News from the Graduate Programs Volume 15: August 2020

News and Events from the Graduate Programs

Volume 15 | August 2020

Online Courses for Fall

Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners: an ESL MTEL Prep course: Examine theories and issues related to multilingual education and teaching English language learners. Students will be introduced to approaches and pedagogies that support teaching linguistically and culturally diverse learners in the PK-12 setting.

Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement (stand alone course): This course is offered for teachers seeking SEI endorsement. It serves as the ReTELL course that provides an overview of pragmatic pedagogical strategies for including English Language Learners in content area classroom instruction.

Professional Development and Mentoring Practicum: Participants survey best practices in instructional coaching and professional development. Topics include: cultivating positive mentoring/coaching relationships, observation protocols, developing and facilitating andragogically-sound professional learning, coaching for emotional resilience, and assessing professional learning.

For more information:

Courses for Credit Courses for non-credit

This is a screenshot of a Zoom class with author Sonia Nieto and 15 other participants.

Mount Holyoke Graduate Programs launches a non-licensure MAT option for teaching English Language Learners.

“Our program provides teachers with the skills they need to support culturally and linguistically diverse students to access learning across the curriculum,” [assistant director Ruth] Hornsby said. “It is designed to expand teachers’ toolboxes, regardless of their content area, to ensure that all of their students can be academically successful.”

Read the article.

Lauren Kim, MATL '21

September 3, 7:30 pm ET. Free Back-to-School Online Workshop for Parents

Join Lauren Kim, MATL’21 for a free virtual workshop for parents. Learn strategies for a successful transition back to school; how to foster independence; and how to partner with your child and their teacher.

Register here:

Polly Wagner and Marta Garcia (MATM Faculty)

Polly Wagner and Marta Garcia (MATM faculty) will be guests on Math Together with Dr. Sue Looney and her team to discuss mathematics coaching and the new normal of remote learning. The event will be held on October 29, 2020. More details to follow as we get closer to the event.

Communication & Literacy MTEL Test Prep Workshops

Reading Subtest: Saturday, November 7th from 2-4:15 pm EST

Writing Subtest: Saturday, November 14th from 2-4:15 pm EST

Pre-registration is required by Monday, November 2nd to participate in these preparation sessions. Space is limited so please register in advance. For more information about these workshops, please email Amy Asadoorian at Visit this link to register: This workshop is open to Five College students only.

In the News

Emily Stewart, MATM'21 was a panelist with other thought leaders in math education.

Emily Stewart, MATM '21 was a panelist with other thought leaders in the math education community to discuss remote learning and mathematics.

Watch the video.

Michael Flynn, Visiting Instructor in Psychology & Education; Director, Mathematics Leadership Program

Michael Flynn, director of the math leadership programs was a guest on Long Island News 12's Morning Show to discuss distance learning.

Watch the video.

"Virtual school poses great risks for our most marginalized and vulnerable children. But returning to school under these conditions may hurt them even more." -- Rose Levine, MAT'14

Read the article.

Michael Lawrence Riddell, MATL'21

“Self-Evident Media, an organization launched by Executive Director Michael Lawrence-Riddell [MATL’21], is putting together narrative-based multimedia resources about the creation and weaponization of race throughout American history.”

Read the article.

Julie Morrill, MATM'20 featured on the cover of The Catholic Mirror

Julie Morrill, MATM ‘20 was featured in The Catholic Mirror in an article on remote learning. She even made the cover! Congratulations!

Read more News from the Graduate Programs.

Program Spotlight

Converting an in-person learning experience into an online “slice” in the middle of a pandemic
by Amy Asadoorian

Quick Write - from the Zoom meeting

We’ve had to make adjustments to the way we work, teach, and learn in the midst of a pandemic. I sat down with assistant director of the teacher licensure programs, Ruth Hornsby to talk about the multi-day experiential learning orientation for new teacher candidates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditionally in-person hands-on experience was remade to work online this year.

AA: What is a “slice”?
RH: The “slice” is a multi-day part of a learning expedition or unit. During the “slice,” our teacher candidates get a chance to experience first hand what experiential learning is like, as a way to expand their toolbox and find new student-centered ways of engaging learners. This year Cathy Swift, the MAT Director, Genie Kang, School Designer & Professional Development Specialist from EL, and I pivoted to create a fun and effective learning experience that strengthened cohort bonds and provided pedagogical skills.

AA: What was different about doing the “slice” online?
RH: Everything was different! Usually a full day of our “slice” involves a field-trip to a local historical site. We couldn’t do that this year due to the pandemic, so instead we focused on the pedagogical approaches of experiential learning. Student feedback indicated that it was an enriching learning experience.

AA: What was the most difficult part of converting the in-person hands-on experience to an online one?
RH: We didn’t try to redo the in person “slice” one-for-one. We started from scratch and rebuilt the whole learning experience as an online one. I’m sure many educators in the field can relate to this right now. It is quite time consuming to repurpose an in-person learning unit to an online/distance learning one. Also, we were very mindful of not just lecturing via videoconference. We wanted to incorporate appropriate pedagogical approaches for each step of the learning process. This involved asynchronous work, lots of small group work, as well as whole group video conference sessions.

AA: What insights did you have from this experience about online learning?
RH: Well, I love opportunities to learn so for me, having to navigate the slice this way was fun! One key outcome for me was how to keep an online experience engaging and fun by incorporating elements of mystery and surprise, and a bit of anticipation. We’ve been teaching graduate students online in asynchronous and synchronous formats for some years and I've always felt that using video conference platforms like Zoom for teacher-centered teaching is the equivalent of in-class lecturing; it’s very useful, but should not be the sole way to deliver learning. With the “slice” we used a mix of asynchronous, synchronous, group learning, one-to-one sessions and distance learning strategies. It was fun finding the right pedagogical mix of video conferencing and distance learning strategies for this kind of content and to meet our learners’ needs. We hope that our students take this knowledge of ways to engage students with online learning with them as they head into their student teaching practica this fall since many of them will have an online teaching component this year.

AA: What are your final thoughts on the online “slice”?
RH: I will admit that I was nervous about turning this into an online experience - even with all of my experience teaching online at Mount Holyoke College Graduate Programs. However, the outcome was fantastic, so I’m thrilled that we put the work in and were able to share this experience with our new cohort of learners.

Joel Spring's 'Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality - A Brief History of the Education of Dominated Cultures in the United States

Faculty Recommendations

Joel Spring's 'Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality - A Brief History of the Education of Dominated Cultures in the United States', provides its readers with an introduction to the history of US education through the lens of colonization. Readers examine the histories and experiences of minoritized communities and consider the role of education in US society and who it was designed to serve. Recommended by: Ruth Hornsby, assistant director of the teacher licensure programs.

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