Jill Biden, Second Lady and co-founder of Joining Forces, was at Fort Riley April 6 where she visited local schools and complimented Dean Debbie Mercer on being an early adopter of the Educate the Educator initiative.
In an interview with “The Today Show” about her visit, Biden said she appreciates the way teacher preparation programs are embracing military-connected children.
“Teachers’ colleges have stepped up to educate people going into education so that they will realize that there are military children in their classroom and celebrate those children and make their transitions easier for them,” Biden said in the interview.
“I’d like to take a moment to thank Dean Deb Mercer, from Kansas State University, for being here today and facilitating last week’s discussion with the KSU student-teachers at Fort Riley Middle School. The work that you are doing — that your student-teachers are doing in the classroom — is so important. Thank you.”
Kansas State University’s College of Education is getting national attention for doing what it does best: Preparing educators, both current and future.
The college is featured in Newsweek magazine’s list of 2015’s great teaching schools. The magazine cites the college’s national award-winning programs; centers that address many of the key topics in education, such as diversity and professional development; and its innovative initiatives to advance teaching and education, including original documentaries that can be used as classroom resources and programs to assist early-career teachers.
The Newsweek article continues a tradition of national recognition for the college — including 12 major awards since 2012 — and shows why the college produces more teachers annually than any other program in Kansas, according to Debbie Mercer, dean of the college.
“The College of Education at Kansas State University is having an impact on the field of education around the nation and the world,” Mercer said. “Whether it is through research, textbooks — one was recently translated into Chinese — or through the college’s online offerings of graduate programs, the fact is people from all walks of life are seeking us out to start their careers and advance them.”
The College of Education created a new Web series to build a bridge between subject matter experts in education and external audiences.
“EduCATion Today: The Issues & The Experts” will air Webisodes throughout the school year on the college’s YouTube channel that will address current issues in the field of education. Experts from both on and off campus will weigh in on current issues ranging from inclusion and diversity to school finance.
Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, is producing the series in the hopes it serves as a prompt for positive discussion for students, teachers, administrators, parents and policymakers.
“The professionals interviewed are experts in education who have practical experience and know what works,” Mercer said. “Too often, it seems educators are overlooked when important discussions take place, and our goal with ‘EduCATion Today’ is to provide a forum for meaningful discussion and insight.”
The first guest on “EduCATion Today” is Raymond Doswell, the college’s 2015 Alumni Fellow and vice president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. He discusses the creation of the NLBM and the 25-year partnership between the College of Education and the NBLM, including the curriculum materials the college developed for teachers as an introduction into diversity.
“The museum provides content as an entrée into diversity,” Doswell said. “Sports is a terrain that is shared and understood equally. It allows students to imagine their favorite teams without some of their favorite players. For older students, they can even imagine some of the social pressures these players faced like eating and traveling. It wasn’t that long ago.”
Stay tuned for more information about upcoming experts to appear on “EduCATion Today.”