About Lesley Richardson

School of Education Deans Ofc

SciREN annual networking event for STEM teachers

The Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) connects local scientists with K-12 educators. Founded by two graduate students, Justin Ridge and Ethan Theuerkauf, from the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, the program is in its second year and has expanded to include students at the Duke University Marine Lab. It also includes members from North Carolina State University.

SciREN’s annual networking event will be held November 13, 2014 at 5:30pm at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Scientists will provide K-12 educators with classroom-ready lesson plans that are aligned to the current state and national standards. These lessons explore cutting-edge research of more than sixty local scientists from fifteen institutions. Educators and scientists can also arrange classroom visits and collaborate on curriculum development.

For more information about this wonderful opportunity, please visit the SciREN website. Email questions to sciren.outreach@gmail.com.

Take a Child Outside Week 2014

“Take A Child Outside” is a program designed to encourage children and adults to spend time together outdoors. By giving parents, grandparents, and teachers information about outdoor activities and places to go, this program helps children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment and an enthusiasm for exploring the natural world

LEARN NC is proud to be a partner in “Take a Child Outside Week” which runs September 24th through September 30th annually. We provide instructional resources for educators to use to connect students to nature. There are partner organizations all over North Carolina and the United States offering activities for exploring the outdoors.

“Take a Child Outside” is an initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and held in cooperation with partner organizations worldwide. For more information, contact Liz Baird, Director of Education at 919-707-9893.

LEARN NC fall professional development courses open for enrollment

Register for a LEARN NC online professional development course today! We have a slate of all new courses, a brand new Carolina Online Teacher (COLT) program, as well as some of our tried and true courses. Course topics include the arts, mathematics, cyberbullying, differentiation, technology, flipping the classroom, reading, writing, STEM, and much more. All of LEARN NC’s courses have been peer-reviewed and reviewed by UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education faculty. See the course schedule, click on “session info” for the course you are interested in and register today!

Free online course for ELA middle and high school teachers

In what ways does your digital writing impact your pedagogy?  In what ways does your writing pedagogy engage students in critical stances?  In this six-week online study group offered by LEARN NC, secondary English teachers will discuss how digital writing can permit critical literacy, engage in meaningful discussions about digital writing and critical literacy practices, learn how understandings of digital writing with a critical stance can be applied to the writing classroom, and compose a piece of digital writing that takes a critical stance. Participants will leave the online study group with an original digital writing mentor text to share with students. Upon successful completion, participants will receive 20 hours for 2.0 CEUs.

If you are interested in joining this online study group please email Kathryn Caprino at kcaprino@email.unc.edu. Enrollees must agree to the use of their data in a dissertation research study.

Host a North Carolina Science Festival event at your school!

The North Carolina Science Festival is gearing up for its 2014-2015 programs and is offering educators an opportunity to host science events at their schools. North Carolina K-12 teachers can apply for the following programs beginning on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Selected classes will receive free curriculum materials and more! Participation is limited. Applications are due by August 29, 2014. For more information, please visit the North Carolina Science Festival website.

The Middle East and World War I

This year will mark the centenary of the start of World War I. We tend, in our teaching of World War I, to concentrate on France and Germany, but the region we now call The Middle East played an important role in the conflict, and its modern history was, in great part, formed by the agreements at the war’s end. It’s a perspective worthy of inclusion in a unit on World War I.

Regina Higgins, from the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, and UNC Chapel Hill graduate student, Alyssa Sistare, created a website that offers resources on World War I and the Middle East. In The Middle East and World War I, educators will find a timeline of events, maps, historical and personal accounts of the conflict (Gallipoli, particularly), videos, and even songs.

August news from the NC Civic Education Consortium

The North Carolina Civic Education Consortium, a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values, works with schools, governments, and community organizations to prepare North Carolina’s young people to be active, responsible citizens. Each month the Consortium delivers an email newsletter with news and opportunities for civic engagement.

Gearing up for the new school year? The North Carolina Civic Education Consortium is there to help. In this month’s newsletter they are featuring “From Chaos to Community: Your classroom CAN be a fun, safe, and effective environment for both you and your students!” This resource provides “activities for building a self-managing, respectful and tolerant community in your classroom, where students not only enjoy learning, but where high performance is guaranteed.”

Also highlighted this month are professional development opportunities for teachers.

From Talking to Talkin’ Tar Heel
Receive a $75 stipend when attending this seminar at the North Carolina Museum of History on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM. Find out how “language and dialect provide a fascinating way to understand North Carolina’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.” The seminar includes a free book. Also receive a $30 tuition discount when you register.
Fall 2014 “Adventures in Ideas” Seminars
Register now to secure a spot in a general seminar offered by the Program in the Humanities. Teachers receive a 50 percent discount off tuition and a $75 travel stipend as a part of the Daisy Edmister Fund. Seminars are Friday evening and Saturday morning or all-day Saturday. Receive credit for 10 contact hours of continuing education. Topics and dates can be found on the NC CEC website.
Travel Grants and Workshops from the NC Museum of History
To help cover the cost of travel to the North Carolina Museum of History, travel grants are available for qualifying schools. Title I public schools, Title VII American Indian schools, and other schools with a high percentage of low-income or at-risk students have priority. For more information, please visit the NC CEC website.

For information on these and other opportunities, please contact Paul Bonnici.

Free courses for teachers


Two UNC School of Education doctoral students, Hillary Parkhouse and Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, are offering online courses through LEARN NC to help teachers become more globally competent. Teachers are trying to find more ways to connect their classrooms and their students to the ever-growing, ever-changing world, as well as facing the reality that one in five students in the US are immigrants. Parkhouse and Tichnor-Wagner are offering a free online series of workshops in two-parts: Preparing to Teach for Global Competence and Globally Competent Teaching in Action. Below are the course descriptions and a link to find out more information.

Preparing to Teach for Global Competence: (July 30- August 26)

This course focuses on developing the dispositions and knowledge that characterize globally competent teachers. Specifically, teachers will learn how to interact with a self-reflection tool (The Globally Competent Teaching Continuum) to advance in the following areas:

  • Empathy and valuing multiple perspectives
  • Commitment to promoting equity worldwide
  • Understanding the way the world is interconnected
  • Understanding global world conditions and current events
  • Understanding intercultural communication
  • Experiential understanding of multiple cultures

For more information or to enroll in the course, please contact Tichnor-Wagner at arielt@live.unc.edu.

Globally Competent Teaching in Action: (September 3- September 30)

This course will assist teachers in enhancing their abilities to develop students’ global competence through the use of The Globally Competent Teaching Continuum. The course will focus on the following skills:

  • creating a classroom environment that values diversity and global engagement
  • integrating learning experiences for students that promote content-aligned investigations of the world
  • facilitating intercultural and international conversations that promote active listening, critical thinking, and perspective recognition
  • developing local, national, and international partnerships that provide real world contexts for global learning opportunities
  • developing and using appropriate methods of inquiry to assess students’ global competence development.

For more information or to enroll in the course, please contact Hillary Parkhouse at parkhous@live.unc.edu.

“Using artifacts as a bridge to the past” — a new online course

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and LEARN NC announce a new partnership to bring museum skills to the classroom.

The partnership has developed an online course to help teachers learn how to use historical artifacts in their classrooms. This instructor-led, media-rich social studies methods course centers on best practice teaching strategies, drawing on Colonial Williamsburg’s 25 years of successful teacher professional development at the world’s largest living history museum.

As a national advocate for history and social studies education, Colonial Williamsburg meets the needs of professional educators with classroom, blended and online learning. Since 1990, more than 18,000 teachers have participated in Colonial Williamsburg professional development training, including the summer Teacher Institute, on-site and off-site programs, and video conferences.

“Using Artifacts as a Bridge to the Past” employs the resources of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and its collections, related digital media and history methods. The course models hands-on interpretation and analysis of artifacts with students through videos, course readings, digital media, discussions and electronic postings.

Participants will work individually and as a learning community to construct an archive of related classroom resources and will also earn continuing education credits. The course is designed so that teachers can apply the techniques of artifact or object analysis immediately in their classroom instruction. More than two dozen teachers nationwide contributed to the development of “Using Artifacts as a Bridge to the Past” as beta testers with additional contributions from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. To register for this course, go to http://tinyurl.com/mh482ef.

This new partnership between Colonial Williamsburg and LEARN NC is the first online course the museum has designed that merges effective museum skills with interactive history education methods to support teachers in meeting curricular objectives. Facilitated by Colonial Williamsburg staff educators, these courses help teachers bring history to life in their classrooms. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg’s developing distance learning programming for teachers, go to www.history.org/History/teaching/distancelearning/index.cfm.

SENCER Summer Institute

The National Science Foundation funded Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities (SENCER) courses and programs connect STEM content to local, national, and global challenges. Students, teachers, and faculty report that the SENCER approach makes science more accessible, real, and relevant. The program for the Institute will include all-Institute plenary sessions, workshops on effective pedagogies, examples of successful campus and community applications, and opportunities to meet formal and informal educators, administrators, students, and others from across the country interested in contributing to a civically engaged society and the improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

UNC Asheville has made special provisions for local Western North Carolina teachers to attend a one-day workshop on August 1, 2014 to enjoy networking opportunities with colleagues from across the country at a private reception, poster presentations, and collaborate on innovative ways to adapt SENCER learning into curriculum. UNC Asheville faculty and others from across the country, educators, and students will be available as resources to assist in making suggestions about the integration of SENCER into curriculum development. More information about the SENCER approach may be found at sencer.net. Lunch is included in this full-day workshop as is participation in a networking reception where teachers will meet colleagues from across the nation who are effectively utilizing the SENCER model.

August 1, 2014 Itinerary
8:00AM – 5:00PM

  • Plenary Address by SENCER Faculty and Students from the U.S. Military Academy
  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Workshop Sessions
  • Complimentary Lunch
  • Team and Group Consultations
  • Poster Presentations

Networking Reception 5:00PM – 6:00PM

The first 15 applicants will have their $100.00 registration fee covered by the SENCER Center for Innovation South. This local-only option is available at https://ncsce.wildapricot.org/NCSCEEvents. Select the “SSI 2014 Local Primary/Secondary Educator – Friday-only” registration option, when prompted. That registration, which must be submitted by June 15, requires a code: SENCER14LocalEducator.

For more information, please contact Susan Reiser.