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Six School of Education projects net Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment backing

June 23, 2015

UW-Madison announced the winners of the most recent Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment competition -- and six different projects led by faculty, staff and students from across the School of Education received funding.

The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment allows students, faculty and staff to extend their talents, knowledge and research beyond the borders of the university — the core definition of the Wisconsin Idea. This year, 83 proposals were submitted to the endowment committee for consideration. In all, 13 grantees received up to $120,000 each for these main Wisconsin Idea projects. websiteThe School of Education-related project that received this main Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment funding is titled, “Response to Act 31: Disseminating Resources on American Indians in Wisconsin to Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers in the State.” This initiative, which also received Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment backing a year ago, is now entering its second year. The project is led by Aaron Bird Bear and Simone Schweber. Bird Bear is the student services coordinator with the School of Education’s Student Diversity Programs, and is an American Indian curriculum consultant. Schweber is an associate professor with the No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

A summary of this initiative on the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment website explains: “The American Indian Curriculum Services unit in the School of Education will lead a much-needed effort to disseminate teaching tools and resources focusing on Wisconsin’s American Indian tribes and bands to public and private teacher education programs in the state and to practicing teachers in Wisconsin’s 424 school districts. State legislation passed in 1989 known as Act 31 requires that both pre-service and in-service teachers have an understanding of the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the 11 federally recognized American Indian tribes of Wisconsin and that they be provided with accurate, culturally authentic teaching tools.  Unfunded at the time of passage, Act 31 has never been widely implemented and teachers today still lack appropriate resources. Building on results from an information gathering survey about the needs of school administrators and teachers, the team proposes to address this lack of knowledge and teaching tools with 1) multi-media web resources developed by the School of Education’s Media, Educational Resources and Information Technology unit, and 2) a rigorous dissemination effort about the new resources.”

During the second year of this project, Bird Bear says those working on the Act 31 initiative plan to further develop and promote the website.

Wisconsin Idea logoMeanwhile, for the first time the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment also offered mini-grants of up to $4,000 to encourage innovation and experimentation in small-scale projects. Of the 32 mini-grant proposals submitted, 18 received funding – including five initiatives that will be led by those within the School of Education. These include:

• Alaura Seidl, a lecturer with the School of Education’s Art Department, is heading a project titled, “Art and Social Justice: Creative Youth Development for Resiliency.” Alongside two local organizations, Briarpatch Youth Services and The ArtWrite Collective, UW-Madison’s Art + Social Justice course will train an interdisciplinary team of students as change agents capable of facilitating resiliency-nourishing arts programming for queer youth, youth of color, and girls who disproportionately experience food and housing insecurity, trauma, and overall threats to their well being.

•  UW-Madison students Morgan Lange and Bruin Armwald, who are with the Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training program, are heading a project titled, “Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety: Developing a State-Wide Network.” This project expands local efforts in promoting brain safety to a broader audience in communities across Wisconsin by establishing brain safety organizations on university campuses throughout Wisconsin and providing them with start-up community education toolkits.

• Stephen Quintana, a professor with the departments of Counseling Psychology and Educational Psychology, and Elizabeth Larson, an associate professor with the Department of Kinesiology, are teaming up to lead, “Building an Engaging and Inclusive Community for Guatemalan Orphans with Disabilities.” This project extends a long-standing partnership between UW-Madison and ANINI, an orphanage in Guatemala for residents with significant physical and developmental disabilities. A multidisciplinary team of graduate students and faculty from Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and School of Human Ecology will design and implement anti-bullying and inclusion curricula to support ANINI students’ fuller participation in mainstream classrooms. The grant expands the partnership to include UW-Madison occupational therapy students who will: assess the desires of ANINI residents and caregivers for greater engagement in activity; provide low- and high-tech solutions to support engagement in daily life activities; survey the physical environment; and train staff on the Movement Opportunities Via Education (MOVE) program that enables children with moderate to severe disabilities to sit, stand and walk in order to engage more actively in their environment and to position them better to participate in daily activities.

• Annalee Good, a research coordinator with the School of Education’s Office of Education Outreach and Partnerships, is leading an initiative called, “Creating Dialogue Between Public Policy and Teacher Practice: Refining the ‘WiPOP’ (Wisconsin Policy, Outreach and Practice) Model.” This project expands the work of Wisconsin Policy, Outreach and Practice (WiPOP), a group of graduate students in the School of Education dedicated to increasing teacher agency and capacity around teacher-identified policy issues. We will create capacity-building sessions for K-12 teachers in two contexts: schools in Dane County that have already partnered with UW-Madison through the Partner School Network; and teachers from across the state attending state-wide professional conferences. This exploratory work will allow this group to refine a model that it hopes to replicate across the state.

• Blaise Morrison, a Ph.D. student with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, is leading a project titled, “Improving Wellness Knowledge and Practices in Persons with Disabilities.”  This project involves a collaboration between Disability Pride Madison and the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education to provide wellness education and interventions to people with disabilities at the 2015 Disability Pride Festival, with the overall goal of improving well-being and increasing wellness knowledge and practices in the disability population.

To learn more, check out descriptions of all the 2015 funded projects and Mini-Grant winners.

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