There were black teachers who risked their lives to teach enslaved people to read, said Derrick Alridge, historian and professor of education at the University of Virginia. And teachers in the 20th Century who challenged white supremacy in their classrooms and worked to advance the Civil Rights Movement.
Beth Schueler, a University of Virginia assistant professor of education who studied the Springfield effort, says this model addresses common criticisms of school boards — sometimes seen as dysfunctional and dominated by special interests — and state takeovers, which have led to academic gains in some places but are often politically difficult and disempowering, especially in the majority-black school districts where they are most likely to occur.
Kids are often deeply interested in math, history, literacy and science “because those topics are about engaging with the world around them, figuring out new things, and making exciting discoveries,” Dr. Bassok explained. “When children learn academic content in a way that’s fun and playful and engaging, and meets them where they are, it can be very empowering.”
One recent study, by the University of Virginia’s Benjamin L. Castleman and the University of Pittsburgh’s Lindsay C. Page, included nearly 5,000 low-income students. The researchers found that 70 percent to 72 percent of students who received a nudge intervention — whether from a peer mentor or via a text message — successfully enrolled in college, compared with 68 percent to 70 percent of students who did not.
“So many kids do get services while they are in high school and then when they leave there may not be a safety net or services available to them,” said Dewey Cornell, a forensic clinical psychologist and education professor at the University of Virginia. He said the age of greatest risk “for serious acts of violence is in the late teens and early 20s, after the high school years.”
Nationally, many school systems have struggled to make sure underrepresented students — students of color, English-language learners, students from low-income families — are not left out in more rigorous courses and programs. Catherine Brighton, a professor and associate dean at the Curry School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia, said, “The devil is in the details of enacting that at a high-quality level.”
Joshua Brown, adjunct professor of education at the University of Virginia. Lead author of the study, "The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes."
UVa professor Carol Tomlinson, an expert on the topic, led the five-day Summer Institute for Academic Diversity and spent each afternoon with the Charlottesville group. The division has partnered with Tomlinson to support the implementation of unleveled classes.
At the University of Virginia, Stephanie D. van Hover, a department chair in the Curry School of Education, said shortening the time it takes for aspiring educators to get into the classroom will make choosing teaching as a career a less cost-prohibitive proposition.
Being assigned to a high-quality classroom is especially important for children at risk of struggling in school, according to earlier research by Bridget Hamre and Robert Pianta at the University of Virginia. They found that when children whose mothers had low educational levels were placed with 1st-grade teachers who were caring and provided focused instruction and frequent feedback, the students achieved at the same level as those with more highly educated mothers.
Experts trained by Dewey Cornell, a forensic clinical psychologist and Professor of Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, who is considered an expert in threat assessments, will work with 150 staff members each day for two days to provide “more concrete knowledge on how to respond in the event of a threat,” Hennigan said.
If every public high school in Virginia offered college admission tests free, the supply of graduating seniors who could compete for entry to major universities within the state would grow significantly, according to a study released Tuesday.
"She’s one of nearly 30 participants attending the second annual Summer Teachers Institute, hosted by the Center for Race and Public Education in the South at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education & Human Development."
"A study by researchers Benjamin Castleman and Lindsay Page estimates that 10 to 20% of students nationally do not enroll in college due to summer melt. For students from low-income households, melt can reach as high as 40%."
“So we do a lot of collaborations and so, for example, I do a lot of work with colleagues in China and Lithuania and we find that things that they do there are similar to things we do here and so we can really share some of our ideas,” said Martin Block, with UVA's Department of Kinesiology and International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity president.
Virginia is in the midst of a multi-pronged effort to attract, train and retain more teachers. The University of Virginia has helped tackle that effort in part by creating entirely new undergraduate degrees in education.
While offering a new degree may seem simple, the effort, also taking place at public schools across the state, has required changes to how curricula are created, programs are scaled and students are recruited. Within several years, officials hope, teachers in the state will now be able to become credentialed faster, with more training and with less student debt.
A landmark 2018 study found family and home life are the most critical influences in a child’s success. "If you want to forecast children's achievement outcomes, the best predictor is family income," said Robert Pianta, study author and founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia.
Tolan said the findings are not surprising, but they don't mean long-term consequences are inevitable for all kids who are bullied. But the study is a warning that "this is a real problem worthy of attention and intervention to stop and prevent," he added.
Patrice Preston Grimes, an associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, recommends field trips. For several years, she has taken her preservice teachers to James Madison’s Montpelier estate. They spend hours immersed in the history of the enslaved people and their descendants who once lived there, examining primary source documents and walking through the buildings where they slept.
“If you’re hearing noises or are really bothered by light or touch, it might make it harder for you to fall asleep,” says lead investigator Micah Mazurek, associate professor of human services at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.