Exploring and Learning Together
Students gaining experience with course-related skills and knowledge is an important aspect of Curriculum and Instruction courses. Often these experiences involve students interacting with children, teachers, and families in the community. SIU students provide support and expertise while learning, applying theoretical principles to real situations. Community connections provide opportunities for positive growth to all participants.
Integrating Arts into the Community
During the Fall 2017 semester, the students in Jody Pauson’s CI 325 class Young Children and the Arts have been creating cat sculptures and learning about how integrating the arts helps build community in the classroom, in the school, and outside the school. To demonstrate this, on Halloween the students took their sculptures to various locations throughout the SIU campus. They created spontaneous displays, participated in the dialogue that ensued, and documented the event through photographs. Ms. Paulson says, “Our "Cats on Prowl" event was such an important practice for this group of students. Not only did it demonstrate how art can build community and open up dialogue between virtual strangers, it also let the students reflect upon what they will soon be asking of their own students. I feel this gives them insight into both the fears and the empowerment that putting art on display will evoke in the students that they will be teaching.”
All Species Earth Day Puppet Parade
During the spring 2017 semester, Ms. Shannon Green, a Curriculum and Instruction Teaching Assistant, has encouraged her students to participate in the local community. Four Early Childhood majors have volunteered their time to help with the All Species Earth Day Puppet Parade, to be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 am. This project hosted free community nature education and workshops for the two months leading up to the parade. They took students from the community to the Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge for a wildflower hike and owl pellet program, hosted a free day of nature education activities at Attuck's Park in Carbondale, and offered four puppet making workshops downtown. The students who volunteered their time were Cherrelle Robinson and Huimeng Li (enrolled in CI 317), Shanni Newell Brown (enrolled in CI 318), and Kalena Sharp (CDL intern). The students have all been invited to march with their puppets in the parade next Saturday. Anyone who has made a puppet or has volunteered to carry one of the extras is invited to march, and the participants hope that many people will come to watch the parade. The parade will begin at the Life Community Center and follow a route through Murdale Shopping Center to Turley Park. At Turley Park there will be an Earth Day Celebration from 12:00 to 3:00 pm, hosted by Touch of Nature and the Carbondale Park District.
Japanese Students Visit C&I Classroom
The C&I Department partnered with CESL Special Groups to host exchange students who came from different countries to study short term English courses. In addition to the language courses, exchange students had the opportunity to attend a class related to their majors. This year we hosted a group of students from Utsunomiya University in Japan. They attended an Elementary Education class, and as a follow up they observed a class in a school in Vienna, Illinois. Kevan Self, Special Groups Coordinator, reported that students were especially interested in observing how the learning and teaching styles were much more interactive here than in the schools in their countries.
Earthquake Educational Kiosk
A new earthquake information Kiosk (pictured right) was developed and placed in the University Mall at the entrance of the Science Center. The earthquake information Kiosk is an exciting project to help the southern Illinois region become more aware and prepared for the earthquake threat.
Harvey Henson, Assistant Professor in Curriculum & Instruction and in Geology, directed the project in partnership with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), FEMA and the Central US Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). This collaboration, to produce the first ever earthquake information Kiosk for the Midwest, will undoubtedly educate several people regarding the earthquake threat and hopefully save lives and mitigate potential damage if a large earthquake were to occur. We are very grateful to FEMA, CUSEC and IEMA for making this project possible, a huge success, and for selecting Carbondale and the Science Center as the host. Henson mentors undergraduate and graduate students in his earthquake outreach and research. Abigail Cohlmeyer, Lily Graber, Carlie A Oneill, Chaney Ridgely, Shelby Satterlee, Erin WiIson and Erica Pulley, SIU education students enrolled in CI 427, got a “first look” at the new kiosk last spring.