Screening of JFK: The Last Speech at the GLOBE scheduled for Wednesday, April 24th at 5-7 PM

There will be a screening of the film JFK: The Last Speech at the GLOBE scheduled for Wednesday, April 24th at 5-7 PM. The film was put together by Amherst College classmates of Prof. Peter Easton starting at their  50th reunion to commemorate President Kennedy’s visit to the campus in October 1963 – just a month before his assassination – to take part in the groundbreaking for the Robert Frost Memorial Library and deliver a remarkable speech, during which he stressed the relation of poetry and power, the role of the liberal arts in a democracy and the obligation on those who benefit from higher education to serve the public good. It was his last major speech. You can find more detail on the film itself at , including – if you click on “The Film” up top – a full trailer. “Somehow the film seems particularly a propos in our present national circumstances,” says Peter Easton.

The Wednesday April 24th event  is co-sponsored by the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and the Peace Corps. Dr. Stacey Rutledge (College of Education) will facilitate the discussion with  four panelists: faculty from the English and History Departments concerned with the relation of poetry to politics and the course of our democracy and two returned Peace Corps volunteers now working for the State of Florida and continuing their mission of service.

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January 2019 edition of FSU Headlines

Watch the January 2019 edition of FSU Headlines as we take a look back at the year 2018 at Florida State University! We’re taking a look back at the most memorable moments including a visit from the President of Botswana, FSU alumni who mentioned the Learning Systems Institute in his address, and much more. Including two national championships for FSU women’s athletic teams, a new civil rights institute is launched by FSU alumni, and FSU Panama City responds to Hurricane Michael.

Roundtable discussion with Nigerian visiting scholars at FSU

Challenges and opportunities for universities in conflict contexts: a discussion with Bayero University faculty from Northern Nigeria.

Date: Friday, January 25, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM
Location: Center for Global Engagement – Room 2300
110 S. Woodward Avenue
Tallahassee FL, 32306

The speakers will lead a discussion on the role of universities in promoting peace and providing opportunities for development in settings that have been impacted by conflict. They will also discuss the partnerships that FSU is undertaking in the region to support educational systems and research infrastructure.

Dr. Muhammad Bello, Vice Chancellor, Bayero University-Kano

Dr. Ismaila Tsiga, Coordinator, Nigerian Center for Reading Research and Development and Professor, Bayero University-Kano

Dr. Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, Professor and Director of the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University

This event is sponsored by the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University


Florida State University welcomes two fellows from Nigeria for the Spring 2019

The Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University—represented by Drs. Stephanie Simmons Zuilkowski and Adrienne Barnes, welcomes Dr. Aisha Umar Tsiga and Dr. Amina Adamu both faculty from the Nigerian Center for Reading Research and Development at Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria. The university fellows will be at the FSU campus in Tallahassee till June 2019 as part of a USAID-sponsored partnership between Bayero University and Florida State University. LSI.FSU.EDU

Foundations for Success: Developing Effective Mathematics Educators through Cognitively Guided Instruction

Over a five-year period, the Foundations for Success project will provide Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) professional development in mathematics for 2,790 elementary teachers and 120 elementary school principals. Participating teachers will receive eight days of professional development during each year of their participation. Designed and led by the CGI Math Teacher Learning Center under the direction of Linda Levi, the CGI professional development program is a three-year, eight-day-per year program focused on number, operations, and algebraic thinking at the K–2 or 3–5 grade levels. Working with an advisory board with extensive expertise and experience supporting equity and excellence in mathematics, the Foundations for Success program will integrate evidence-based practices in early mathematics, fractions, and problem solving with promising practices for teaching traditionally underserved and underrepresented students (and their teachers) in mathematics.

Project Goals and Expected Outcomes. The Foundations for Success project will enhance elementary mathematics teacher effectiveness through large-scale implementation of CGI professional development. The project activities are designed to achieve the following goals:

  1. Provide CGI professional development in mathematics for 2,790 elementary teachers in Florida over the course of five years;
  2. Increase teachers’ knowledge of mathematics and student learning progressions;
  3. Increase teachers’ implementation of evidence-based practices in math instruction;
  4. Increase students’ mathematics achievement with a focus on traditionally underserved and underrepresented students by enhancing CGI to meet their needs; and
  5. Establish structures to support teachers’ sustained implementation of high-quality mathematics instruction in Florida beyond the grant award period.

Program Evaluation. The program evaluation design will use several complementary methodological approaches, including (1) a mixed-methods evaluation of implementation to determine the extent to which the program is being implemented as intended and to inform potential improvements of the program, (2) a multisite cluster-randomized trial to enable causal inference regarding the effect of the program on school, teacher, and student outcomes, and (3) an exploratory study investigating factors in classroom instruction that mediate the impact of the CGI intervention on student achievement.

U.S. Department of Education through the Supporting Effective Educator Development program, 2018–23, grant award number U423A180115.

Principal Investigator
Robert C. Schoen, PhD
Associate Director, FCR-STEM, Florida State University

Co-Principal Investigators
Linda Levi, PhD
Director, CGI Math Teacher Learning Center
Walter G. Secada, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, School of Education and Human Development, University of Miami

Senior Project Manager
Amanda M. Tazaz, PhD
Associate in Research, FCR-STEM, Florida State University

District Partners
Approximately one-dozen Florida school districts.

New publication by RTI Press explores the many ways in which teachers around the world are supported throughout their professional careers to improve teaching and learning.

BY: Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi

New publication by RTI Press explores the many ways in which teachers around the world are supported throughout their professional careers to improve teaching and learning.  Thanks to David Evans, Silvia Montoya, Sharath Jeevan for reviews and to all co-authors including Tifa Asrianti, Adrienne Barnes, Guy Bostock, Nancy Clark-Chiarelli, Stephen Backman, Marion Fesmire, Jarret Guajardo, Karon H. Molly Hamm-Rodríguez, Simon King, Scott Kipp, Lee Nordstrum, Dawit Mekonnen, Alison Pflepsen, Mitchell Rakusin, Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi, Emily Richardson, Timothy Slade. You can download the book “Cultivating Dynamic Educators: Case Studies in Teacher Behavior Change in Africa and Asia” by Sarah Remington Pouezevara from the RTO Press website.

In Chapter 2: “Changing Teacher Educators’ Conceptions and Practices Around Literacy Instruction: Lessons from Teacher Educators’ Professional Development Experiences in Ethiopia” the Florida State University team examined the contribution of the pre-service interventions within the Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed Technical Assistance (READ-TA) program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from October 2012 through December 2017. The Learning Systems Institute at FSU was a partner to RTI International on the RAD TA project from 2012 to 2017.  The FSU team worked in five regions of the country, targeting seven national languages. Ethiopia has two chartered cities (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) plus nine national region states: Afar; Amhara; Benishangul-Gumuz; Gambela; Harari; Oromia; Somali; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR); and Tigray. As of early 2018, more than 20 local languages were being used as languages of instruction in Ethiopia. READ-TA targeted seven of the most widely spoken languages of instruction.

The professional development activities implemented by the FSU/LSI team of researchers and teacher educators included engagement of Ethiopian educators in module development, adaptation of the modules and related materials into seven mother tongues, and training on the module contents. The pre-service teacher education program prepares student teachers to teach in the mother tongue used as the language of instruction in grades 1–8 in each of the nine regions of the country. Of particular interest were revisions of the mother tongue pre-service teacher education program and the related professional development for teacher educators and student teachers (we use the term teacher educators to refer to the lecturers and instructors at the colleges of teacher education and the term student teachers to refer to the students at colleges of teacher education, also referred to in Ethiopia as “teacher-trainees” and “wouldbe-teachers”).

The chapter describes the extent to which teacher educators’ involvement across multiple initiatives promoted changes in conceptions of literacy instruction; depth of understanding of literacy content; and student-centered, participatory teaching and learning pedagogy.

Suggested citation: Mekonnen, D., Fesmire, M., Barnes, A., Backman, S., Ramos-Mattoussi, F. (2018). Changing Teacher Educators’ Conceptions and Practices on Literacy Instruction: Lessons from Teacher Educators’ Professional Development Experiences in Ethiopia.  In Pouezevara, S. R. (Ed.) (2018). Cultivating dynamic educators: Case studies in teacher behavior change in Africa and Asia. (RTI Press Publication No. BK-0022-1809). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. DOI: 10.3768/rtipress. 2018.bk.0022.1809.

Photo: Dr. Dawit Mekonnen of the University of Addis Ababa and FSU National Coordinator in Ethiopia, Dr. Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi, center, the principal investigator on FSU’s element of the Read-TA project, and Dr. Marion Fesmire of FSU Panama City wear gowns and scarves given them by their colleagues in Ethiopia, where FSU has been working since 2013 on an ambitious reading-and-writing program.


PUBLIC PRESENTATION: International School of Sustainable Tourism-Philippines Dr. Mina T. Gabor, Founder and President Former Secretary of Tourism, Republic of the Philippines

International School of Sustainable Tourism-Philippines
Dr. Mina T. Gabor, Founder and President
Former Secretary of Tourism, Republic of the Philippines

Friday, October 26, 2:00-4:30 pm
Center for Global Engagement, Room 2300
Florida State University

Dr. Mina T. Gabor, President and Founder of the International School of Sustainable Tourism in the Philippines, will offer a public presentation on the development and current status of the International School of Sustainable Tourism as well as eco-tourism and farm tourism in the Philippines. Dr. Gabor’s presentation will be followed by an open discussion on opportunities for collaboration with ISST for FSU faculty and students.

ISST was established in 2010 to promote the education and technical training of manpower to develop, promote, and viably operate sustainable tourism in the Philippines and other ASEAN countries. It is dedicated to the improvement of the lives of the people of communities with ecological resources that need to be preserved and can be sustained for tourism. ISST helps inculcate in tourism stakeholders and visitors the values of responsible tourism where people interact with nature in a mutually beneficial relationship.

Dr. Mina T. Gabor is the former Secretary of the Department of Tourism and Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines. Dr. Gabor’s presentation is sponsored by the Florida State University Learning Systems Institute and the Big Bend Filipino American Association. Refreshments will be served.

Jeffrey Ayala Milligan, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Director, Learning Systems Institute
The Florida State University

How do teachers learn to teach reading and writing in Honduras? That’s what a team of researchers at FSU are trying to find out.

By: Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi

In early 2018, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Government of Honduras launched the “readers to leaders” program (De Lectores a Líderes, also known as the USAID Honduras Reading Activity). The project implemented by Education Development Center (EDC) and its partner Florida State University (FSU) targets regions according to two Development Objectives (1) Citizen Security increased in high violence zones; and (2) Extreme poverty sustainably reduced. The five-year project is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education to implement evidence-based reading approaches to improve the learning rates in reading and writing of at least 700,000 students from first to sixth grade in 2,500 schools across 60 municipalities; train more than 15,000 in-service teachers in evidence-based teaching practices; provide 1,000 existing or new school libraries with a collection of 1,200 books to promote reading opportunities.

The “readers to leaders” project is also aimed at building the capacity of teacher educators at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán (UPNFM) to address current educational reforms affecting the teacher certification requirements in the country. FSU’s main role in this project is to collaborate with the UPNFM faculty to better integrate educational standards and evidence-based teaching practices applied to both pre and in-service teacher training programs. FSU will support UPNFM faculty teaching in the Basic Education Program and provide professional development focused on early grade reading instruction.

In September 2018, two research faculty members at the Learning Systems Institute at FSU, Dr. Ana Marty and Dr. Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi traveled to Honduras for one month to assess the current situation and readiness of UPNFM faculty, administrators and students to effectively embrace the new curriculum and impart evidence-based teaching practices aligned with current efforts to reform academic standards and formative assessments. The FSU team conducted a mixed-methods baseline assessment of how “lectoescritura” is being taught at the pre-service level, examining administrative structures, teaching methods, and specific strengths and constraints in the context of the UPNFM in Tegucigalpa as well as in its Regional Centers in Gracias, Santa Barbara, La Ceiba, and San Pedro Sula. They observed numerous classes at UPNFM and at primary schools; administered 134 surveys, and conducted interviews and focus groups with faculty, administrators, and students at all sites visited to better understand the context of reading and writing instruction in the Basic Education and Spanish Language Programs in Honduras.

Dr. Ana H. Marty was interviewed by TeleCeibaTV Station in La Ceiba during a site visit to the UPNFM Regional Center. See Link to interview in Spanish:



Posted by Teleceiba Internacional on Friday, September 14, 2018