The Webster Learning Collective explores the potential for learning to empower communities and bring people together. This podcast, produced by Webster University's School of Education, covers topics relevant to educators, administrators, families, future teachers, and anyone who is a lifelong learner.
Episode 12: School of Education Leadership Council Part 1
This episode introduces the four members of the leadership council: Drs. Stephanie Mahfood, Nicole Lee-Johnson, Basiyr Rodney, and Ralph Olliges. Each member discusses their passion for education and how this new leadership structure mirrors a more democratic workplace.
Stay tuned for part two, when they will discuss the leadership council's vision and mission to advance the School of Education's narrative of "a network of attraction."
Episode 11: Early Literacy and Representation in Children’s Literature
This episode features Julius B. Anthony, president of St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature. This nonprofit organization uses Black children’s literature to improve reading proficiencies for elementary school students. Learn more about St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature on their website
In his interview, Mr. Anthony addresses several important considerations in literacy education including:
Underlying causes of achievement gaps in reading proficiency for Black students The importance of representation for Black children in books and children’s literature authorship Ways to spark joy and promote self-esteem in all learning environments Resources for teachers, parents, and caregivers to access children’s literature EyeSeeMe Bookstore: https://www.eyeseeme.com/
The Novel Neighbor: https://thenovelneighbor.com/
Nine PBS Network: https://www.ninepbs.org/blogs/education/
Julius B. Anthony’s contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 10: Why is Creativity so Important for Youth? YWSTL
This episode features three guests from YourWords STL, a nonprofit organization that provides tutoring and creative writing workshops for underserved youth in the St. Louis region. We are joined by co-founder of YourWords STL Dr. Anna Ojascastro Guzon, Development Director Dr. Michelle Haberberger, and Tutoring Coordinator Candice Smith.
This conversation addresses a variety of topics related to creative expression in children:
Why creative expression is important for learning What it means to be creative: is it learned or innate? How educators and caregivers can introduce creative outlets for children If you’d like to learn more about YourWords STL or volunteer as a tutor, take a look at their website: http://www.yourwordsstl.org
The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18693771-the-body-keeps-the-score
Episode 9: Retirement Reflections with Dr. Tom Cornell
Dr. Tom Cornell has just retired after serving as Interim Dean for Webster University's School of Education. Tom reflects on his career as a K-12 teacher, reading specialist, and education consultant in addition to his experience as a faculty member and administrator at Webster. His interview covers a number of other topics including:
-Future directions for the field of literacy education
-Advice for aspiring teachers and teachers-in-training
-Opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning
-Tom's plans for retirement
Attend the School of Education's upcoming Q&A session to learn more about our programs in Reading and Dyslexia: https://spark.adobe.com/page/m5fsCjtEUcJZV/
Visit our website: https://www.webster.edu/education/academics/reading.php
Episode 8: Rhoni Unger
Content notice: Self-harm and suicidal ideation are discussed throughout this episode. See links to the National Suicide Prevention Line and the Self-Harm Crisis Text Line at the bottom of this description.
Rhonda (Rhoni) Bluehen-Unger is a graduate of Webster University’s MA in Applied Educational Psychology and she holds a graduate certificate in Fostering Resilience in "At Risk" Children and Youth. Rhoni has been a COVID-19 emotional health resource since August of 2020. At the time of this recording, she worked as Trauma Care Coordinator for Lutheran Family and Children’s Services. Currently, Rhoni is working on opening a non-profit art studio in Franklin County called “Endangered Art” where trauma-trained staff will work with at-risk youth and use art as a healing tool.
Rhoni’s interview covers several important topics including:
· How her Native American background influences her perspective on mental health and culturally informed practice
· Trauma-informed care models for Missouri schools and behavioral signs of trauma
· Bullying and mental health
Access links to resources discussed in Rhoni’s interview here:
-National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
-National Self-Harm Crisis Text Line: US and Canada: text 741741 https://www.crisistextline.org/topics/self-harm/#what-is-self-harm-1
-Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri: https://lfcsmo.org/
-CHADS Coalition for Mental Health (Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide): https://www.chadscoalition.org/
See the research project “An Exploration of Culturally Grounded Youth Suicide Prevention Programs for Native American and African American Youth” which Rhoni contributed to: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314405051_An_Exploration_of_Culturally_Grounded_Youth_Suicide_Prevention_Programs_for_Native_American_and_African_American_Youth
Episode 7: Jane Lucas
Former teacher Jane Lucas earned an MA in Applied Educational Psychology and Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from Webster University. She works as a school psychologist for Special School District in Normandy Missouri. She also does psychoeducational evaluations in University of Missouri St. Louis’s clinic. In addition, she serves as the field experience director for Webster’s School Psychology students.
Topics covered in this episode include:
· Jane’s experience transitioning from her former role as a teacher to her current role as a school psychologist
· Ways to build trusting and supporting relationships with students
· Supporting students in managing test anxiety
· Helping children build social skills and form healthy friendships
Learn more about the Normandy Schools Collaborative here: https://www.normandysc.org/
Learn more about Special School District here: https://www.ssdmo.org/