ACE Teachers Present Research at Annual Conference
By: Darby Evans, ACE Communications
Second-year graduate students at the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) presented research on a wide range of educational topics at the ACE Teaching Fellows Conference on Tuesday, July 18. The conference schedule offered an array of 23 presentations delivered at DeBartolo Hall over four sessions.
Attendees—current University of Notre Dame faculty and students—often found the presentation titles so interesting that they thought it was difficult to choose which of the five to six presentations they should attend at any given session. Halie Berrigan, ACE 24/Tampa, attended the conference and researched student motivation as an undergrad. Halie will begin her first year of teaching this fall, and like many at the conference, she found the presentations professional and informative.
“I was impressed by [the presenters’] ability to use the experience gained from their year in the classroom to address important educational and developmental topics and issues,” Berrigan says. “I loved that such a wide range of topics were covered. We had the opportunity to listen to research about the gender achievement gap in STEM, helping students with ADHD, culturally sustaining pedagogy, encouraging a growth mindset in all aspects of life, and so much more.”
In preparation for the conference, the culminating project of a developmental psychology class, each team of three to four students selected an area of interest and a team name. Then, each group member synthesized data and submitted individual research papers. Finally, the team presented their shared suggestions for ideal classroom practices at the conference.
Paul Coletti, ACE 23/New Orleans, not only presented at the Teaching Fellows Conference, but he also shared math education research earlier this summer at the MathSport International Conference in Italy. Paul says that the Teaching Fellows Conference was a collaborative experience that directly related to his classroom teaching.
Colletti says, “The preparation process [for the Teaching Fellows Conference] involved a lot of reading through articles and digesting the information in a way that would make sense to my peers. It was valuable because it gave us a chance to research something that interested us, and to seek an application of our research that was readily useful to our peers.”
Sr. Gail Mayotte SASV, Ph.D. and Senior Director of ACE’s M.Ed. program, agrees that the conference is a meaningful experience for the Teaching Fellows, many of whom aspire to careers in research or education administration and leadership. She believes the event benefits the entire ACE community.
“The ACE Teaching Fellows Conference is a wonderful communal event that brings together faculty, ACE teachers, and the greater ACE community,” Sr. Gail says. “ACE’s mission is very much reflected in the community participation, the choice of topics researched and presented, and the desire of all learners wanting to better serve children in our Catholic schools.”
The presentation focuses ranged from moral development to interactive notebooks to metacognitive strategies. The specifics of the presentations may have varied vastly, but the zeal for the content was evident in each Teaching Fellows team.
Although coordinating the presentations took time and careful planning, Paul says, “It made it all the more beautiful when we were able to focus together on something we all cared about.”
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