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Georgia Southern’s Lane Library and College of Education selected for Great Stories Club grant, supports underserved teens

(l-r) Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor of reading in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, and Vivian Bynoe, Lane Library interim head of reference and instruction, who together secured a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, stand with Hubert Middle School students in the Great Stories Club.

Georgia Southern University’s Lane Library has been selected to take part in the Great Stories Club, a national reading and discussion program for underserved teens. Lane Library was awarded a competitive grant offered by the American Library Association (ALA), with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to participate in the program.

As part of the Great Stories Club series on “Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation,” Lane Library Interim Head of Reference and Instruction Vivian Bynoe will work with Anne Katz, Ph.D., associate professor of reading in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum, Foundations and Reading, to read and discuss stories with a literacy leadership group at Hubert Middle School in the Savannah-Chatham County School System. The group will explore questions of race, identity, history and social justice. The books are curated around the theme, “Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Courage and Coming of Age.” 

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Georgia Southern faculty take 20 state teachers to learn in the swamp

Participants in the first summer of OUR2 SWAMP

This past summer, 20 Georgia teachers and six faculty and staff from Georgia Southern University’s College of Education (COE) and College of Science and Mathematics (COSM) took professional development out of the classroom and into the Okefenokee Swamp.

In late 2018, the Georgia Southern grant team, led by COE’s Lacey Huffling, Ph.D., was awarded a $763,897 grant from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (under award number 2000009821). The grant funds two years of the Okefenokee Understanding Real-world Relevance through Suwannee Watershed Assessment and Monitoring Project (OUR2 SWAMP). Created by Huffling and her colleagues, the project offers a summer on-site learning experience at the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia as well as continued professional development for both in-service and pre-service teachers.

“It was awesome,” said Huffling. “All of the teachers excelled and were really excited about getting students out in their communities. It was such an amazing group of educators who worked well together and were committed to learning and passionate about growing in their profession.”

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Georgia Southern education professor, Dalai Lama join for first international Human Education in the Third Millennium project in India

COE Professor John Weaver, Ph.D., meeting the Dalai Lama.

Georgia Southern University College of Education professor John A. Weaver, Ph.D., recently joined with the Dalai Lama and 14 other leading scholars from 10 countries for the first Round Table Conference of the Human Education in the Third Millennium project. The conference for the project, which addresses the obstacles of educational equality on a world level and proposes a renewal of educational values utilizing different traditions from across the world, was hosted in the personal residence of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He served as the honorary keynote speaker.

Weaver, a faculty member at Georgia Southern for 18 years who teaches in the doctoral program in curriculum studies, was one of two participants from the United States.

Invited for his research and expertise in post-humanism, theories that critically analyze the traditional ideas about humanity and the human condition, Weaver joined the group of scholars in July to begin discussions to articulate the significant challenges of education.

One of the common concerns identified was a tendency to view education through an economic lens. 

“It’s this idea that everything that is private is good, and everything that is public is not good,” explained Weaver. “Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow said that under perfect conditions there is no government involvement and a perfect balance of supply and demand. However, there are two aspects where he says this does not work — health care and education. We should be listening to Arrow.”

The Dalai Lama offered his thoughts on ethics and education for the new millennium.

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Georgia Southern hosts nearly 300 high school students for Future Georgia Educator Day

Keynote speaker for FGE Day was Double Eagle Alumna Teresa Thompson.

Nearly 300 high school students from across the state of Georgia traveled to the Statesboro Campus of Georgia Southern University on Thursday, September 26 to participate in the Future Georgia Educators (FGE) Day, an initiative coordinated by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) in conjunction with colleges of education in Georgia institutions to provide professional learning, networking and college visitation for students who are considering teaching as a profession.

“PAGE’s hope in co-hosting these events with the Georgia Southern College of Education is that these students will begin to envision themselves pursuing a degree in education and joining Georgia’s teacher workforce to make a difference in the lives of children,” said Mary Ruth Ray, FGE Coordinator and PAGE College Services Representative.

During the event, students heard from keynote speaker Teresa Thompson, Tattnall County Teacher of the Year, a top ten finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year and Georgia Southern Double Eagle alumna (B.S.Ed. Middle Grades, M.Ed. Instructional Technology). 

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Free children’s literature lecture offered on Georgia Southern’s Armstrong, Statesboro campuses Oct. 14, 15

Georgia Southern University will host a free children’s literature lecture by law professor and author Jonathan Todres. Todres, who teaches law at Georgia State University, will present “Advancing Human Rights: The Role of Children’s Literature” on the Armstrong and Statesboro Campuses Oct. 14 and 15.

Todres co-authored the book, Human Rights in Children’s Literature, which investigates children’s rights under international law including identity and family rights, the right to be heard, the right to be free from discrimination, and other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Todres and fellow author Sarah Higinbotham explore how children can grow to realize their rights and respect the rights of others through children’s literature. 

Human Rights in Children’s Literature makes it clear that books for children can carry significance well beyond feel good stories and supposedly childish simplicity,” said College of Education Professor Scott Beck, Ph.D. “Instead, storybooks and young adult fiction can help us better understand the struggles that children face, how they understand injustice and how they envision a fairer world.” 

Todres will present on the Armstrong Campus on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Ogeechee Theatre in the Student Union. He will speak on the Statesboro Campus on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. in the College of Education lecture hall, room 1115. 

The lectures are co-sponsored by Georgia Southern’s Campus Life Enrichment Committee, the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, the College of Education Dean’s Office, and the Departments of Elementary and Special Education, and Middle Grades and Secondary Education, the College of Art and Humanities’ Department of Literature and the Pre-Law Advising Center.