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Richard Doty
IU Media Relations
rgdoty@indiana.edu
812-855-0084

Debbie O'Leary
School of Education
devo99@indiana.edu
812-856-8031

Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2003

Learning Matters

News tips about education from Indiana University

A recent study shows that most bullies do fine socially. According to David Estell, assistant professor in counseling and educational psychology in the School of Education at Bloomington, there are three kinds of children involved with bullying: bullies, who are the aggressors; victims, who are the targets of bullying; and aggressive-victims or bully-victims, who bully some children while being victimized by others. Estell's research indicates that bullies tend to be more popular and socially integrated, while victims are more on the periphery of the social network, and aggressive-victims are much more likely to be socially isolated entirely. While aggressive children are not well-liked, they are often socially prominent, Estell said. Where bully-victims may benefit from training in individualized social skills to become more integrated and less aggressive, interventions aimed at the classroom or even school levels may be needed to disrupt the social dynamics which support the antisocial behavior of popular aggressive children and bullies. Estell can be reached at 812-856-8308 or destell@indiana.edu.

Retaining and supporting new teachers in urban settings is the goal of the New Urban Teacher Collaborative. Funded by Great Cities Universities, the collaboration between the IU School of Education at Indianapolis and Indianapolis Public Schools incorporates on-line discussion forums, teachers in residence, professor liaison visits, and face-to-face focus groups to help nurture and retain new IPS teachers. Seventeen first-year teachers and four second-year teachers from three high schools, two middle schools, two K-8 schools, and six elementary schools in IPS are participating in NUTC for the 2002-03 school year. The participating teachers are required to spend 12 hours online and five hours in focus group meetings, and to meet at their school site with a professor liaison. The goal is to provide support structures for these new teachers so they will experience success in IPS, said Carole Damin, NUTC project coordinator and part-time lecturer in the School of Education. Outcomes of the program are already evident. According to Damin, faculty members in the university are becoming more knowledgeable about pressing problems confronting new teachers in city schools. They also gain an increased awareness of what support is most effective. For more information on NUTC, contact Damin at 317-274-6853 or cdamin@iupui.edu.

Many teachers lack the necessary preparation to successfully work with children with emotional disabilities, according to Theresa Ochoa, a School of Education professor at Indiana University Bloomington who is researching ways to improve this situation. Teachers expect that students with emotional and behavioral disorders can behave if they want to, but this is the wrong premise because the emotional disabilities within these students are not readily apparent or visible, said Ochoa, an assistant professor of special education who studies emotional behavior disorders. Ochoa is addressing the situation through the development of multimedia ways to train future teachers who work with these problem students. The Development of the Disabilities and School Discipline CD-ROM project, sponsored in part by the Ameritech Fellows Program at IU, is available at http://www.indiana.edu/~k305to/intro.html. Her research will contribute to a long-range solution to the problem by instructing future teachers in the proper techniques and approaches to successfully dealing with these students. For more details, contact Ochoa at 812-856-8135 or tochoa@indiana.edu.

Improving reading scores is the subject of a new resource guide developed through the Indiana Education Policy Center at the IU School of Education in Bloomington. Edward St. John, professor of higher education and a member of the center staff, led a research team in developing the resource guide to help improve reading scores. Improving Early Reading and Literacy in Grades 1-5: A Resource Guide to Research-Based Programs is published by Corwin Press. It compares different types of reading interventions so teachers can select a program that works in their classroom and school. Researchers spent five years developing the book, which is based on research in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin schools. For more information, contact St. John at 812-855-1240 or estjohn@indiana.edu.