation for all Readers: Book Talks, Fine Arts and Games during the Carousel of Educational Essentials Conference for the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society held on October 6. The exemplary pre-service teachers modeled special designed cross-curricular strategies from self–selected children’s books.

The Kappa Delta Pi annual conference was held on October 6. Presenters at the Carousel of Educational Essentials Conference included Terry Smith, keynote address, Future Trends in EducationPamela Godt, retired C&I, Story Telling for Differentiation of InstructionGregg Jorgenson,Effectively Using Common Core Standards to Integrate Social Studies into your Literacy Curriculum; Marisa Beard, OPPDT, Live BindersSpotlight on Apple Products:  How Apple Products Can Help With Education, Kyle Randolph, WIU Apple Representative; and FaceBook Safety, Nicole Dobyns, RPTA Graduate Assistant.

Sebastian Szyjka
and James Olsen, Mathematics, received $140,000 from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBOE) for Western Illinois Mathematics Teacher Transformation Institute (WI-MTTI) (continuation).

May 2012

Linda Meloy received the employee award for Excellence in Education at the 23rd Annual President's Excellence in Diversity Awards reception.

Betsy Hommel was given special recognition for Contributions to Diversity at the 23rd Annual President's Excellence in Diversity Awards reception.

Pamela Godt recently presented a workshop for the Western Illinois Reading Council at New Copperfield's Bookstore on The Most Exciting New Children's Books of 2012. The audience included members of the State Illinois Reading Council from Chicago in addition to local teachers and students in the area.

Kathy Barclay presented two sessions at the International Reading Association's annual convention in Chicago - So You Are Going To Adopt: Choosing and Using a Core Reading Program and Reading to Learn WHILE Learning to Read: Meeting the Common Core Standards for Nonfiction Literature. She also delivered two presentations at Plain Talk About Reading conference of the Center for Development and Learning in New Orleans entitled, When Writers Read and Readers Write: The Reciprocal Relationship Between Reading and Writing and A High 5 for PreK.

Frances Steward and Diana Goff presented along with 10 students in the PreK-8 Science Update Conference. The participating science teachers enjoyed the topic of popcorn, fiction and nonfiction books, technology and hands-on activities.

April 2012

Susan Massey had an article published online in the Early Childhood Education Journal. DOI 10.1007/s10643-012-0524-y. The article, From the reading rug to the play center: Enhancing vocabulary and comprehensive language skills by connecting storybook reading and guided play, will also be published in an upcoming print version.

Kathy Barclay presented What Your Core Reading Program Can Do for You at the Massachusetts Association conference on April 12.

October 2011

Kathy Barclay published the article, Thinking About the Way Children Use Language in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1, No. 13, September 2011.

Ann Curtis, retired Infant and Preschool Center director, recently had an article written about her and the bench placed in the playground outside the Center in her honor in the McDonough Voice.

Nancy Chu, C&I Emeritus professor, participated in History Day, an event sponsored by The Western Illinois University Archives and the McDonough County Historical Society. She and others taught local sixth graders about historical places in Macomb.

Terry Smith was featured in the McDonough Voice for the Monster Mash project with local schools. This is a global project that includes 42 classrooms in the United States, Russia, Australia, Canada, Korea and England. To see all of the monsters visit

Barry McCrary, LEJA, and Christine Anderson hosted a community forum discussion panel concerning Keys to Success or Pitfalls for Failure on October 26.

Francis Steward, along with 10 WIU students, helped area children in the Reading Scavenger Hunt on October 7 in support of Paint the Town Pink event. The WIU students guided children with the read aloud approach, higher order thinking questions, and vocabulary enrichment in fiction and nonfiction books. Children enjoyed 10 reading stations, books, and treats, while the WIU students bonded with the children through sharing the books, stories, and pictures. See pictures from the event on the Cohesion blog!

September 2011

Dr. Kathy Barclay, received a grant from the Illinois Reading Council for $78,567, for the project, Illinois Reading Council Journal - Year 9.

Frances Steward, Diana Goff and Steward's summer class, C&I 476 donated 50 plus books for the students of the vastly devastated elementary schools of Joplin, MO. Anna Olsen, ELED student, and her brother, a freshman at Galva High School, delivered the books to the Joplin Distribution Center in July through the Methodist Ministries in Joplin. Pictures are available on the Cohesion blog.

Don Powers and the Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center, facilitated a five-hour Project Learning Tree Workshop on Sept. 16. Twenty-two undergraduate students participated in the workshop which focused on environmental activities related to trees and tree resources and habitats. View pictures on the Cohesion blog! Powers also conducted a STARLAB Workshop for 27 WIU undergraduate students on Sept. 23. During the five-hour Friday afternoon workshop the students participated in a number of activities such as measuring the location of the Sun, learning to read star charts, and observing sunspots with a solar telescope. The participants also visited the portable STARLAB Planetarium where they learned how to locate various stars and constellations as well as legends accompanying those constellations. The Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center hosted the STARLAB Workshop.

Pamela Godt presented Banned and Determined: Examples of Censorship of Children's Books as part of ALA Banned Books Week in the Malpass Library. Photos are available at

Debbie Lee presented a two-part workshop on Conscious Discipline for the Rock Island Regional Office of Education. As follow-up on the workshops, Lee will be arranging monthly support groups for those implementing the program in their classrooms.

Christine Anderson, C&I Special Education Program, presented twice at the Ninth Biennial International Conference on Children and Youth with Behavioral Disorders, "Facing the Future - Building on the Past Celebrating CCBD's 50th Anniversary" in New Orleans, LA. She will be presenting with graduate student Kimberly Powers on Powers' research using PALS as a reading intervention for her students with emotional behavioral disorders and Anderson will be presenting with Barry McCrary, LEJA, relating to a collaboration of services between the School of LEJA and the SPED program.

May 2011

Congratulations to Dr. Kathy Barclay. Dr. Barclay received the Excellence in Scholarly Activity Award!

April 2011

The Society of Educators (SOE) in the Quad Cities hosted a tech night and demonstrated SmartBoards at Wells Elementary on April 7. SOE is advised by Susan Massey, C&I. Massey also presented the workshop, Print Referencing: Making the Most of Book Reading Experiences to Promote Early Literacy at the Ready to Learn Conference held at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency office in Bettendorf, IA. The conference was sponsored by WQPT and targeted early childhood professionals working in homes, centers, churches, and schools.

Frances Steward, C&I, was awarded during the week of April 18, 2011, an Honoring Our Professors of Excellence Certificate for outstanding instruction and dedication to Western Illinois University students. For the selection process, Laporsha Glass submitted a narrative entitled, The Professor's Impact on You, in the course, RDG 433: Introduction to Corrective Reading. The UHDS Academic Initiatives Committee sponsored the ward.

On April 7, 2011, 19 Early Childhood Education students, Jean Wolf and Diana Goff joined over 200 early childhood professionals from across the state of Illinois for Early Wolf/Goff/ECH StudentsChildhood Advocacy Day, 2011, at the State Capitol in Springfield, IL.    All participants received background information and engaged in a brief training session to prepare them to talk with representatives about funding for programs for preschools and for family programs in Illinois. This experience helped the students grow as individuals and as prospective teachers.  Eight students met with their representatives from their home districts, shared information about the importance of funding programs for young children and asked for their support in this area.  The experience opened their eyes about how one person can make a difference and about the impact individuals can make when ‘we stick our heads together and stand up for what we believe’. Through their collective voice and their collective presence (all in yellow shirts) with other professionals,  the students felt like they have a voice in changing the future.

The COEHS Faculty Scholars hosted Dr. John Creswell from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln to present, The New Methodology of Mixed Methods Research: Its Development and Expansion. The 2010-2011 Faculty Scholars include, Kathy Barclay, C&I; Donna McCaw, EDL; Sandra Watkins, EDL; Laura McArthur, DFMH; Hoyet Hemphill, IDT;Leaunda Hemphill, IDT; Seung Won Yoon, IDT; Dean Alexander, LEJA; Bonny Mhlanga, LEJA; and Vladimir Sergevnin, LEJA.

The Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center hosted a five-hour astronomy workshop for 25 undergraduate education students. During the workshop the students learned how to locate stars and constellations in the night sky and experienced a number of activities designed to increase their knowledge about the universe and the solar system. The participants also visited the inflatable portable STARLAB Planetarium where they were able to apply their knowledge about the stars and constellations. The STARLAB Workshop was facilitated by C&I's Don Powers.

Ann Curtis, Infant and Preschool Center, gave a full day of training to directors of child care centers in the Child Care Connections Resource and Referral Region of Illinois (Peoria). Her two half-day workshops were on Leadership in Action and Parents as Partners.

Kathy Barclay, C&I, completed a two-part statewide seminar, What Can You Do With a Good Book? She also presented a session at the Massachusetts Reading Conference, What We Know About Early Literacy: How Contemporary Research and Brain-based Instructional Models Can Inform Our Teaching.

Pamela Godt, C&I co-wrote two papers which were presented at the recent Illinois Reading Council State Reading Conference: Books for Struggling Readers Grades 4-12 and K-5/6 Reading Practices Inventory for Selected Illinois School Districts: Preliminary Results, Research Insights, and Audience Discussion. Godt also had her article, Leadership in Reading: Literacy Leaders in Illinois Rate What's Most Important and Least Important in the Field of Reading Education Today published in the Illinois Reading Council Journal.

March 2011

If you are interested in children's literature, the CLEC Annual Open House is for you!! WIU's Children's Literature Examination Center hosts a 3,000+ book collection of recently published books which includes most of the recent award winners for you to peruse. The open house will be held April 14 from 2-6 pm and on April 15 from 8 am - 12 pm. The event is held in Horrabin Hall Room 1.

The Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center will host the 25th Annual PreK-8 Science Update Conference on Friday, April 15. The conference, held in Horrabin Hall, will include 50-minute concurrent sessions and a series of mini-sessions. Further details will be released at a later date.

Representatives from the Infant and Preschool Center and the Exercise Science Student Association participated in the McDonough County YMCA's Kiddie Karnival.

Deborah Lee, C&I, spoke at a workshop hosted by the student committee of the Quad Cities Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC), a group of Early Childhood students sponsored by the local AEYC affiliate on Conscious Discipline. Students were responsible for preparing the workshop, including doing the advertising, organizing and handling of the details.

Multiple COEHS faculty members and students attended Inextricably Linked: Gender Liberation, Queer Liberation, and the End of Racism and White Supremacy in the Quad Cities. Those who participated were: Andrea Hyde, EIS; Lance Ternasky, Dean's Office; Lindsey Garrison, EIS student; Amanda Halfacre and Emily Fairchild, CSP students; Suzanne Bailey and Kim Dodson, LEJA; Sharon Maroney, C&I; and Bill McFarland, CNED.

Dr. Kathy Barclay, C & I, and eight students from the Early Childhood Program (pictured right) attended the Illinois State Reading CECH studentsonference in Springfield on March 17-19. The students had an opportunity to meet several well-known authors and illustrators of children's books, including Marc Brown, creator of the Arthur series. Dr. Barclay presented two sessions during the conference: (1) What Your Core Reading Program Can and Cannot Do for You; (2) Connecting the Teaching of Skills With the Joy of Reading. She co-presented a third session, "So You Want to Be An Author? Writing for the Illinois Reading Council Journal," with Dr. Jon Jones, C & I. 

Christine Anderson, C&I Special Education program, presented Pre-Service Teacher Survey and Collaboration Between the United States and Jordan at the SITE Conference in Nashville, TN.

Christine Anderson, C&I Special Education program, and Barry McCrary, LEJA, presented Exploring the Current Challenges and Successful Interventions in Meeting the Educational and Social Development Needs at the 48th Annual Meeting of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in Toronto, Canada.

Sara Simonson, C&I, presented an in-service on Robust Vocabulary Instruction to K-6 teachers at Ridgewood Elementary School in the Milan-Rock Island School District.

Spring 2011 Student Teachers (148) attended an all day seminar held in the Union. Program presentations and presenters included:

  • Ben Bishop, student teacher supervisor for West Central Illinois-"Classroom Management, It's All About Procedures and Routines"
  • Charles Bolton, student teacher supervisor for West Central Illinois- "Bullying in the Public Schools"
  • Dennis Cromer, student teacher supervisor for the Chicago Suburbs- "First Year Teacher Mentoring Programs"
  • Keith Erickson, student teacher supervisor for the Quad Cities-"Preparing for a Job Interview"
  • Jacqlin Richmond, Coordinator for Field and Clinical Experiences-"Did You Know? The First Year of Teaching"
  • Linda Sienkiewicz, student teacher supervisor for the City of Chicago- "Liability and Teachers"

February 2011

The Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center sponsored a Project WET workshop for 13 Elementary Education and Special Education undergraduate students. WET stands for Water Education for Teachers and is a national environmental program for K-12 students focusing on water's unique physical and chemical characteristics; water's importance to all life; water's connection to the Earth; and water's role in social and cultural constructs. During the workshop the participants took part in a variety of interdisciplinary activities from the Project WET Guide and each participant received a copy at the end of the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by C&I faculty members, Sebastian Szyjka and Don Powers.

Scott Brouette, Infant and Preschool Center, and Debbie Lee, C&I, hosted the QC Project Group meeting.

Kathy Barclay, C&I, presented Meeting Individual Needs: Literacy Learning Centers in PreKindergarten to 40 teachers and administrators in Aurora, IL.

Kathy Barclay, C&I, presented a statewide webinar, sponsored by the Illinois Resource Center/Illinois State Board of Education, for prekindergarten teachers and administrators entitled, Teaching with Intention, Part II. She also conducted a full-day workshop in Aurora, IL for 75 prekindergarten teachers and administrators on the topic of Meeting Individual Literacy Learning Needs.

Linda Meloy, C&I/Special Education graduate program, presented the mini workshop, Realities of Reading Needs at the Secondary Level, at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA.

Francis Steward, Jon Jones, and Diana Goff, C&I, along with WIU students judged two sessions of Write It! Do It! for the Western Illinois University Science Olympiad tournament. Illinois junior high and high school students had to apply science, reading, and writing skills with objects. The Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center as part of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction hosts the annual event.

November 2010

Pamela Godt, C&I, and Leaunda Hemphill, IDT, presented the CITR workshop, Techniques for Encouraging Students to Read at the Malpass Library.

Sebastian Szyjka, C&I, presented, Density Should Not Be Difficult, a middle school activity designed to take the difficulty out of learning about the concept of density at the Illinois Science Teachers Association Conference in Springfield, IL.

Melissa Stinnett and Angela Ferree, C&I, collaborated in a presentation titled Promises to Keep: The Dual Support of Mentoring and Literacy Coaching at the annual conference of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers in Omaha, NE.

Debbie Lee, C&I, presented Walking the Walk: Modeling Intentionality for Pre-Service Teachers at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Abha Singh, C&I, presented Integration of Science and Math (STEM) in the Pre K-3 Classroom at the Illinois Science Teachers Association (ISTA) in Springfield, IL. The presentation provided inquiry-based activities that can be implemented at the Pre K-3 level pursuing Integration of Science and Math using everyday materials. Singh also presented the second NIMS workshop on Environmental Science and Biology to in-service teachers from Rockford School District in Rockford, IL. This is a follow up meeting from the Summer.

Kathy Barclay, C&I, presented Implementing a Reading/Writing Workshop in Pre K to teachers at MacArthur School in Macomb.

Don Powers, C&I and the WIU Maurice G. Kellogg Science Education Center, attended the Illinois Science Teachers Association Annual Conference on Science Education in Springfield, IL. During the conference, he presented a session titled, Introducing STEM Activities in the Elementary and Middle School Classroom.

Dr. Fred Isele, C&I,  presented at the 2010 National Conference for Geographic Education in Savannah, GA, the 2010 Illinois Council for the Social Studies Conference in Lisle, IL, and the 2010 National Council for the Social Studies in Denver, CO during the Fall 2010 semester. He has also been elected Executive Director for the Illinois Council for the Social Studies in 2010.