Monday, November 21, 2016

COE Faculty Making An Impact This Fall!

Here are just some of the many scholarly awards, recognitions, and accomplishments of our faculty this fall.


Alyson Lavigne, Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies, has been selected as one of a select group of 10 promising young scholars to participate in the 2017 Jacobs Foundation Conference on “Education in Times of Increasing Cultural and Linguistic Heterogeneity.” This conference will bring together international leaders in the field of education to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion. The conference aims at exploring the most relevant current and future research questions in the field of education pertaining to increasing cultural and linguistic heterogeneity. The goal is to engage in a different kind of intellectual enterprise: an interdisciplinary conference with a strong topical focus and thoroughly selected, dedicated participants who will work together for two and a half days in order to determine condensed results and directions for future research.

The conference is going to be held at Marbach Castle (Germany) from Wednesday, May 17 until Friday, May 19, 2017. Scholars attending the conference are eligible to apply for research grants after the conference related to the conference topic. These funds will be available only to young scholars attending the conference.


 Alyson Lavigne and Roger Chamberlain, Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, have published "Teacher evaluation in Illinois: school leaders’ perceptions and practices" in Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability. The entire article is accessible at

This fall, Roger Chamberlain also successfully passed each of the five modules required to meet the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) requirements to evaluate principals as a superintendent in the State of Illinois.


In September 2016, Margaret Policastro, Professor of Language and Literacy, and Becky McTague, Associate Professor of Elementary Education and Language and Literacy, presented at the annual meeting of the Illinois Reading Council, in Peoria, IL.

In addition, Margaret Policastro went to Illinois State University for the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant symposium. Dr. Policastro participated a writer’s workshop on Day One of the conference, and on Day Two, school partners at Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights presented an action research project. Later on the same day, Dr. Policastro presented their planned work for the current year, which is focused on implementing a New Balanced Literacy Teacher Leader professional development model.

Margaret Policastro also is continuing as an Illinois Literacy Association editorial board member for their journal, The Reading Teacher, and has had an article accepted about her work in Chicago area schools, "Discourse: The importance of talk in the balanced literacy classroom."  The article will appear in the winter edition of the Illinois Reading Council Journal, and is being developed into a new book that is under contract to Capstone Publishing, with an expected publication date of Fall 2018.


Last but not least, Tammy Oberg De La Garza, Associate Professor of Language and Literacy and the director of our new Dual Language Teacher Leadership Program, has been leading "powerful & thoughtful" discussions about race & establishing culturally responsive classrooms in Wood Dale School District 7 (the quote comes from John Corbett, District 7 Superintendent).


Ami Hicks, Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership, will speak at the Illinois Educators Association state conference in Schaumburg on December 2.  Ami's presentation is entitled "A Passion for Teaching," and she will examine the Teacher Leader Model Standards, which recognize that the craft of the professional educator is built on enthusiasm, collegiality, self-reliance, reflection and professionalism in a variety of operational roles.  Participants will develop a plan for professional growth within their environment.​

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