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Catholic School Champion: G. Michael Pressley

on Saturday, 02 June 2012.

pressley awardA prodigious and world-renowned scholar, Dr. Pressley served as the inaugural academic director of ACE's ACE Teaching Fellows (STT) program. In May 2006, he lost a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Dr. Pressley's legacy in the academic world is replete with evidence from his research, writing, mentorship of graduate and undergraduate students, contributions to state and national education policy, and service to the profession in the areas of literacy and educational psychology. He was a member of the Notre Dame psychology faculty from 1997 to 2001 and, while serving ACE, was also Notre Dame Professor of Catholic Education.

Michael Pressley was one of the most cited scholars in the field of social science and education. He belonged to the distinguished few who were among the 1 percent cited in research literature. He was well-known for his work on balanced literacy instruction, reading strategies for comprehension and text analysis. He was renowned for his senior authorship of the k–6 basal literacy program, Open Court, now known as McGraw-Hill/SRA Open Court, a series that has had a direct impact on millions of children.

Dr. Pressley was honored with several prestigious career awards during his career. He published more than 350 articles and book chapters, and authored or edited more than 25 books on literacy, psychology and education. His contributions to individuals, programs, universities and the education profession are numerous; the value of his role as a key architect of ACE STT's academic program cannot be overstated.

Soon the 2012 recipients of the Michael Pressley Awards for Academic Excellence and Promising Scholar in the Education Field will be announced. To read about last year's recipients, click here.

Citation:Michigan State University School of Education

An Array of ACE Programs and People will Energize Summer at ND

Written by William Schmitt on Tuesday, 29 May 2012.

The summer break at the University of Notre Dame will surge with energy as the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) begins its peak season. This internationally known initiative will welcome new classes to its formation programs for teachers and leaders and will host numerous campus programs and events for people passionate about sustaining, strengthening, and transforming Catholic schools.

ACE is best known for its ACE Teaching Fellows program, founded in 1993, to prepare young men and women from around the country to serve as teachers in under-resourced Catholic K-12 schools in more than two dozen dioceses. Nearly 90 newcomers in ACE's 19th class will arrive on Friday, June 1, to begin their formation in this two-year journey that culminates in an M.Ed. degree.

These competitively selected members of ACE 19 will join the ACE 18 teachers taking their second summer of courses, and all will spend eight weeks experiencing the pillars of ACE formation—excellence in professional service, community life, and spiritual growth. The two cohorts will live in residence halls and share retreats and daily Mass opportunities during their rigorous summer schedules. They will prepare to take up classroom duties this fall in numerous cities—from Brownsville, TX, to Washington, DC, from Los Angeles to Memphis to Tucson—serving children in Catholic schools while living in intentional ACE community houses near those schools.

In the Spotlight: Matt Kloser

on Thursday, 24 May 2012.

kloserheadshotAs a teacher in ACE 9, Matt Kloser learned quickly that becoming a successful educator was about more than enthusiasm and hard work. Using ACE teaching methods in the high school science classroom, he says, "I recognized the professional nature of teaching and thus the complex practices that go into designing curriculum, interacting with students, facilitating discussion, and assessing what students understand."

Since graduating ACE, Matt has taken what he learned from the program and applied it both as a summer instructor for ACE and as a graduate student at Stanford University, where he earned a PhD in Science Education this spring (and where he received the 2011 Outstanding Paper Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching).

These endeavors have served to deepen his appreciation of ACE in transforming educational settings—from both inside and outside Catholic schools. Based on his experience as an ACE instructor, he says, ACE teachers are developing "into some of our schools' strongest teachers and leaders." And as a resident of the Bay Area, Matt attests to the value of what ACE Advocates are doing for Catholic schools there, such as raising funds for and awareness of a middle school in the heart of San Francisco's most under-resourced area. The school, he says, is an "oasis for students who would likely never make it through high school – their success stories are amazing." Both the school and the Advocates are benefiting from the partnership.

Matt Kloser and his new wife Lauren (ACE 14 and a high school English teacher) will return to Notre Dame this fall, where Lauren will join the faculty of St. Joseph High School and Matt will join the faculty of ACE and the Institute for Educational Initiatives. "My time will be balanced between teaching, establishing a research agenda in the teaching and learning of science, and developing a vision to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education in the United States—in all schools, but specifically in Catholic schools." He goes on, "The University has so many resources available in the STEM areas and Notre Dame can be a major player in improving STEM education – that which is so vital to the success of our nation's financial and social welfare."

The ACE family is delighted to welcome the Klosers "home" and continue working together in the Spirit's movement to strengthen and sustain Catholic schools.

Science and Math Teaching: A Formula for National/Local Dialogue

Written by William Schmitt on Monday, 21 May 2012.

Registration Open for ND Forum Event on "STEM" Disciplines

A day of discussions and workshops devoted to one of the most crucial issues in education—bringing world-class aptitude in science and math to the next generation of U.S. citizens—will cap the Notre Dame Forum series on "Reimagining School" on June 12.

Leading experts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education from around the country will join with local practitioners at a "Forum on K-20 STEM Education" to focus on recent developments in the teaching and learning of those fields. They will pay special attention to K-12 contexts while also considering the years (K-20) spanning graduate studies. Registration for this STEM event is under way.

"Improving the nature of science and math education in the United States is essential for the country to maintain its leadership in the global economy and for individuals to navigate an increasingly complex world," said Karen Morris, a member of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) task force planning the all-day event.

"At a time when the United States lags behind in STEM education achievement and interest in STEM careers, improving the curriculum, instruction, and assessment around STEM disciplines is paramount."

From the Field: Julianne Corroto

on Friday, 18 May 2012.

At a time when teachers are the whipping post for all that ails America's schools, Julianne Corroto (ACE 18) brings hope, embodying as she does the Holy Cross ideal to educate, expand, and enlighten minds and hearts.

"I lead my students from behind," writes the teacher in ACE STT cohort 18, "supporting, encouraging, sometimes shouting directions to those at the head of the pack." Covering 8th grade science, 10th grade religion, and high school chemistry, Julianne also seeks to lead by example. "I learned really quickly," she says, "that sophomores in my morality class are more likely to watch me than they are to actually listen!"

Ultimately, her aim is to help students find—and use—their gifts, and Julianne attests to the importance of doing this in the context of a Catholic school classroom. "We talk about faith, vocation, life-plans, God at work in our lives--on an almost daily basis," she says. "Hopefully I inspire [my students] to do more than just pass chemistry: to problem solve, to look and listen for God, to find life in service, to love our neighbors, and to ultimately be the people that God created them to be."

Julianne's students frequently ask her if she likes teaching at their small Mississippi school. Her answer is always the same: "I love it." She tells us, "The other day one asked me why I didn't go to medical school or become a researcher to find the cure for cancer. And another student chimed in, 'She's here to teach us how to find the cure for cancer!'"

Julianne Corroto, a teacher with hope to bring, is pictured above with her housemates, also ACE teachers in Biloxi. Learn more ACE Teaching Fellows program here.

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