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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National organization honors IU School of Education professor with career award

Sept. 6, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has awarded Marilynne Boyle-Baise, professor of curriculum and instruction, with its 2011 Jean Dresden Grambs Career Research in Social Studies Award. The award recognizes researchers who have made extensive contributions to knowledge concerning significant areas of social studies education.

Lynn Boyle-Baise

Lynn Boyle-Baise

Print-Quality Photo

"This is a richly deserved honor for Professor Boyle-Baise," said Dean of the School of Education Gerardo Gonzalez. "Her groundbreaking research on service learning and the role social studies education plays in promoting social justice has been recognized by teachers and scholars throughout the world. The influence of her career on the field transcends national and international boundaries."

"I'm honored and thrilled," Boyle-Baise said. "I know that there are a lot of colleagues who do research on a very high caliber and I'm honored to be considered among that group."

The honor from the NCCS is named for pioneering social studies researcher Jean Dresden Grambs, who was among the first to show that American textbooks discriminated against female children. It adds to the recognition Boyle-Baise has received for her outstanding work, including being named a John Glenn Scholar in Service Learning, a national recognition of service learning scholarship that advances the field, awarded to one or two scholars annually by Ohio State University.

"The award is essentially about extensive contributions to the field of social studies education and, for Lynne, there are many," said Shaun Johnson, assistant professor of elementary education at Towson State University.

Johnson is a former graduate student of Boyle-Baise who nominated her for the award.

"Several of her colleagues stepped forward on relatively short notice to lend their support. I was pleased to read of her many contributions from other scholars in the field, some of which I was only learning as I read," Johnson said. "For me, however, another reason for the nomination was personal. Lynne has this amazing ability to treat those under her tutelage as colleagues, giving as many ideas as she takes. I will always consider her a close friend and was happy to nominate her for the award."

A member of the School of Education faculty since 1994, Boyle-Baise has made her mark in social studies research with large projects, numerous research papers, and books. Her most recent book is Young Citizens of the World: Teaching Elementary Social Studies through Civic Engagement, which demonstrates teaching social studies through a process that enables students to gain information, think through what they've learned, and then take action based on what they know.

Her projects have engaged students and teachers in actively learning about history. Most recently, she helped lead the History Educators Project, a project funded by a $500,000 federal grant that brought together faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education, along with staff from the Monroe County Historical Society, to work with a group of 30 selected Monroe County Community School Corp. teachers over three years. She is now conducting interviews with participating teachers to learn how the program may have enhanced their teaching.

"What we really want to do is to learn more about their perspectives on history, on the teaching of history, and on fostering historical thinking," she said.

A previous project enlisted a variety of IU students and community members to preserve the stories of a Bloomington landmark. The Banneker History Project gathered interviews and information about what is now the Banneker Community Center but was once the city's segregated school for African-American students. The process for the Banneker Project involved elementary, high school and college students, city government, community leaders, and the local NAACP chapter.

"It was a very challenging research effort because so many people were involved," Boyle-Baise said, noting that she chronicled the effort in a research journal. "I tried to write about what it took to investigate something that was multiply situated, included lots of people, took place over time, and was a very fluid kind of entity."

She said she has a contract for writing a book about the project as an example of how service learning should be conducted but said she'd like to write a book that encompasses the history of the Banneker Center.

The NCSS will present Boyle-Baise with the Grambs Award during its annual conference in Washington, D.C. in December. A discussion with Boyle-Baise about her career work is a featured event of the conference.