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SOE ranked 83 by US News & World Report

March 14, 2014 – -

We’re climbing the charts! From ‘100’ up to ‘83’ this year, and movin’ and shakin’! CTE again ranks fourth in the nation ~ way to go

US NEWS and WORLD REPORT RELEASE (March 2014): The VT School of Education, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has moved up to the rank of 83 in the nation, from 100 where it hovered for several years. In its new ranking, the School of Education ties with Brigham-Young University and the University of Alabama. The school’s Career and Technical Education program again ranks fourth in the nation, under the listing of Technical/Vocational Programs.

See the VT News Daily report from today; story titled "The World University Rankings Name VT as elite institution"

Here’s the section pertaining to the SOE, with a bit of context; your proud SOE Director has been quoted in the news:

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 14, 2014 - Virginia Tech is ranked as an elite institution in 13 of the 30 subjects evaluated at more than 3,000 universities worldwide. The elite status means that Virginia Tech is in the top 200 in those programs that were ranked at the institutions.

The overall ranking for Virginia Tech when compared to the total ranked universities for 2013-14 is 316. In 2012-13, the school was ranked 337. For academic reputation it ranked 328; employer reputation 264; international faculty 362; and academic/research paper citations per faculty the university was placed at 322.

… top 100 programs: civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and agriculture and forestry. … Computer science and information systems, chemical engineering, biological sciences, chemistry, accounting and finance, and education ranked in the top 200.

"We are an ambassador for innovation in education," said Carol Mullen, director of the School of Education. "Our philosophy is 'hands on, minds on’ particularly when it comes to Integrative STEM education, local and global leadership, and outreach advocacy."

The rankings are based on survey responses by faculty throughout the world …

You won't want to miss - Dr. Dale Schunk to speak at Virginia Tech – March 24-25, 2014


Dale H. Schunk, professor of education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has published over 100 scholarly articles and books on motivation, self-regulation, and self-efficacy as related to student learning.

Self-Efficacy and Student Motivation
Monday, March 24, 9:00 to 11:00 am, Hillcrest Hall dining room, Virginia Tech
Audience: Open to all students and faculty interested in student learning, cognition, and motivation.
Description: Social cognitive theory emphasizes the idea that much human learning and behavior occur in social environments. By interacting with others, people learn knowledge, skills, strategies, beliefs, rules, and attitudes. Through their observations and interactions with others, individuals also learn about the appropriateness, usefulness, and consequences of behaviors. People act in accordance with their beliefs about their capabilities and the expected outcomes of actions. In this workshop, Dr. Schunk will describe how instructors can enhance their teaching through the use a social cognitive conceptual framework, as well as some key social cognitive motivational processes, including goals and self-evaluations of progress, outcome expectations, values, social comparisons, and self-efficacy.

Self-Regulated Learning Research: Then and Now
Monday, March 24, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, Hillcrest Hall dining room, Virginia Tech
Audience: Open to all students and faculty interested in student learning, cognition, and motivation.
Description: Dr. Schunk will discuss research related to self-regulated learning, which is the process whereby students activate and sustain cognitions, behaviors, and affects that are systematically oriented toward attainment of their goals. Questions and discussion will be encouraged.

Keys to Developing a Successful Academic Career
Tuesday, March 25, 9:30 to 10:45 am, GLC Meeting Room F, Virginia Tech
Audience: The focus will be on graduate students and early career professors, but this workshop/discussion is open to all students and faculty.
Description: This will be a fairly informal session where Dr. Schunk will provide some tips to becoming a successful scholar. Dr. Schunk is consistently ranked as one of the most productive researchers in education and he will share some of the strategies he has used to become so productive. As a former Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he also has many insights from his experiences mentoring and working with faculty.

There will be time for questions and discussion.
Sponsored by the School of Education and CIDER (Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research)

Integrative STEM Education Doctoral Students Present in New Zealand


03_14_2014_2 Michael Grubbs and Tyler Love represented VT and the U.S. at the 27th Pupil’s Attitude Toward Technology (PATT)Conference

December 2-6, Michael Grubbs and Tyler Love, doctoral students in the Integrative STEM Education graduate program, presented at the 27th annual PATT conference in Christchurch, New Zealand. PATT is an international organization based in the Netherlands that promotes research in STEM education and hosts conferences around the globe. Grubbs and Love were two of only six U.S. STEM education doctoral students selected last November to deliver research presentations at this conference. Support for these doctoral students to attend the conference was provided by the Technical Foundation of America (TFA), a philanthropic society that advocates for STEM education. Dr. Gene Martin of Texas State University and Dr. John Ritz of Old Dominion University mentored all students in preparing for the conference and facilitated their participation while attending.

The PATT 27 conference featured 80 presenters from 12 countries, such as Canada, England, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Sweden. A variety of presentation topics (technological literacy, ecological engineering, textiles technology, art and design, problem solving, food technology, curriculum, assessment, pedagogy, content, and pedagogical content knowledge) were covered at the conference reflecting the different classifications and definitions for STEM education among countries. Grubbs and Love delivered presentations on baseline research integral to their current preliminary dissertation work.

Michael presented a paper titled Bridging Design Research and Theory with Teaching and Learning which examined recent research on design and student learning within STEM education to better prepare teachers to implement design based learning approaches in their classrooms and enhance student learning. Specifically, Grubbs suggested using the Function, Behavior, Structure ontology developed by Dr. John Gero as the framework for researching and mapping students’ cognitive processes during design activities. This also coincides with a similar research project that Grubbs and Love are currently working on with Dr. John Wells.

Tyler presented a paper titled Theoretical Underpinnings toward Assessing Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of Technology Educators, which was based on the recent release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the U.S. The NGSS calls for the teaching of engineering content and practices as part of science education. In this context Love spoke to the current status of integrating science content and practices in technology education classrooms around the world, and specifically to results from previous studies examining the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) required of such teachers to teach STEM subjects. He proposed a mixed methods approach to examine the science PCK of technology educators and make recommendations to better prepare inservice and preservice technology educators to teach the science embedded in their curricula.

Both Love and Grubbs received feedback on their paper presentations from some of the top STEM education researchers in the world such as Mark deVries, David Barlex, Vicki Compton, Alister Jones, Judy Moreland, and John Williams. A dinner sponsored by the TFA on December 3rd provided each U.S. doctoral student the opportunity to dine with a researcher of their choice and discuss further his or her research. Grubbs had dinner with Eric Tortochot of France, whose research has focused primarily on improving teachers’ design PCK and student learning outcomes resulting from design education. Love dined with John Williams who is recognized as one of the leading researchers examining the PCK of technology educators. This dinner proved to be one of the most impactful events of the trip in providing students the opportunity to receive individual feedback on their dissertation topics directly from leading researchers from around the world. In addition Dr. John Williams provided graduate students the opportunity to meet with him at Waikato University to discuss and observe the structure and culture of a New Zealand higher education institution. In so doing he exposed them to issues in higher education from other countries and broadened their global perspective on STEM education.

For more information regarding this experience, please contact Michael Grubbs, or Tyler Love at

PATT 27 website:

PATT conference proceedings:


University Council for Educational Leadership (UCEA), 2014 Call for Proposals

The University Council for Educational Leadership (UCEA) is holding its 2014 conference in Washington, D.C. Proposals are due on May 5th, and the call appears below at the web link.

UCEA is a consortium of institutions of higher education that is committed to advancing the practice and preparation of educational leaders. They enact this purpose by:

  • Promoting, sponsoring, and disseminating research on the essential problems of schooling and leadership practice;
  • Improving the preparation and professional development of educational leaders and professors; and,
  • Positively influencing local, state, and national educational policy.

This is a high quality, engaging conference that is appropriate for both faculty and graduate students.

For more information about UCEA, visit:
UCEA Call for proposals:

CIDER is Accepting Nominations for the 2014-2014 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. This award is designed to recognize those faculty members from any discipline who have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of scholarship addressing the realm of higher education teaching and learning. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award is given to a maximum of two recipients per year. Award winners receive a $500 prize and a plaque.

All Virginia Tech instructional and research faculty (full and part-time) and graduate students are eligible for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. Individuals, groups, and teams are welcome to apply. Self-nominations are encouraged.

Nomination materials are due at 5:00pm on Friday, April 25, 2014.

For nomination instructions and a list of previous winners, visit
For more information, contact Tiffany Shoop (

More Student Achievements, Awards and Publications- Way to Go!!!

History and Social Science Education PhD student (first year) Lisa Pennington presented at both the State and National social studies conferences in collaboration with Amanda Williams, education coordinator, at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia. The focus for both presentations was the forthcoming World War One centennial. Lisa and Amanda presented World War I classroom resources during their "Thinking Critically about World War One" session at the Virginia Council for the Social Studies in Roanoke, Virginia. This was followed by a presentation entitled "Primary Sources, Critical Thinking, and the World War One Centennial" at the National Council for the Social Studies conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Lisa also presented a session entitled "Hands-on History" at the American Battle Monuments Commission Teacher Summit in Washington DC as part of a "The Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program: Change Over Time and Place in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial" collaboration between the American Battle Monuments Commission, Learn NC at UNC Chapel Hill, and the School of Education at VT.

History and Social Science Education PhD student (second year) Aaron Johnson, presented his research "Critically Moving the Conversation Forward: Theory and Research in Social Education and 40 Years of Citizenship and Citizenship Education" at the annual conference of the College and University Faculty Assembly of National Council for the Social Studies in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition he served as a panel member on a symposium with researchers from institutions in Virginia and North Carolina entitled "Is the Concept of Historical Significance 'Significant’ in the Preparation of History Teachers?" Prior to St. Louis, Aaron presented "Creating Authentic Historical Inquiry by way of Civil War Online Archive Valley of the Shadow" at the VCSS annual conference in Roanoke.

He has also just had a manuscript titled "Effective methods for 21st century learning: A teacher action research" project published in Meridian.
Johnson, A. (2013). Effective methods for 21st century learning: A teacher action research project. Meridian Journal of K-16 School Computer Technologies, 16(2). Retrieved from

History and Social Science Education MA student Corinne Tsapatsaris (AKA Tsap) received the Virginia Association of Colleges of Teacher Education Scholarship for 2013-14. This scholarship is awarded to students in a teacher preparation program in the state of Virginia who have demonstrated academic excellence in coursework and have distinguished themselves in the K-12 classroom.

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Editor Dave Brod
Co-Editor and Faculty Adviser Dr. Carol Mullen