Dr. Adrienne Barnes-Story: In My Own Words

Dr. Adrienne Barnes-Story kneeling in front of a table working with two educators in Zambia.I began to work in international development by happenstance. I was asked to do some teacher training without knowing it would be in Ethiopia. When I completed that first training, I realized that education development work is where I belong. I’ve physically worked in seven countries (USA, Honduras, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zambia, and Malawi); I’ve remotely supported work in two countries (Uzbekistan, Rwanda); and I’ve presented research at international conferences in five countries outside the USA (Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada, Nigeria, Ethiopia).

My single proudest professional moment with LSI was realizing that I had met my goal of winning a Prime contract with USAID. I view my work as impacting teachers and teacher educators by improving their knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward the teaching of literacy. The most significant challenge of my work centers around learning how to prioritize my physical/mental health and family over work and finding a healthy work-life balance.

The biggest misconceptions about the people and countries where I’ve worked are related to ideas that the people are not interested in improving, are not willing to work hard, or are not capable of learning to use evidence-based concepts of instruction. The most interesting lessons I’ve learned by working globally include: 1) I have enough – more than enough; 2) humility; 3) patience; and 4) minimalism. There are so many more lessons about being human that simply cannot be put into words!

LSI’s Dr. Robert Schoen Named Kenneth P. Kidd Mathematics Educator of the Year

St. Petersburg, FL – The Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (FCTM) has named Florida State University professor and Learning Systems Institute (LSI) faculty member Robert Schoen, Ph.D., the Kenneth P. Kidd Mathematics Educator of the Year. The award was established in 1976 to recognize an individual’s outstanding contributions to mathematics education.Dr. Robert Schoen poses with his Kenneth P. Kidd Mathematics Educator of the Year plaque

“This is a well-deserved award,” said LSI Director Rabieh Razzouk. “Dr. Schoen who has made major contributions to elementary math and secondary statistics education in Florida. His work on Cognitive Guided Instruction and other projects have directly impacted thousands of teachers and their students. We are proud of his achievements and grateful to FCTM for considering and presenting him with this award.”

Schoen is the Associate Director of LSI’s Florida Center for Research in STEM (FCR–STEM) and an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education at Florida State University. His research experience extends from the development of educational and psychological measurement instruments and in-depth study of student mathematical thinking to the mathematical education of teachers and rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of educational interventions. Dr. Schoen is principal investigator for two large-scale professional development initiatives in diverse school settings. The IES-funded Replicating the CGI Experiment in Diverse Environments is an efficacy study of a Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) professional development program.

“I have a great respect for FCTM, and I feel deeply honored to receive this award,” said Schoen. “My team and I work so hard to help improve teaching and learning while increasing the scientific rigor of education research. It feels great to be recognized by mathematics teachers for the impact that we are having on their work.”

The award was announced at FCTM’s 69th Annual Conference in St. Petersburg, FL attended by hundreds of math education professionals. Schoen is the first Tallahassee-based educator to win the award since 1994 and just the third ever from Tallahassee to be so honored.

LSI at Florida State University is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that bridge theory and practice in education. For over 50 years, LSI has delivered systems that measurably improve the learning and performance of organizations and individuals here in Florida and globally. Our experts’ advanced research provides not only state-of-the-art methods but also a clear path for implementation.

LSI’s Foundations For Success Study Concludes Year Three Of CGI Professional Development

Tallahassee, FL – A Learning Systems Institute (LSI) program to improve professional development for elementary school teachers and principals has already reached as many as 150,000 students in more than 200 Florida schools. In November 2018, LSI at Florida State University announced it would be conducting a five-year study funded by the U.S. Department of Education and run by the Cognitive Guided Instruction (CGI) team. The study provides CGI professional development in mathematics for 2,790 elementary teachers and 120 elementary school principals. The third and final year of the professional development portion of the “Foundations for Success” study was just completed last month.Two children standing at a whiteboard working on math problems.

“Teachers across the state have put a tremendous amount of effort into their professional growth through the Foundations for Success project,” said Robert Schoen, Ph.D., Associate Director, Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FCR-STEM). “These past couple of years have been the most difficult years in memory for educators but more than 2,000 elementary teachers stayed committed to this opportunity throughout this challenging time to continue to learn through CGI so that they can become better mathematics teachers.”

The Foundations for Success project aims to enhance elementary mathematics teacher effectiveness through the large-scale implementation of CGI professional development. The project activities are designed to provide CGI professional development in mathematics, increase teacher knowledge of mathematics and student learning progressions, increase teacher implementation of evidence-based practices in math instruction, increase student mathematics achievement with a focus on traditionally underserved and underrepresented students by enhancing CGI to meet their needs and establish structures to support teacher’s sustained implementation of high-quality mathematics instruction in Florida beyond the grant award period.

“FCR-STEM’s mission is to help improve STEM teaching and learning in the state of Florida and the evidence supporting a causal argument that CGI improves mathematics learning and achievement is increasing,” said Schoen. “With the funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, we forged great partnerships with fourteen school districts, charter schools and a few private schools. These partnerships span much of the geographic and demographic diversity of our state. Through these partners, the Foundations for Success project is scaling up the implementation of evidence-based practices in mathematics education while also creating new research-based knowledge about what works, for whom it works and under what conditions it works.

“Some of our work now is focusing on the creation of decentralized, sustainable funding mechanisms that do not rely on grant funding so that we may continue to scale up and provide evidence-based opportunities to learn how to improve mathematics teaching and learning for all Florida teachers and students.”

The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that bridge theory and practice in education. For over 50 years, LSI has delivered systems that measurably improve the learning and performance of organizations and individuals here in Florida and globally. Our experts’ advanced research provides not only state-of-the-art methods but also a clear path for implementation.

 

 

Residency Program Makes A Lasting Impact On Teacher Training In Zambia

Two fellows from Zambia residing at Florida State, Handili Jimaima and Joshua Zulu, pose on FSU's Unconquered statue.

Tallahassee, FL – The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University (FSU) is conducting a major project in Zambia to improve pre-service teacher training. In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Transforming Teacher Education (TTE) project works with School-to-School International and the University of Zambia.

While FSU faculty and staff are in Zambia conducting a range of training and professional development initiatives, a key component to the program’s long-term success is the residency of Zambian educational leaders at FSU. This spring, the two fellows from Zambia residing at Florida State as part of the TTE Project are Handili Jimaima and Joshua Zulu. Both Jimaima and Zulu teach at Chalimbana University in Chongwe, Zambia. Since mid-January, they have been at FSU learning, observing and training so they can influence generations of teachers and students when they return home in June.

“Many education capacity development projects are short—too short to have a lasting impact on knowledge and pedagogy,” said principal investigator Dr. Stephanie Zuilkowski of LSI. “This project aims to ensure that there is also deep investment in key individuals who can be leaders in their field long after the project has ended. The fellows are key to Transforming Teacher Education’s sustainability plans.”

For Jimaima and Zulu, a typical week during the residency involved most of their time spent in the classroom, interacting with Florida State professors and students and conducting research. The focus of their studies is literacy and methods with the goal of training their Zambian colleagues to more effectively help children learn how to read and provide safe learning environments.

“We came here to review the reading courses FSU offers to literacy teachers,” said Zulu. “We have been reviewing courses to explore ways of improving materials and teaching methods for teachers back home.”

“During the spring semester, we attended literacy classes to observe how lessons were managed, observing the methodology used,” said Jimaima. “I am also spending time reading through materials on literacy.”

The most important takeaways for the pair from the time at FSU were the teaching methods and the importance technology plays in reaching students. The fellows found the student-focused approach at FSU was a significant area of interest. They were also struck by the critical role technology played in the teaching process at FSU.

“One of the biggest differences is how the material is presented to students in the lectures,” said Zulu. “It is student-centered learning here. At home, we teach theoretically, and here at FSU, it is more practical.”

“The use of technology is excellent at FSU,” said Jimaima. “It made lesson delivery easier and allowed students an easy way to gain access to study materials before lessons and lectures. This enabled students to fully participate in class discussions. The use and type of technology helped students retain and apply what they discover on their own through reading. Basically, the use of technology made it possible to have learner-centered lessons.”

In relation to the greater TTE project, the residency program offers an opportunity for the fellows to influence generations of teachers and, in turn, students for decades to come. The lessons the pair learned in Tallahassee will be put into practice immediately upon their return to Zambia in June.

“I hope they take away with them a variety of types of knowledge, including current evidence on early grade reading and pre-service teacher training and greater knowledge of research methods,” said Dr. Zuilkowski. “They have developed international networks with literacy scholars, both at FSU and elsewhere, through participation in conferences. Also, they have had the opportunity to observe excellent pre-service teacher training at FSU, which we hope will support the broader changes that Transforming Teacher Education is promoting in the Zambian system.”

“I learned quite a lot,” said Jimaima. “First, I learned that my lessons must be learner-centered and practical. Second, I have learned not to take the Peer Teaching aspect for granted. I will ensure that every lecturer takes this seriously so that our students can gain confidence in methodologies before they can depart to serve. Third, I learned the importance of phonemic and phonological awareness in literacy development. I will also try to encourage the use of technology to make our teaching easier and more efficient.”

The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that bridge theory and practice in education. Our experts’ advanced research not only provides state-of-the-art methods but also a clear path for implementation. For more than 50 years, LSI has delivered systems that measurably improve the learning and performance of organizations and individuals here in Florida and across the world.

The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

LSI Awarded $1.49M Grant To Develop Math Anxiety Intervention For Children

Graphic announcing a new Grant for the Learning Systems Institute. Examining the Mechanisms of the Relation Between Math Anxiety and Math Achievement is A STUDY TO DEVELOP A MATH ANXIETY INTERVENTION FOR CHILDREN

Tallahassee, FL – The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University has been awarded a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $1,498,140 to develop a school-based intervention for children with math anxiety using strategies from cognitive behavioral therapy. The project, titled “Examining the Mechanisms of the Math Anxiety-Math Achievement Link through a School-Based Grades 2-3 Intervention,” is supported by the NSF’s Education and Human Resources (EHR) Core Research (ECR) program. The ECR program emphasizes fundamental science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field.

“A lot of people experience math anxiety, and it can develop in really young children and persist as they get older,” said principal investigator and FSU Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology Dr. Colleen Ganley. “Unfortunately, people with math anxiety tend to have a harder time with math and are less likely to take higher-level math courses or pursue STEM careers. We wanted to address math anxiety early so we could decrease the chances of negative educational impacts later in life.”

The first goal of the project is to develop the math anxiety intervention. The researchers will adapt an existing classroom-based intervention and add exposure components from cognitive behavioral therapy interventions. Exposure has been found to decrease anxiety for children with other anxiety-related disorders. Through the development process, they will create a child intervention workbook, facilitator session guides, and facilitator training materials. They will try out these intervention materials with children to find ways to improve them.

Headshot of Dr. Colleen Ganley
FSU Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology Dr. Colleen Ganley

The second goal is to test if the intervention decreases math anxiety and if changes in math anxiety relate to increases in working memory and decreases in the avoidance of math, which relate to later improvements in math skills. Half of the children in the study will participate in the small-group intervention and half will not. The researchers will compare the math anxiety in the children who participate in the intervention to those who do not to see if there are more significant decreases for the children who got the intervention. They will also test to see improvements in math achievement and if those improvements happen because of changes in working memory and math avoidance. Once the project is complete, the researchers will make any other necessary changes to the intervention materials and then share the materials to be used by researchers and school personnel.

“This research will contribute to our understanding of how math anxiety and math achievement are related, as well as whether this intervention can decrease math anxiety and improve student math learning,” said Dr. Ganley. “This intervention, if found effective, has the potential to lead to long-term improvements in math learning for children with math anxiety and can help make their math learning a more positive experience.”

This research is in collaboration with Dr. Alexandria Meyer, who is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at FSU, Dr. Sara Hart, who is Professor and W. Russell and Eugenia Morcom Chair in Developmental Psychology and the Florida Center for Reading Research at FSU and Dr. Maria Chiara Passolunghi, Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology at University of Trieste, Italy.

The Learning Systems Institute (LSI) at Florida State University is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that bridge theory and practice in education. Our experts’ advanced research not only provides state-of-the-art methods but also a clear path for implementation. For more than 50 years, LSI has delivered systems that measurably improve the learning and performance of organizations and individuals here in Florida and across the world.

— #InnovatingLearning–

LSI’s Work Is One Of 10 Ways FSU Is Changing The World

May 5, 2022

BY: CHLOE DENNIS

Florida State University researchers are driving innovation and creating new forms of art while using their knowledge to contribute to Florida and beyond.

Take a look at a few ways in which FSU faculty members are changing the world around us.

Enhancing Education all over the World

Faculty members from FSU’s Learning Systems Institute have worked worldwide, including in Zambia, Uzbekistan, Lebanon and Nigeria , to deliver state-of-the-art teaching and learning methods while also clearing the path for implementation. Since its establishment, the Learning Systems Institute has worked with organizations including USAID, the U.S. Department of Education, UNICEF and educational centers abroad to improve educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.

Salvaging Critical Floridian Ecosystems

Apalachicola Bay once yielded 90% of oysters harvested in Florida but has experienced an extreme decline following an increase in pollution, unsustainable harvesting and natural disasters. Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Laboratory has developed a recovery plan that will increase the oyster population and improve the health of the bay. This project, funded by settlement money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will benefit the region’s ecosystem as well as its commercial fishing industry, a critical part of the local economy.

The FSU Coastal and Marine Lab is working to understand the complexities behind the decline of the oyster population in Apalachicola Bay.

Cultivating Pathways for Underrepresented Students in the Medical Profession

Since 1994, FSU has been working to develop a more diverse physician workforce that can better serve local communities through the Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence (SSTRIDE) program. FSU faculty implemented the program to help students who excel in STEM areas — but are underrepresented in health care fields — become competitive applicants to medical schools or to succeed in health-related careers.

From left, SSTRIDE students Britney Garcia, Gisselle Nava and Ruth Bellevue observe how to take a brachial pulse in a baby. Courtesy of FSU College of Medicine

Transforming How We Prepare for Natural Disasters

The Resilient Infrastructure and Disaster Response Center, part of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, promotes all-inclusive and equitable disaster resilience for vulnerable populations. RIDER does this via technology, data and multidisciplinary research with a deep understanding of how the unique conditions of each community’s physical and social dynamics, available infrastructure and land use affect resilience. RIDER’s solutions empower underserved communities with new tools, training and enhanced partnerships among public, private, non-profit and academic stakeholders. Improved disaster resilience will protect our vulnerable populations, save billions and safeguard our society. RIDER is leading that work.

The Panama City area sustained extensive damage after Hurricane Michael.

Making Sure Every Child Can Read

The Florida Center for Reading Research  wants every child to read at grade-level by second grade. The interdisciplinary research center puts unique emphasis on reading and reading-related skills throughout the human lifespan. It uses science to improve reading assessments for classrooms, expand our knowledge about learning disabilities such as dyslexia and help educators connect with students.

Students at a classroom in Atlanta listen to a teacher reading. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control via Unsplash.

Bettering Diversity in STEM Fields

The Florida First Brigade marks a step toward solving the problem of underrepresented students within STEM programs: The program maintains a special focus on diversity in the areas of chronic disease prevention and management and mental health, which will create a more cohesive research community and guarantee a wider range of perspectives for determining research priorities in these areas. The National Institutes of Health awarded the team more than $14 million for its work and to help it continue to build a diverse and positive medical community.

Revamping Art Therapy in Prisons to Improve Effectiveness

FSU’s Art Therapy Program is harnessing the power of art therapy in prisons to provide emotional outlets for inmates. Partnering with the Florida Department of Corrections to improve the previous outdated program, FSU’s art therapy program allows inmates to express themselves and remain positive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when face-to-face interactions with family and loved ones became restricted. The new program has demonstrated such success that when the contract for the program was renewed, it doubled the size of the existing program, adding therapists and including more prisons.

“Mindful Watercolor” – This image represents an success-driven process, encouraging clients to begin painting without a plan or intention, but rather remain present with their creation as they watch the color appear on the paper. This mindful practice is helpful in relieving stress and building positive coping skills.

Testing the Limits of Natural Disaster Simulations

Allison Wing, an assistant professor in FSU’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, uses data on tropical storms, clouds and other climate variables to better predict future storms. Using high-powered computer simulations, Wing is building models that will give forecasters better information on future storms. Last fall, Wing was named to Popular Science’s Brilliant 10 list, which recognizes early career researchers conducting groundbreaking research in their fields.

Pushing the Frontiers of Physical Sciences

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, or MagLab, provides researchers with an environment unlike any other to study multiple subject areas, including chemistry and physics, primarily revolving around the study of materials, life and energy. This one-of-a-kind laboratory attracts hundreds of scientists from across the globe, and its super-powerful magnets are used to study a variety of areas such as diseases, magnetic fields and complex chemical analyses. The MagLab has broken more than 15 world records, and in 2018, it was awarded $184 million by the National Science Foundation to help fund the continuation of research there.

Research Engineer Charles Lamar English works on a specialized furnace used to develop magnet coils from the high-temperature superconductor Bi-2212, a version of bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide. Photo by Stephen Bilenky/National MagLab.

Pushing the Limits of Artistic Expression at a National Choreography Center

The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) is the world’s only national choreography center at a major research institution. In addition to supporting burgeoning artists, the center has created 60 short films and podcasts that document the creative experience at MANCC, giving fellow artists a toolkit to use in promoting and researching their creative endeavors.

 

Cast members of “Healing Wars” rehearse at FSU. MANCC photo by Chris Cameron

UEEP presentation at CIES 2022

Screen shot of a Zoom call from a presentation

April 19, 2022
We are pleased to have successfully presented our three-session panel re: UEEP. A copy of the chat is available below.

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 09:50 PM

Dian is her natural habitat.

*Dina

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 09:51 PM

😍

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 09:53 PM

Thanks, Ana!

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 10:04 PM

Welcome Denae

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 10:04 PM

Thank you!

From Azima Toyirova to Me (Direct Message) 10:05 PM

Let’s start

From Dina Vyortkina to Everyone 10:19 PM

Greetings. Could you please mute yourself if you are not presenting? Thank you.

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 10:37 PM

https://t.me/UzbekistanEducationforExcellence

The program telegram channel

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:03 PM

Zoom. Teams.

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:03 PM

Zoom and Teams

From Aida Amirova to Everyone 11:03 PM

Skype

From Lisa Horvath to Everyone 11:03 PM

Google Meet

From Robert Lengacher to Everyone 11:03 PM

Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, WebEx

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 11:03 PM

TEAMS, google,zoom

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:03 PM

Google Meet

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:03 PM

Signal

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:03 PM

SKype

From Gulnoz Nadjemidinova to Everyone 11:03 PM

Google meet

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:03 PM

Facebook video chat

From Dilfuza Karimova RTI-International to Everyone 11:03 PM

Telegram even

Me to Azima Toyirova (Direct Message) 11:03 PM

blue jeans, teams, zoom

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 11:04 PM

1990

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:04 PM

2010

From Robert Lengacher to Everyone 11:04 PM

1963

From Dilfuza Karimova RTI-International to Everyone 11:04 PM

1950s

From Aida Amirova to Everyone 11:04 PM

2012

From Susan Iannuzzi to Everyone 11:04 PM

1968

From Gulnoz Nadjemidinova to Everyone 11:04 PM

1990

Me to Azima Toyirova (Direct Message) 11:04 PM

1960

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:04 PM

2000

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 11:04 PM

Susan Congratulations

From Robert Lengacher to Everyone 11:04 PM

I was only off by 1 year!

From Gulnoz Nadjemidinova to Everyone 11:04 PM

unbelievable!

From Azima Toyirova to Everyone 11:05 PM

And Rob🍫

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:05 PM

Amazing

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:05 PM

I was not born

From Dina Vyortkina to Everyone 11:18 PM

Diigo link: https://www.diigo.com/outliner/40vkdd/Videoconferencing?key=dg8q3s1srl

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:25 PM

Getting my questions into the space -> 1. Which two districts? I’m assuming Tashkent region, but what’s the other? 2. Is the MoE planning to align the national exams to the new standards? 3. Is the MASSIVE amount of PD planned for this summer already part of teaching in-service? 4. How does the new EFL roll-out intersect with Russian language instruction?

From Laureen Fregeau, (she, her) to Everyone 11:27 PM

Do any of you include native English speaker conversation partner activities through videoconferencing? If so, has this been successful?

From Aida Amirova to Everyone 11:28 PM

Thank you for amazing talks! Good luck. Have you considered conducting interventions comparing Uzbek language arts and typical textbooks? e.g., measuring learning gains. That would maybe show clear distinction between two textbooks.

From Laureen Fregeau, (she, her) to Everyone 11:29 PM

Thanks. I have been successfully doing this for more than a decade but with secondary and post secondary.

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 11:31 PM

Laureen, great question. Yes, this would be an excellent activity for teachers to implement in the classroom. Internet access could be an issue for some.

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:05 PM

I was not born

From Dina Vyortkina to Everyone 11:18 PM

Diigo link: https://www.diigo.com/outliner/40vkdd/Videoconferencing?key=dg8q3s1srl

From Denae Harmon (she/her) to Everyone 11:25 PM

Getting my questions into the space -> 1. Which two districts? I’m assuming Tashkent region, but what’s the other? 2. Is the MoE planning to align the national exams to the new standards? 3. Is the MASSIVE amount of PD planned for this summer already part of teaching in-service? 4. How does the new EFL roll-out intersect with Russian language instruction?

From Laureen Fregeau, (she, her) to Everyone 11:27 PM

Do any of you include native English speaker conversation partner activities through videoconferencing? If so, has this been successful?

From Aida Amirova to Everyone 11:28 PM

Thank you for amazing talks! Good luck. Have you considered conducting interventions comparing Uzbek language arts and typical textbooks? e.g., measuring learning gains. That would maybe show clear distinction between two textbooks.

From Laureen Fregeau, (she, her) to Everyone 11:29 PM

Thanks. I have been successfully doing this for more than a decade but with secondary and post secondary.

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 11:31 PM

Laureen, great question. Yes, this would be an excellent activity for teachers to implement in the classroom. Internet access could be an issue for some.

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:32 PM

Availability of hardware might be another issue to consider.

From Laureen Fregeau, (she, her) to Everyone 11:32 PM

It s for my partners in Latin America and KEnya but we manage to adapt.

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 11:32 PM

This would also be helpful to develop intercultural communication competence.

From Robert Lengacher to Everyone 11:32 PM

“Writing” = Taking dictation

From Ana H Marty to Everyone 11:32 PM

Composition

From Ramin Yazdanpanah to Everyone 11:33 PM

learn more about your work!

From Joke Van Belle – VVOB to Everyone 08:03 AM

I need to leave, unfortunately. Thanks for the interesting presentation; there are many learnings coming out of your research. If possible, please send the presentation so I can read it afterwards? joke.vanbelle@vvob.org

From Dho Ong Jhaan to Everyone 08:17 AM

Speaking from Myanmar, when it comes to teaching of and in local languages here one issue has been a shortage of teachers (both Preservice and Inservice) who have literacy skills in the mother tongues of the students due to the lack of support over the past few decades. To what extent this is an issue in this context – do the preservice teachers have literacy skills in the respective local language(s) upon entry or are they provided with additional literacy courses throughout their training?

From Barbara Trudell to Everyone 08:19 AM

Thanks, presenters! I have to go – but well done.

From psowa@rti.org to Everyone 08:20 AM

Thanks Barbara

From Carol Benson to Everyone 08:26 AM

Thanks everyone for your great work as reported today! Have you been able to do anything in PST to address the need for continued development of L1 literacy? (Beyond the “early grades” I mean.) I’m worried about not only initial literacy but also how this foundation contributes to interlinguistic transfer. I’m also worried that “translanguaging” becomes unsystematic mixing rather than PEDAGOGICAL translanguaging (e.g. Cenoz & Gorter)— using languages purposefully. Thank you!

From psowa@rti.org to Everyone 08:28 AM

of Garcia, Cenoz and Garter

LSI Joins With HECD To Welcome University Staff From Lebanon To FSU

Tallahassee, FL – Florida State University and the Learning Systems Institute (LSI) continued its partnership with the USAID/Lebanon Higher Education Capacity Development (HECD) Program by welcoming a group of 19 university staff members from Lebanon to Tallahassee. The group spent five days focusing on career development programs with much of the program hosted by The Career Center at FSU.

“Education Development Center (EDC) is fortunate to coordinate with Florida State on this project,” said Bill Potter, Project Director of the Higher Education Capacity Development Program. “We invited 19 Lebanese colleagues representing ten universities to FSU. They were here to observe best practices in career services. We had a series of presentations and visits at The Career Center, Innovation Hub and Alumni Relations Office.”

Lebanon university staff posing with flag at FSU fountain
Lebanon university staff posing with flag at FSU fountain

“We were so impressed with the level of facilities here at Florida State, the level of professionalism and the multi-layers of support FSU is providing to students through their career services outreach and resources. We are impressed with Florida State’s ability to accommodate these international visits.”

While at FSU, the university staff took part in sessions focusing on career advising and intake, individual and group career counseling, assessment and computer-assisted guidance, career-panning classes, experiential education, on-campus recruiting and numerous other topics focused on career placement.

Th program also included reviews of the Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) theory that serves as the theoretical underpinning of the Florida State University Career Center, selected innovative student engagement career programs, the FSU Garnet and Gold Scholar Society, the FSU Innovation Hub and the embedded college liaison internship program. There were also meetings with the Office of the President, Vice President for Student Affairs, Learning Systems Institute and Alumni Association.

“Our Lebanese colleagues have been so impressed with all they have seen,” said Potter. “They are excited to take back with them the learning points from this week, synthesize those points and then develop action plans on how they go about improving the career services systems at each university. Moving forward, they will continue to be in touch with the FSU team as they develop plans for enhancing the career centers in Lebanon.”

Lebanese group visits FSU career fair
Lebanese group visits FSU career fair

Dr. Jeffrey Milligan of the Learning Systems Institute served as the Principal Investigator for the joint venture with HECD. Dr. Milligan focuses on international development and served as the LSI host for the Lebanese delegation.

“Over the past several years Lebanon has struggled both with the twin calamities of the COVID crisis and a virtual collapse of the Lebanese economy,” said Dr. Milligan. “Despite these difficult circumstances, our colleagues at the ten HECD partner universities have persevered and continue to work courageously toward a better day for their students and their country. It is inspiring to work alongside them in this important endeavor.”

HECD is a $10 million USAID-funded project which develops the capacities of Higher Education Institutions to better prepare their graduates to be successful in labor markets in Lebanon and around the world. HEIs are better equipped to deliver job readiness skills and career services to help students make the transition from academe to work, to engage meaningfully with local employers, utilize data to make programmatic decisions and to seek and secure external funding.

The Learning Systems Institute works to bridge the gap between theory and practice in education. Our experts apply the best research to help teachers utilize this knowledge in their classrooms. LSI strives to be an internationally recognized, university-based research and development organization that measurably improves the learning and performance of organizations and individuals.

Media Inquiries
Elliott Finebloom
Assistant Director
Learning Systems Institute
Media, Communications, and Marketing
efinebloom@fsu.edu
850-645-5858

USAID-LSI Partnership To Improve Teacher Training Colleges In Malawi

By Bill Wellock 

Florida State University’s Learning Systems Institute (LSI) will lead a $15.6 million project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve teacher training in Malawi.

The Strengthening Teacher Education and Practice (STEP) Activity will improve the higher education system that trains primary school teachers in the country as well as the professional development practices that support teachers through their careers.

“We will be impacting every single teacher that teaches primary school in all of Malawi, which means that we will impact every child,” said Adrienne Barnes-Story, project director and LSI research faculty member. “It’s just mind-blowing that we’re going to have the opportunity to impact the entire primary education system while strengthening the higher education network of institutions necessary to carry this work forward.”

LSI faculty will work with 16 teacher training colleges across the country to improve teacher education programs and develop new training materials related to literacy and numeracy education. Another part of the project will provide support to the Ministry of Education to deliver continuous professional development courses to teachers who are already in classrooms. The STEP project is a landmark investment by USAID to support the institutions of higher education that provide pre-service teacher education.

“We will be impacting every single teacher that teaches primary school in all of Malawi, which means that we will impact every child.”

The professional development portion of the work will build on a previous project through the Malawi Ministry of Education to digitize an online data collection system for student progress and teacher development. That initiative will help formalize the teacher certification process and give the Malawian government better data to inform its decisions about education.

Malawian Ministry of Education officials and teacher training college administrators will have exchange visits to colleges in neighboring Zambia, where FSU is implementing another USAID program to improve teacher education to share experiences, and best practices.

Classroom instruction in Malawi mostly takes place in the languages Chichewa and English. Students first learn in Chichewa for all subjects and study English as a separate subject, then begin reading in English in Grade 2 and slowly transition to using English as the medium of instruction, with Chichewa becoming a separate class. This method of learning and transitioning to English can be challenging for students who have limited English oral fluency. One project goal is to support teachers’ methods to understand and apply best practices for students transitioning from Chichewa to English.

“The impact that LSI delivers is immediate and lasts for years to come.”

The programs in Malawi, Zambia and elsewhere speak to FSU’s ability to lead international development projects that make an impact, ranging from early education to higher education settings, said LSI Director Rabieh Razzouk. LSI has projects in 13 different countries, including the United States, on four continents across the globe.

“The impact that LSI delivers is immediate and lasts for years to come,” he said. “Early childhood is a crucial time for positive interventions, which is why improving that curriculum is so important.”

LSI has partnered with USAID on projects across the globe, working on education activities in Nigeria, Lebanon, Rwanda, Honduras, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia and Indonesia. The institute also has worked on projects with the U.S. Department of State in Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Pakistan, Egypt, St. Lucia, Grenada and Suriname.

USAID promotes and demonstrates democratic values in more than 80 countries around the globe and advances a free, peaceful and prosperous world. The agency leads the U.S. government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance.