Posted on April 21, 20170 131
A look at the “Open Source Learning Materials for Introductory Chemistry Coursework” initiative to develop free online course materials to take the place of traditional textbooks for introductory chemistry courses, including an interview with project leader and Western Oregon associate chemistry professor, Dr. Patricia Flatt.
Posted on March 7, 20171 981
On February 25, 2017, Lauren Peterson and Nate Winegardner from the
Center on Early Learning presented at the Southern Oregon Chapter of the
Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (SOC-OAEYC)'s
Winter Conference, "Together for Children."
Posted on February 3, 20170 1516
In January, Mike Bicknell accepted a position at the National Center on Deaf-Blindness as a Technology Specialist. He agreed to share a little about himself with us.
Posted on January 4, 20171 1980
As TRI moves into 2017, we're saying goodbye to two of our valued staff members, Carol Dennis and Amy Parker.
Posted on December 5, 20160 1952
Each month, Lyn Ayer, Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project (ODB), publishes a newsletter filled with interesting articles that help change the way we look at human development and education, with a special focus on students with disabilities. In the past, the TRI website has featured one article from the ODB Newsletter that jumped out as most fascinating.
This month, it was difficult to select just one article, so we thought we'd share the entire newsletter with you.
Posted on November 17, 20162 2115
By Amy Parker
TRI's Amy Parker presented at the 2016 Division of Early Childhood Convention which took place October 18 - 20 in Louisville, KY. Below are her reflections of the her time there.
It was a great opportunity to attend the Division of Early Childhood's (DEC) convention in Louisville, KY last month. In addition to having the pleasure of seeing one of our TRI colleagues, Patti Blasco, lead from the main stage, it was a delight to witness the energy of the DEC as a group who was celebrating their 30 year advocacy and implementation accomplishments for young children with disabilities and their families.
Posted on October 17, 20160 1675
Amy Parker and Leanne Cook, of TRI and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, presented at the 2016 World Blind Union/International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (WBU/ICEVI) General Assembly, on August 22, 2016 as part of the ICEVI Day program.
Education for Children with Visual Impairments and Additional/Multiple Disabilities or Deafblindness
Here is a reflection on their time at the gathering of professionals from around the world.
Posted on September 6, 20160 1090
By Carol Dennis
He wanted to be a middle-school math teacher. That was the plan back in the 1980s when Tom Udell studied at Western Oregon State College (now Western Oregon University). But a stint as a teacher at the on-campus Child Development Center changed his mind. Now, more than thirty years later, the lives of thousands of children and their families have been improved because of his contributions to early childhood education across Oregon.
Posted on July 26, 20160 715
TRI's Patricia M. Blasco, Ph.D. presented at the Children’s Rights and Early Intervention Conference, International Society on Early Intervention, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, June 8 - 10, 2016.
Dr. Blasco has been working in early childhood development for more than three decades, contributing to the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in the field of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE).Her current research is designed to explore “executive function (EF) in infants and toddlers born low birth weight (LBW) and preterm. This study examines whether traditional infant and toddler assessment methods that have components of EF in their structure can discern early indicators of executive functioning in three subgroups of children ages six months to three years,” according to the project's website.
Posted on June 17, 20160 920
By Lyn Ayer
Originally published in the Oregon Deafblind Project May 2016 Newsletter.
In Lyn Ayer’s previous blog post, she looked at how touch informs vision and hearing, especially for children who are deafblind. In this blog, she explores what it means to get, and sustain, someone’s attention. “This is critical for any learning to happen,” says Dr. Ayer.
This article is filled with online resources for those who would like to delve deeper into the topic. Although this article is framed around the needs of people who have deafblindness, the concepts can easily be generalized to all people.
Posted on June 2, 20160 747
By Carol Dennis
When I think of doing math, I think of trying to remember what equation to use to get the circumference of a circle, or some memorized but long forgotten phrase to solve for the hypotenuse of a triangle, or even the more basic Times Table chants we used to repeat in school.
But after spending an hour with WOU’s Cheryl Beaver, Ph.D. (Mathematics Professor and recent Pastega Award recipient for Excellence in Teaching), I learned that math could be something quite inspiring – something fun and creative. And I learned that mathematics is actually all about making mistakes.
Posted on May 23, 20162 624
Being Aware of Students’ Preferred Pronouns
By Kathryn Ayres
In the midst of the North Carolina House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, and the most recent Target boycott, the conversation around what it means to be transgender has reached a heightened level of awareness in our country. The issue in both of these examples hinges on the use of public restrooms, but encompasses the broader issue of gender identity.
Posted on April 25, 20161 706
By Lauren Peterson, Nate Winegardner, and Tom Udell for The Center on Early Learning
There is a lot of discussion throughout the state these days about “kindergarten readiness” – what it means, how to measure it, why it’s important, and how to accomplish it. There are many answers offered to each of these questions.We at the Center on Early Learning (part of The Research Institute at Western Oregon University) have decades of experience in the field of early childhood education and development and have been asked by many of our colleagues to weigh in on this topic.
Posted on April 8, 20161 672
By Carol Dennis
Breaking an Historical Bias
Throughout its history, psychology research has been dominated by white Western culture. When white researchers research people of color, using elements from the dominant culture to measure or evaluate diverse populations, the findings may be less than flattering, even racist, and often causing great harm.
Dr. Stephanie Hoover (Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Western Oregon University) and her team are helping break this historical bias.
Posted on January 11, 20161 1404
By Lyn Ayer
Lyn Ayer is the Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project. Lyn has been in Special Education for 41 years. Her jobs have been varied -- as teacher of the visually impaired/Orientation & Mobility instructor, principal of a school for the blind, rehabilitation specialist on a mobile team attached to an eye hospital, director of community programs in a rural area in India, director of a licensure program for training teachers of the visually impaired, and director of a state's deafblind project (12 years in Wisconsin, 8 years in Oregon).
The importance of developing the sense of touch
According to some researchers, touch is the sense that “educates” vision and hearing. It is how we associate tangible ideas with the distance senses of vision and hearing. We could be looking at something that we know is “soft,” but the only reason we really KNOW this, is because we have touched it or something like it, and thus learned the concept of “soft.” Vision didn’t teach us this.
Posted on January 4, 20162 866
By Carol Dennis
I had heard that TRI’s Christina Reagle was scheduled to present a Grant Writing 101 workshop to a room full of Western Oregon University (WOU) students. Nothing unusual about that. But these students are about to graduate from the WOU College of Education and begin their first teaching jobs. Why would these new teachers need to develop grant-writing skills, I wondered? So, I went along to find out.Read more to see the top 10 tips for beginning grant writers.
Posted on December 11, 20152 9093
By Leanne Cook
This blog post provides some basics about using a sign language
interpreter. Thanks to TRI's Leanne Cook for
providing this information.
Posted on October 21, 20150 793
By Carol Dennis
The first opportunity Patti Blasco had to attend a Division for Early Childhood (DEC) International Conference was as a graduate student at the University of Virginia in 1988. She had heard about this professional association through her professors, who were very involved with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the parent organization of the DEC.
Because Patti’s interest is in early childhood, it made perfect sense that she would be attracted to the work of these groups. So, while still a graduate student, she joined the CEC and the DEC.
Posted on October 21, 20150 523
by Julie Maier, CDBS Educational Specialist
Originally printed in the California Deaf-Blind Services newsletter -- reSources Summer 2015 (Vol. 20, No. 1)
Re-printed here with permission of the author.
People who are part of the world of deaf-blindness – either personally, as a family member, or as a professional – are aware of the importance of social connections and relationships for individuals who are deaf-blind, as well as the challenges of making, supporting, and sustaining those connections.
One of my most indelible memories from this past summer occurred in late June near the end of a rather impromptu picnic lunch at San Francisco’s Crissy Field between members of DeafBlind Citizens in Action (DBCA) and a few students from the San Francisco State University Specialization in Deaf-Blindness teacher training program.
Posted on September 30, 20152 2168
With the growing numbers of adults returning to college to explore second or third careers, especially veterans returning from war with PTSD or brain injury, the work of the EEC is more important now than ever. With the focus on all children in Oregon going beyond high school into college or careers, the services provided by EEC are essential to the success of our collective futures.
Through a lens of decades of experience, and access to
the most current and effective assessment tools, the team at the Education
Evaluation Center (EEC) constructs a comprehensive, individualized,
family-centered assessment for children and adults with cognitive and learning
Posted on July 21, 20150 986
Western Oregon University selected to participate in Healthy Masculinity Initiative
"Every day we hear news stories about violence but rarely, if ever, are they linked to masculinity. It’s time to make the connection between the epidemic of men’s violence in our country and what society is teaching boys about masculinity. The traditional 'boys will be boys' mentality is beginning to change."
This is the opening statement on the Men Can Stop Rape web page describing the Healthy Masculinity Action Project - a national grassroots movement that began in 2012 to "eradicate the harmful expectations and stereotypes our society teaches boys about what it means to be a man."
Posted on July 21, 20150 970
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) exist in some form or phase of development in 49 states across the country. The function of each QRIS is to set basic standards for child care programs in the state, and to offer supports and resources to help those programs reach and exceed those standards.
In a typical week during the spring of 2011 (the latest numbers available from the U.S. Census), 12.5 million, or 61 percent, of U.S. children under 5 years of age were in some type of regular child care arrangement – including with relatives and non-relatives.
As the demand for quality child care increases across the country, the importance of collecting data also increases. Only through the collection and evaluation of reliable and objective data can any system ensure that its goals are being reached. And with QRIS, these important goals exist to give each and every child a solid foundation for a successful life.
Posted on June 17, 20150 755
By Carol Dennis
Teacher turnover costs Oregon school districts $40 - 50 million dollars a year.
School districts across the state just hired a lot of new teachersSchool districts across Oregon are hiring new teachers. With declining budgets turning slightly back toward the positive, districts are seeing some programs and classrooms coming back. Add year-round kindergarten, and some school districts are experiencing a flood of beginner teachers fresh out of college. With all these new teachers comes the challenge of getting them up to speed as quickly as possible -- in time to keep all their students on track.
Posted on May 27, 20154 877
Last year, Robyn was appointed to the Nominating Panel of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The Nominating Panel helps this nationally recognized organization choose its leadership for the next three years.
Robyn Lopez Melton - 2015 Emerging Leader Award
Posted on May 18, 20150 578
S.I.T.E. Grant Produces 17 Successful Projects
Last year, we received an excited email from Mary Beth Tilson, biology teacher at Delta High School in Pasco, Washington. She wrote to tell us that she had just been selected to present at the Sustaining the Blue Planet: Global Water Education Conference in Big Sky, Montana. That email confirmed that the S.I.T.E. program was doing something really great.
What is S.I.T.E.?
Posted on May 13, 20150 977
By Carol Dennis
You walk into the classroom for your first day of prep – not
just this school year, but ever. You are finally a teacher – a career you have
dreamed about since you were 10 years old. As you step through the door you
notice the bulletin boards and walls are empty. This is almost a surprise,
since every classroom you have ever been in was covered with posters and
artwork and positive messages. But this is YOUR classroom and YOU get to choose
what goes up.
Posted on May 13, 20150 731
"Being part of the QRIS gives me a feeling of pride. It is an opportunity for my program to be recognized as a quality program in the state." Mrs. Teapot's Tiny Tots
"Not only do the parents view me as more of a professional, but I view myself as more of one as well." Elli's Preschool & Daycare
"QRIS is amazing. It started me thinking about my education, and now I am working, a mom of 5, and a full-time college student. Thank you, QRIS!" Lisa's Family Day Care
These are the kinds of statements we hear from child care providers who
are participating in the statewide field test of Oregon's Quality Rating
and Improvement System (QRIS).
Posted on April 17, 20150 890
By Taylor Leech
Beginning in January 2015, three groups of new candidate instructors (in
Oregon City, Redmond, and White City) eagerly awaited the first day of
Safety Education (TSE) classes. For 10 weeks, the instructors-in-training
series of in-class, online, and behind the wheel trainings. Upon
their training this past March, 15 instructors emerged as Oregon
Department of Transportation,Traffic Safety Division-approved driver
Posted on April 13, 20153 1108
By Carol Dennis
I’ve had a full month to digest the report that came out of my learning assessment at the Education Evaluation Center (EEC). That time has been filled with questions, self-reflection and new insights.
There are so many thoughts going through my mind all at once. I’ll try to sort them out and put them into words.
Posted on March 25, 20150 1133
On February 16, 2015, just two weeks after her arrival at TRI, I sat down with Dr. Linda McDowell to learn about the woman who now serves as the Director of TRI's Center on Deaf-Blindness (CDB). Housed within the Center on Deaf-Blindness are the Oregon Deaf-Blind Project and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). Included in her position as Director of TRI's CDB is the responsibility of serving as Executive Director of NCDB - which coordinates and serves deaf-blind projects in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Island nations.
It was fascinating to learn how she found her passion in the field of Deaf-Blindness.
Posted on March 25, 20150 1361
Study on decreasing autism symptoms published in time for April’s National Autism Awareness Month
As National Autism Awareness Month approaches in April, a newly published breakthrough study in the peer-reviewed journal Autism Research and Treatment is giving hope and respite to parents of children with autism. This federally funded autism study conducted by The Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University (WOU) confirms previous small scale studies reporting effectiveness of a breakthrough treatment for young children with autism.
Posted on March 1, 20155 1276
Part 2 - Assessment Day
By Carol Dennis
Seven hours of oral and written questions, puzzles, and interviews left me exhausted and exhilarated. The morning after, I felt like my brain had run a marathon - buzzing from all the mental gymnastics. Exhausted, exhilarated, and so glad I did it.
The “it” was having myself tested to see if my long-held suspicion that I have a reading disability is true. (See my previous post for more details.) And the answer turns out to be yes and no. I’ll explain that later.
Posted on February 22, 20156 1406
Part 1 - Learning assessment at 62 years old
Several months ago, I went through an emotional and eye-opening experience writing an article about the Education Evaluation Center at TRI. Learning that there is a place filled with kind, wonderful, knowledgeable people who can help a person find out why life can sometimes feel like an unsolvable puzzle, I couldn’t help wondering if they might find an answer for me.
Posted on February 16, 20153 870
By Taylor Leech
We have all heard the horror stories about the assault that can happen in college, so naturally I was worried when I first came to WOU. Luckily, I learned about Abby’s House and all of the great services they provide. Not only do they provide resources for sexual violence, but they also have information on a multitude of subjects like women’s health, depression, and gender identity. And now they have the Abby’s House mobile app that brings even more peace of mind with resources and services for dating violence and sexual assault available at your fingertips!
Posted on February 2, 20151 1197
By Carol Dennis
"It is so exciting to have cutting-edge research happening at TRI," says
Dr. Ella Taylor, Director of TRI. "Since it was founded, more than 50
years ago, TRI has conducted research studies that have dramatically
changed the face of education in America." For example, Dr. Edward
Palmer's research on what holds the attention of pre-school children to
television, that took place at TRI back in the 1960s and 70s, became the
foundation for the Children's Television Workshop that created Sesame
Street. “This new study on Executive Function in babies born Low Birth Weight has the potential to transform the field
as Dr. Palmer's research did in education,” Dr. Taylor stated.
Posted on January 12, 20152 1282
A new mobile app becomes part of a wider campaign to prevent sexual assault on WOU campus
By Carol Dennis and Jeff Denton
With a new focus on a very old problem, incidents of sexual assault on college campuses across the country have grabbed headlines and raised questions about the safety of our children as we send them off to college – many who are on their own for the first time. Western Oregon University’s Abby’s House (Center for Women and Families) is joining a growing number of universities to develop campus-specific smart-phone apps that will give students easy access to resources to keep them safe from assault, and provide support and advocacy if a student has been a victim or witness of a sexual assault.
Posted on December 3, 20140 1554
TRI Receives $1 Million ODE Grant to Develop Elementary Math Instructional Leaders in Oregon
The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University (WOU) has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Oregon Department of Education to recruit and educate 60 teachers in the mid-valley and mid-coastal areas to become Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders (EMILs). Project DEMILO (Developing Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders in Oregon) is a collaboration between WOU, TRI, the Willamette Education Service District, and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub to address the need for increased math content knowledge for elementary school teachers.
Posted on November 26, 20140 1152
A personal note from TRI's Amy Parker, Coordinator of Professional Development and Products with the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, about a boy named Ethan.
Posted on October 23, 20140 1503
TRI-TIMS (Technology and Information Management Services) has a 13-year track record of delivering quality software on time and on budget to Oregon state agencies and national non-profits. We took the time to examine what characteristics of TIMS workflow has lead to our successes, and what obstacles and threats we have learned to avoid.
What came out of that exploration is a framework of best practices that we found can put a project – and keep a project -- on track. Below are the 3 essentials for working with software developers that can move your work forward without busting the budget or costing you sleep.Read More
Posted on September 19, 20140 2096
Project PEPI (Preparing Early Childhood Educators for Inclusion) is designed to fill in the gaps that currently exist in Early Childhood Education curriculum in Oregon’s community colleges to support the inclusion of children with disabilities and those from culturally diverse backgrounds. After a successful roll-out of a pilot program within four Oregon community colleges, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP – a division of the US Department of Education) decided to expand the program and has increased funding to Project PEPI by $90,000.00 for the 2014-15 academic year. This increase is allowing the project to add three additional community colleges, nearly doubling its reach.
Posted on August 27, 20142 14327
The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) and Louisa Silva, M.D., M.P.H. are announcing a first-time opportunity for parents with children between the ages of 6 and 11 with autism to enroll in a research study to receive free training and treatment. Enrollment has recently been extended through Sept. 12, and is open to residents of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Marion, Linn, Benton, Lincoln and Lane counties.
Posted on August 21, 20140 12054
This past July (2014), TRI faculty and staff were invited to present at national education conferences across the country to share their innovative approaches to inclusive education -- assuring that all children have an equal opportunity to succeed. Freshly back from the OSEP Project Directors
Meeting (the Office of Special Education Programs), and the 2014 Deaf-Blind Summit, they share their thoughts, observations
Posted on July 16, 20140 5849
By Carol Dennis
After a successful presentation on Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) at the 2014 National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development in Minneapolis, TRI staff members Robyn Lopez Melton, Pat Aldrich and Tom Udell were invited to repeat the presentation at the QRIS National Meeting, July 23-25, 2014 in Denver. The Portfolio Approach: A cost-effective measure for evaluating program standards focuses on Oregon’s unique use of a portfolio system to document standards as a cost effective approach.
Posted on June 19, 20140 11723
TRI received great news from Mary Beth Tilson, Biology teacher at Delta High School in Pasco, WA. She has been selected to present at the Sustaining the Blue Planet Global Water Education Conference, taking place June 24 – 27 in Big Sky Montana. Why is this important to TRI? Because the student program that will be the centerpiece of her presentation was funded through a sub-grant received from TRI as part of a larger U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant. The SITE projects had to meet standards for both effective environmental education and service learning.
Posted on April 17, 20141 11986
It had been a very busy week at the Teaching Research Institute (TRI), Center on Early Learning. A dozen people working into the evening hours printing, collating, and making final decisions about the order of things. Banners and flyers had to be designed - centerpieces assembled. PowerPoint presentations copied into grand notebooks would serve as a great remembrance of what would be taught. The staff was exhausted and excited, and wondered where they would find the energy to sustain themselves for the three-day training that was now less than 12 hours away.
Posted on April 8, 20140 760
The Oregon Department of Education has announced that the Mid-Willamette Valley Promise Consortium has received a $500,000 grant for a collaborative program that will expand the ways that high school students in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties can earn college credit during high school. The Consortium is a collaboration between 20 school districts in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, Willamette Education Service District, Western Oregon University’s Teaching Research Institute, Oregon Institute of Technology, Corban University, Chemeketa Community College and the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership. This model, called the “Willamette Promise”, is based on the Eastern Promise program and will create additional opportunities for high school students to participate in college-level classes, as well as earning college credits or certificates. The Willamette Promise was formed to create an educational environment that empowers all students to envision post-secondary and career success. This consortium will offer these opportunities to school districts serving over 77,000 students.Read More
TRI Awarded Grant to Close Opportunity Gaps for Students who are Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse
Posted on April 7, 20140 12395
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently awarded $200,000 to WOU’s Teaching Research Institute and College of Education, one of nine competitively funded grant awards, to support Project High Five – Culture, Collaboration, Commitment, Communication and Community. The project is a collaborative endeavor between WOU, Central School District 13J, the Ella Curran Food Bank, and the Oregon Child Development Coalition to develop a strong Professional Development School (PDS) partnership program between Central School District and Western Oregon University based on principles of culturally responsive pedagogy while strengthening and expanding English Language Development (ELD) for English Learners and being actively involved with community partnerships and service to the community.Read More