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News and Events

Previous News and Events

November 2013

Dr. Barrie Gordon, Senior Lecturer at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and Fulbright Scholar presented a talk entitled “Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility through Physical Education: The New Zealand Experience” on November 14 in the Holmes Student Center. More about Dr. Gordon can be found here.

Dr. Gordon’s Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Model (TPSR) presentation focused on three research projects completed within New Zealand secondary schools. The first was a national survey of all 370 secondary school physical education departments in New Zealand. The second was an in-depth analysis of a six-month quasi-experimental implementation of TPSR in a New Zealand secondary school. The third was a review of interviews conducted with twelve teachers who had over two years of experience teaching TPSR.

October 2013

Thursday, October 17th, Dr. Linda Burton, James B. Duke Professor of Sociology at Duke University, spoke on campus in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room on the topic "Childhood Adultification: A Matter of Risk and Resilience". Find out more about Dr. Burton here.

September 2013

NIU-CEA members, Dr. Jennifer Schmidt and Dr. Lee Shumow, were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to write a book aimed at teachers of science. In their research in science classrooms, Schmidt and Shumow found that boys received more attention from teachers than girls. Their book, now published, is intended to guide science teachers in creating an atmosphere that will engage both girls and boys. Go to the E-TEAMS (Empowering Teachers to Enhance Adolescents' Motivation for Science) project website for details.

April 2013

Dr. Tom Martinek, Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, presented "Developing Leadership in Adolescent Youth through Physical Activity" on April 11th. Dr. Martinek's research focuses on the social and psychological dynamics of teaching and coaching and has most recently established an alternative high school, Middle College, for students who are at-risk.

Watch for a videotape to be posted soon. Find out more about Dr. Martinek and his work at http://www.uncg.edu/kin/faculty/thomasmartinek.html.

February 2013

Dr. David Yeager, Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, presented two talks - "Mindsets That Promote Academic Tenacity" on February 19th and on February 20th - "Implicit Theories of Personality Affect Resilience During the Transition to High School: Effects on Aggression, Stress, and Achievement".

Watch for a videotape to be posted soon. Find out more about Dr. Yeager and his work at http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/psychology/faculty/yeagerds or http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/about-us/staff/david-yeager.

January 2013

Free Panel Discussion:
"Learning to Live Peaceably in Violent Times: Panel and Public Forum on Violence and What Our Community Can Do" was held on Friday, January 18th at the Unitarian Universalist, 158 N. Fourth St. in DeKalb. Speakers included DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack, DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery, NIU Professor of Counseling and Education Dr. Toni Tollerud, and NIU Professor of Early Childhood Education Maylan Dunn-Kenney. This event was attended by community members representing community groups, government agencies and individuals. Watch for more public forums to be held to keep the communication open.

October 2012

October is Anti-Bullying Month
A Rock Operetta called I Am the Music carries an important anti-bullying message. The video was made this past summer by girls of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. More information at www.girlscoutsni.org, http://www.facebook.com/IAmTheMusicARockOperetta or contact Ann Marie Soderstrom, asoderstrom@girlscoutsni.org.

September 2012

Jonathan Kozol spoke at the DeKalb High School on September 26th to a packed auditorium. All eight hundred seats were filled! The event was sponsored by DeKalb School District 428; DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace & Justice; NIU Collaborative on Early Adolescence; NIU Department of Psychology; NIU Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Language & Literacy; NIU Outreach Office; NIU Center for P-20 Engagement; NIU History Department; and NIU Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations.

Fire in the Ashes - In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Savage Inequalities, The Shame of the Nation, and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.

For nearly fifty years Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation. A winner of the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and countless other honors, he has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as the author of tender and heart-breaking books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” But Jonathan is not a distant and detached reporter. His own life has been radically transformed by the children who have trusted and befriended him.

Never has this intimate acquaintance with his subjects been more apparent, or more stirring, than in “Fire in the Ashes”, as Jonathan tells the stories of young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States. Some of them never do recover from the battering they undergo in their early years, but many more battle back with fierce and, often, jubilant determination to overcome the formidable obstacles they face. As we watch these glorious children grow into the fullness of a healthy and contributive maturity, they ignite a flame of hope, not only for themselves, but for our society.

Education and politics, and the pressing issues that confront our public schools, are interwoven through the stories of these children. Why many children do succeed, graduate from high school, go on to college, and do well in higher education -- while others don’t survive the secondary grades, lose their hopes and motivation in their years of adolescence, and never finish high school -- lies at the essence of this work.

Jonathan Kozol is the author of Death at an Early Age, Savage Inequalities, and other books on children and their education. He has been called “today’s most eloquent spokesman for America’s disenfranchised.” But he believes young people speak most eloquently for themselves; and in this book, so full of the vitality and spontaneity of youth, we hear their testimony.

April/May 2012

The World of Homelessness through the Eyes of Children
Photography Exhibit
The Art Box
308 East Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb IL 60115
Exhibit Dates: Sunday, April 15 through Monday, May 14, 2012

The best way to raise awareness about an invisible and neglected sub-population experiencing homelessness—children—is to equip them with the means to make images of their world. For such children, the opportunity to tell their own stories and create their own images is a powerful and often transformative experience.

Empowering children to create and share their world—photographing images that speak loudly and honestly of their experiences—offers an effective, alternative view to the usual photo stories by outsiders. The little-known world of children without homes and their life’s many dimensions can best be captured by those who are participants of that life or world. Participant photography allows the children with the tool of cameras to capture and share the joy and sorrow, despair and hope of their lives.

Hope Haven’s Photography and Creative Writing Club was started by Dan Kenney, a fourth grade teacher in the DeKalb School District and a member of Hope Haven’s Board of Directors. The club is a project that has been assisted by photojournalists with the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. Kyle Bursaw and Rob Winner taught the children photo shooting skills and shared their professional experiences. The project offers a participatory opportunity to homeless children over the age of nine who are staying in the Hope Haven shelter. Each participant was provided with a digital camera, and they met periodically with their photo-mentors to discuss their images. They were guided on how to choose the most evocative shots. They were encouraged and assisted with writing about their photographs; as well as other forms of writing. John Bradley a local poet and instructor at Northern Illinois University along with Bonnie Amezquita, also an instructor in the English Department of NIU helped the students with their writing.

“I hope this project nurtures the children’s creative spirits at a time when they are struggling to maintain their own identity,” Kenney said of the project, “Too often when a child is homeless they lose their own separate sense of self and are seen as homeless. These photos are a great example of them trying to maintain a regular childhood. The photographs show their struggle to be themselves and not just a homeless kid.”

The photographs are portraits, as well as glimpses into their lives of living in a shelter. But also more importantly the photos display activities of children going about their lives, playing football, going to school, enjoying friends, and other activities.

For more information about the project or the show contact Dan Kenney 815-793-0950