Division directors in the College of Education receive prestigious honors

University representatives are making advances in the preparation of K-12 educators

Division directors in the College of Education receive prestigious honors

University representatives are making advances in the preparation of K-12 educators

Two faculty members in the University of Nevada, Reno's College of education were recently honored for their individual contributions to teacher preparation.

Professor of Literacy Studies Diane Barone has been elected as one of 20 individuals nationally to participate on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation steering committee for elementary education.

"As part of this national steering committee, my work will involve writing national standards for teacher education programs in elementary education," Barone said. "Once the committee's work is complete the standards pass through numerous review boards and then they become the expectations for national programs who prepare elementary teachers."

Because of Barone's role as vice president, soon to be president, with the International Literacy Association she was invited to be a part of the steering committee. She and her colleagues will be revising the national standards for elementary educators at universities accredited by CAEP across the United States. They will go through all the relevant documents to see what standards need to be updated, and the entire process could take up to two years.

Melissa Burnham is an associate professor and director of teacher education and human development in the College of Education. She has been recognized as a "Promising Emerging Leader" by Exchange Magazine, a periodical publication focused on the worldwide support of early childhood professionals.

Burnham was selected for her experience helping prospective teachers learn developmentally appropriate practices for early childhood education and growth.

"Just because children are transitioning from preschool into kindergarten doesn't magically wave a wand and make them a different child that needs a different type of teacher," Burnham said. "We're trying to develop teachers who understand that even in the primary grades they should be considering all areas of children's development, including cognitive, language, social/emotional, and physical. Supporting all areas of development builds the foundation for children's college and career readiness."

Burnham's extensive work in educator preparation has included acting as chair of the state board for child care, which involved making changes to state childcare regulations to increase quality. Burnham has also served as a member of the National Governor's Association's P-3 Policy Academy for the state of Nevada. Most recently she was appointed as president of the Nevada Department of Education Commission on Professional Standards in Education, the body that determines regulations for licensing of teachers. Burnham is also the incoming associate dean for the College of Education.

"It is because of faculty like Diane and Melissa, the College of Education at the University continues to grow in national voice and influence," College of Education Dean Ken Coll said. "I am incredibly grateful for both of their hard work and dedication to an ongoing improvement in PK-12 education."

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