Professional Development

Harnessing Principal Power

This story spotlights EDC's Cheryl King who, with the support of The Wallace Foundation, works to strengthen principal preparation and training programs nationwide: "In short, there’s a connection between principals who know how to support effective teaching and learning in their schools and high-performing teachers and students. 'The importance of principal preparation in turning around chronically low-performing schools cannot be overstated,' says King. But preparing principals who are ready to address the complex challenges facing these schools is a serious challenge. Traditional courses with a primary focus on scholarship and theory are simply not enough. Effective principals report the need for clinically supervised internships that allow them to grapple with real problems, in real schools."

Source: 

EDC Newsroom

Publication Date: 

Tue, 02/07/2017

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff

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Ashleigh Bickerstaff

First name: 

Ashleigh

Last name: 

Bickerstaff

Bio: 

Ashleigh Bickerstaff applies her experience as an early childhood teacher to her role as a trainer and coach for educators working with children from birth to eight years old.  She is committed to improving the early care and education experience of young children.

Bickerstaff is on the staff of The Center for Early Learning Professionals, where she provides technical assistance and professional development services to Rhode Island’s early childhood care and education programs. In this role, she also works with the state’s pre-kindergarten programs, supporting classroom implementation of high-quality programming for the state’s four- and five-year-olds.

Before joining EDC, Bickerstaff was a professional development specialist for Ready to Learn Providence and a literacy coach in an Early Reading First project, providing professional development and classroom support for teachers. Bickerstaff began her career as a kindergarten teacher, gaining experience in providing high-quality curriculum and instruction to young learners.

Bickerstaff received a BS in Early Childhood Education from Salve Regina University and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886

Telephone: 

401-736-1284

Setting Young Children Up for Success

In this feature, EDC experts Kim Netter and Mary Mackrain talk about how mental health consultants can help strengthen programs, services, and systems to better support children's social and emotional growth, well-being, and school readiness and success. Kim Netter says: "Research suggests that an early onset of mental health issues is linked to environmental factors, such as poverty, exposure to violence, and physical or emotional neglect. However, prevention work can be done and supports can be put in place early on when a mental health consultant is in the mix promoting healthy development and growth, so children can thrive in school and in life." Mary Mackrain notes: "Early childhood mental health consultation teams mental health professionals with early childhood professionals to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral health of children in child care and early education programs. The mental health consultant offers skilled observations, individualized strategies, and early identification of children with challenging behaviors that places them at risk for expulsion. The key is that services must be provided by mental health experts who have worked with children under age five."

Source: 

EDC Newsroom

Publication Date: 

Mon, 01/23/2017

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EDC Develops Special Issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology

Journal of Science Education and Technology

The new issue of Journal of Science Education and Technology, “Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers,” Caroline Parkerspotlights findings from the trailblazing STEM education and workforce development efforts of National Science Foundation-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) projects.

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Maria Velasquez

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Maria Velasquez

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Maria

Last name: 

Velasquez

Bio: 

María Velásquez has a wealth of experience in the fields of early childhood education, K-12 education, and health, along with expertise in providing innovative, effective, and responsive training and professional development. Driven by her deep commitment to improve the quality of early childhood programs, she brings extensive knowledge of effective assessment, evaluation, research, use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, program management, and policy reform to all of her early childhood development work at EDC.

Velásquez is advancing the goals of EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals in Rhode Island. She specializes is providing bilingual, bi-literate (Spanish/English) professional development and technical assistance to early education programs that are interested in improving their services for children and families and progressing along RI’s quality continuum. In this capacity, she works closely with EDC's Center for Early Learning Professionals team, as well as the RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the RI Department of Human Services, the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Children, Youth, and Families, BrightStars, and Rhode Island's early childhood care and education programs.

Previously, Velásquez was a State of Rhode Island Programming Services Officer/Contract Manager, in which capacity she served as the state's liaison to EDC on the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge contract of $17.5M. For nine years, she was the Director of Education Services for WSBE-RI PBS. She introduced video-streamed technology and online curriculum in RI’s classrooms increasing teacher capacity of classroom virtual learning, technology use, and knowledge of curriculum standards. She also participated in the development of the National Digital Library funded by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She began her career as a Program Manager for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, where she had an early start in programming and quality management operations.

Velásquez earned a BS in Psychology from Rhode Island College, an MA in Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.

Staff: 

Staff Profile

Job title: 

Training and Technical Assistance Associate II

Mailing Address: 

535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI  02886

Telephone: 

401-734-1292

Library of Congress turns to EDC as Research Collaborator

Bill Tally

EDC is the key research collaborator for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program, which helps educators use its enormous collection of digitized primary source materials in the classroom. After helping pioneer TPS nearly 20 years ago, EDC has seen the program become the cornerstone of the educational outreach the Library of Congress conducts to all 50 states.

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EDC Team is Awarded 100Kin10 Fellowship

100Kin10 Logo

EDC is one of nine 100Kin10 partner organizations that have been awarded 100Kin10 Fellowships. A team including Eden Badertscher and Uma MacDowell was selected from a large pool of applicants—there are over 280 100Kin10 partners—to receive the Fellowship for their work on EDC’s National Science Foundation-funded project, Designing for Equity by Thinking In and About Mathematics (DEbT-M).

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Waves of Change: Using Interactive Audio Instruction to Support the Hardest to Reach

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Rachel Christina, PhD, designs, implements, and evaluates research-based education initiatives around the world, with emphases on early childhood development, literacy, school quality improvement, and teacher and school leader professional development. Currently, Rachel leads EDC’s Basic Education and Literacy technical team. In this capacity, she has overseen the refinement and strategic rollout of EDC’s signature Read Right Now! literacy program and has advanced the worldwide use of EDC’s highly effective interactive audio instruction methodology for reaching the most disadvantaged children with early childhood programming. In this blog post, Rachel explains why it is vital for all young children to be able to access high-quality early childhood programs, and describes the powerful role that EDC’s approach to interactive audio instruction can play in providing high-quality, cost-effective early childhood programs at scale.

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EDC Studies Impact of Transition to Algebra Mathematics Course

Transition To Algebra Curriculum

A new four-year National Science Foundation-funded project is enabling EDC to research the impact of Transition to Algebra, a year-long mathematics course taken concurrently with Algebra I to provide additional support for students who are underprepared for Algebra.

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EDC Launches Zoom In! Teaching Science with Data

Bill Tally

With support from the National Science Foundation, EDC has launched an initiative, Zoom In! Teaching Science with Data, to build high school students’ skills in using data to investigate and explain significant problems in biology and earth science.

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