Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy


Northwestern Rates Highest in Teacher Education
NU rates high Photo by Jim Ziv

Northwestern University rates highest of all 111 teacher education programs at 53 institutions in Illinois, based on a comprehensive new study conducted by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). Northwestern's grade of A- contrasts with the average score for the state's teacher education programs of C-.

The School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) undergraduate program in secondary teaching was the focus of the evaluation at Northwestern. NCTQ commends the program for its "selectivity in admissions," "strong professional coursework" and "very strong preparation for secondary candidates in all subjects, including the sciences and social sciences." Other criteria included early field work, student teaching, classroom management, preparation efficiency, classroom assessments, graduate outcomes, faculty expertise and secondary methods..

In Memoriam
Margaret Blymeir Lee

Margaret Blymeir Lee, longtime professor and administrator at the School of Education and Social Policy, died in September at the age of 88. Lee joined the SESP faculty in 1958 and in 1979 was appointed associate dean for student affairs and undergraduate programs. She retired in 1994.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Northwestern professor emeritus earned a doctorate in education from University of California–Berkeley. Lee taught classes in educational psychology, counseling, human development, secondary education and other subjects. She also was an undergraduate and graduate adviser.

Study Finds Good Preschools Prevent Problems for Low-Income Kids
Study Finds Good Preschools Prevent Problems for Low-Income Kids

Children from low-income families who attend high-quality preschool programs are less likely to develop behavior problems later in childhood, new research shows. SESP professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Christine Li-Grining (PhD06) of Loyola University were members of the research team led by Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal (PhD04) of University of Pittsburgh that recently published these groundbreaking findings.

Children who attended responsive, stimulating and well-structured preschool programs between the ages of 2 and 4 showed less aggression and rule breaking during the middle childhood years of ages 7 to 11. "High-quality child care experiences can have a sustained influence on children's behavioral functioning," the authors state in their article in Child Development. Early education and care experiences were especially important for boys and for African American children, the researchers found.

High-Tech Baldwin Learning Studio Dedicated

High-Tech Baldwin Learning Studio Dedicated Photo by Andrew Campbell

State-of-the-art technologies installed in the new Eleanor S. Baldwin Learning Studio allow SESP faculty and students to participate in "new visions of learning," according to Dean Penelope Peterson. The studio was dedicated in November at an event featuring demonstrations of how media-rich technology can be used effectively to improve teaching, learning and research.

To extend avenues for learning and collaboration, the studio features such innovative technology as a 20-foot high-resolution video wall, which fosters interaction between students and teachers. The studio provides opportunities for students to learn to teach in a new way, and students can also use equipment such as laptops, video cameras, smart phones, iPads and more to study how new technologies impact learning.

The renovation was made possible with a gift from Eleanor R. Baldwin (MS66), a former teacher who was interested in SESP students and faculty having access to the latest technology. Baldwin taught history and social science for 34 years before her retirement, and has continued to serve as a mentor and supervisor for many young teachers.

Northwestern Lab Day Immerses Evanston Students in Science Photo by Steve Drey

Northwestern Lab Day Immerses Evanston Students in Science

Five science labs at Northwestern University opened their doors to Evanston Township High School students during the first Northwestern Lab Day, hosted by the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Partnerships on November 12. The purpose was to connect small groups of upper-level high school students to corporate and university labs.

The day, which featured lab tours and experiments, began with a panel discussion with industry representatives, who introduced students to science careers. "The motivating reason for this event is to bridge gaps in students' expectations and understanding of the progression from studying the sciences in high school, through options in college, and on to potential careers in the sciences," says SESP visiting scholar Kimberli Macpherson, who organized the event.

David Satcher

Students Talk with Former Surgeon General

SESP students had the opportunity to hear firsthand from a leader of the nation's health policy when former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher held an informal questionand- answer session at Annenberg Hall. SESP professor Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, director of Cells to Society: The Center on Social Disparities and Health, arranged for students to meet with Satcher, who was at the University to lecture at Feinberg School of Medicine.

A leader in the area of reducing health disparities and the 16th surgeon general under Presidents Clinton and Bush, Satcher emphasized the need for a new model of medicine focusing on prevention rather than disease. Currently, he is the founding director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, an organization committed to developing health policy to reduce disparities across racial and socioeconomic groups.

Promote 360 Inaugurates Mentoring with Evanston Students

Promote 360 Inaugurates Mentoring with Evanston Students

Promote 360, the SESP student organization dedicated to minority empowerment, gave about 30 juniors from Evanston Township High School a taste of college life on November 17. A full-day visit marked the beginning of a yearlong relationship between the juniors and mentors from Northwestern.

Highlights of the event included campus tours, discussions about college, Northwestern classes and dance performances. "The day was all about exposing students to the social and academic college life," says SESP senior Amy Cleveland, who coordinated the event. "Students learned that the skills they are working on in high school are essential for college survival but also that college could be a place to show their peers their talents."

Promote 360 members volunteered to act as mentors to individual high school students throughout the 2010-11 school year. As part of their mentorship, the juniors receive help with the college application process.