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Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2003

Learning Matters

News tips about education from Indiana University

Moving doctoral education forward is the goal of a new collaboration between higher education departments including IU Bloomington's School of Education and the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate. IUB faculty will be working with nine other education departments around the country to more purposefully structure their doctoral programs and link specific activities to desired outcomes. Carnegie will serve as the liaison. The CID is a multi-year research and action project working closely with 32 selected departments and programs in education, chemistry, English and mathematics to foster conceptual work and design experiments in doctoral education to better meet their identified goals. The English Department at IUB is also among the 32 partner departments selected for the Carnegie project. Carnegie will collect, examine and disseminate findings from this significant discussion and related experiments. The IUB School of Education was chosen because it showed commitment to the process and goals of the CID and its various interdisciplinary programs. According to Luise McCarty, associate dean for graduate studies in the IUB School of Education, being one of the 10 education institutions selected from the 90 that applied is very prestigious. "We hope it will increase attention to our education programs as well as attract even more excellent students," McCarty said. "It will also afford us the opportunity to review our program and make appropriate revisions if necessary." Information about the study and all the participants may be found on the Carnegie Web site at http://www.carnegiefoundation.org. For more information on the School of Education's participation, contact McCarty at 812-856-8385 or lmccarty@indiana.edu.

Educators agree that people learn at different rates. Yet the system in place today forces all children to learn a fixed amount of information in a fixed amount of time. According to IUB Instructional Systems Technology Professor Charles Reigeluth, today's students are being taught using outdated, industrial-age methods. In order for education to get on track with the needs of today's society, a major paradigm shift is necessary. Reigeluth is incorporating an information-age approach to help create systemic change at MSD Decatur Township in Indianapolis. "The industrial-age paradigm, in which experts invent and others adopt their innovations, won't work with a system as complex as education," he said. The industrial-age conception of a "real school" prevents teachers, parents and administrators from being willing and able to assume the new roles required by a new educational system -- one that will better meet their needs in an information-age society. The systemic change process helps stakeholders expand and deepen their understanding of students' educational needs in the information age, and that helps build common beliefs. Students are very important in the process. "By involving students in the decision-making, we are getting rid of the top-down control that has turned them into passive learners in an industrial-age system," he said. "It is vitally important in the information age to develop problem-solvers and thinkers who will become lifelong learners." For more information, contact Reigeluth at 812-856-8464 or reigelut@indiana.edu.

Functional family therapy is a nationally recognized program to aid troubled youth that is directed through the IU Center for Adolescent and Family Studies by IUB School of Education faculty member Thomas Sexton. "In functional family therapy we assist at-risk adolescents facing problems of conduct, drug abuse and delinquency. We treat the entire family as the client, not just the child," Sexton said. The IU program has had significant success in Bloomington and in more than 100 other communities nationwide. This has resulted in praise from the surgeon general, the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, and Bloomington court and probation leaders. For more information, contact Sexton at 812-856-8350 or thsexton@indiana.edu.

Peer harassment, or bullying, in school can easily lead to violence, according to Russell Skiba, an IUB School of Education faculty member and expert on school safety. "A Secret Service study showed that 75 percent of all school shooters in the last 25 years had been victims of continuing harassment and intimidation by peers," said Skiba, who directs the Safe and Responsive Schools Project. He said bullying is associated with psychological symptoms and disorders that range from shyness to depression and even suicide. "In addition, there are a substantial proportion of children who are bullied who will eventually turn to bullying or aggression themselves," he said. For more information, contact Skiba at 812-855-5549 or skiba@indiana.edu.