Florida State University researchers to present at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

From: https://news.fsu.edu/news/university-news/2018/04/04/florida-state-university-researchers-to-present-at-american-educational-research-association-annual-meeting/

Dozens of Florida State University researchers are preparing to present at the 2018 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

Eighty-four researchers, including faculty and graduate students, will present a total of 70 different presentations at the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research.

“Our goal in research is to advance teaching practice and policies and impact future educational outcomes,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the FSU College of Education. “We are proud to see our faculty and students at AERA share some of the important research being conducted at the College and university.”

This year’s meeting, featuring the theme “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education,” will be held April 13-17 in New York City.

FSU’s featured presenters will showcase recent work in areas such as postsecondary success, STEM education, teacher preparation and game-based learning.

Participating entities include: the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Florida Center for Reading Research, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the Learning Systems Institute and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

For a full schedule of FSU presenters and their research topics, visit https://education.fsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AERA-2018-presentations.pdf.

Categories: College of Education

Students and Faculty Honored at Annual Research Conference

March 27, 2018 Leave a comment

The annual Marvalene Hughes Research in Education Conference, hosted by the Council on Research in Education (CORE), has become a tradition at FSU’s College of Education. Named for COE alumna Dr. Marvalene Hughes, the unique event invites cross-departmental collaboration.


The 2018 conference took place March 23 and featured a number of notable presenters. As a first this year, students from the first cohort of the College of Education’s online Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy presented their research. This unique program is the first online doctoral program at Florida State and prepares education leaders to understand organizational systems, to improve policy and practice, and to be aware of issues of equity.


Another important part of the 2018 conference took place in the College of Education courtyard. Dean Marcy Driscoll, alongside Provost Sally McRorie, announced the finalists of the Robert M. Gagné Research Awards. The awards, given to a student and a faculty member, are eponymously named after the prodigious researcher and educator. This year, the Robert M. Gagné Research Award finalists were:

Gagne finalists

Left to right: Sarah Cox, Peter Carafano, Ally Quinney, Hanhan Xue, Kathleen Krach, Jenny Root, Provost Sally McRorie, Dean Marcy Driscoll


  • Kathleen Krach, Educational Psychology & Learning Systems
  • Jenny Root, School of Teacher Education
  • Hanhan Xue, Sport Management
  • Stephanie Zuilkowski, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies


  • Peter Carafano, Educational Psychology & Learning Systems
  • Sarah Cox, School of Teacher Education
  • Cassandra Howard, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Ally Quinney, Sport Management

The two winners were:

  • Stephanie Zuilkowski, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Cassandra Howard, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Left to right: Dean Marcy Driscoll, Cassandra Howard, Stephanie Zuilkowski, and Provost Sally McRorie


We thank all of the finalists for their great work, all the participants of the 2018 conference, and Dr. Marvalene Hughes, whose generous sponsorship enables this unique and academically energizing event.

Categories: College of Education

FSU and UF Colleges of Education to Compete in Scholarship Fundraising Campaign

March 13, 2018 Leave a comment

1920x1080png url date-01.pngFrom: http://news.fsu.edu/news/education-society/2018/03/13/fsu-uf-colleges-education-compete-scholarship-fundraising-campaign/

Florida State University’s College of Education will go head-to-head with the College of Education at the University of Florida in the “Duel of the Schools” — a two-week pledge drive to encourage alumni engagement and raise money for student scholarships.

For the past two years, FSU’s College of Education has awarded more scholarships than any other college at FSU and more than any other public College of Education in Florida. The college aims to keep that momentum going.

“When our students graduate, we want them to be able to focus on their careers, not worrying about how they will pay back student loans,” said Kevin Derryberry, assistant dean for development at FSU’s College of Education. “Nationwide, we see declining enrollment in education programs, low teacher pay and young people who leave the field after only a few years. In response, Florida State’s education alumni and friends have taken action and created the most robust education scholarship program in Florida.”

FSU alumni and proponents of education are encouraged to pledge their support of future educators by visiting www.dueloftheschools.com between March 20 and April 3.

Categories: College of Education

FSU COE Professor Selected to Develop International Student Assessment

March 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Every three years, 15-year-old students around the world take the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. The results of the survey have a deep impact on education reforms and help countries determine the effectiveness of their education systems. For Valerie Shute, professor in the FSU Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, the next PISA survey is extra special, as she has the special honor of being one of the education experts to design the survey.

Valerie ShuteDr. Shute, accompanied by FSU Doctoral candidate Seyed Ahmad Rahimi (Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies), traveled to Washington, D.C., where the two met with seven other experts. The group initially convened on February 26 and 27 to start developing the initial assessments.

“I’m honored and excited to be part of the expert group designing the new ‘creative thinking’ assessment that will be part of PISA 2021, testing 15-year-old students from around the world,” said Dr. Shute when asked about her participation in PISA. “Unlike past efforts to measure creativity, we’ll be designing innovative tasks focusing on various aspects of creative thinking, and collecting process and outcome data (across different domains, like art, science, and problem solving) from students to make inferences about their creativity.”

Education experts are chosen for a variety of reasons. For Dr. Shute, the selection committee chose her due to her innovative work on measuring problem-solving skills, creativity, and other constructs that are often difficult to quantify. In particular, Dr. Shute was chosen because of her work on measuring creativity while children played with the Physics Playground game.  Much of her recent research has centered around developing assessments that evaluate knowledge and complex phenomena.

Since 2000 when PISA began, experts from more than 80 countries have worked on the survey. Dr. Shute joins an elite group of education experts who have worked on the assessment.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducts the PISA survey, with the next survey scheduled to take place in 2021. The organization, which has 72 member countries, shares the data from the assessment and ranks the performance of the countries. The point of the test isn’t necessarily to determine the “best” education systems, but rather to help countries identify which education models are most effective and to identify strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, OECD member countries typically leverage PISA results to shape education policy.


More information about PISA is available at http://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa.

Shute is the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Endowed Professor of Education in the FSU College of Education. Her research has earned her prestigious grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Florida Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education.

Categories: College of Education

FSU sport psychology researchers receive prestigious NCAA grant

February 22, 2018 Leave a comment

From: http://news.fsu.edu/news/education-society/2018/02/22/fsu-sport-psychology-researchers-receive-prestigious-ncaa-grant/

The life of a student-athlete is hectic. The competitive nature of college-level sports requires hours of practice and travel — and balancing a rigorous schedule with schoolwork while still making time to rest can often seem unrealistic.


Graig Chow, Assistant Professor of Sport Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems

As a result, there has been a large push by the NCAA in recent years to promote the mental health and well-being of college athletes.

A Florida State University research group was one of five teams to receive a 2018 NCAA Innovations in Research and Practice Grant, one of the most recognized grants in the field of sports psychology. Their project, “Tackling Stigma: A Pilot Program to Promote Mental Health Literacy and Help-Seeking in Student-Athletes,” competed against a pool of 84 submissions. The total funding for the project was $25,000.

Members of the team included FSU College of Education assistant professors Graig Chow, Nicole Gabana and Marty Swanbrow Becker.

The ever-increasing competitiveness of college sports along with the academic rigors of a university education has encouraged researchers to expand knowledge in the field of sports psychology, thereby paying greater attention the mental well-being of athletes nationwide.

“Student-athletes are susceptible to experiencing mental health problems that disrupt optimal functioning, performance and well-being,” Chow said. “Our intervention program is designed to reduce stigma toward mental illness and improve help-seeking attitudes among student-athletes by targeting stereotypes, mental health literacy, empathy and contact with stigmatized others.”

For more information on the grant, visit https://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/ncaa-awards-100000-grants-5-research-teams.

Categories: College of Education

FSU COE Alumnus Named Best Teacher in the Nation

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

From http://news.fsu.edu/news/education-society/2018/02/19/fsu-alumnus-wins-national-teaching-award/:

Bobbie Cavnar

Bobbie Cavnar

Florida State University alumnus Bobbie Cavnar said he never dreamed that his passions for education and Shakespearian literature would lead to him being named the best teacher in the nation. Cavnar, 40, recently told The Charlotte Observer he was astounded when he discovered he was being awarded $35,000 by the National Education Association Foundation and named the nation’s best teacher for 2018. He was honored at the 2018 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala Feb. 9 in Washington D.C.

He has spent most of his career teaching literature at South Point High School, located 10 miles outside Charlotte, North Carolina. He gives lectures in a classroom elaborately decorated with paintings and antiques — intended to captivate his students and encourage them to acknowledge the beauty of language.Dean Marcy Driscoll said Cavnar’s award puts a spotlight on the work the FSU College of Education is doing to train aspiring educators.“We need music, we need dancing, we need painting, we need the arts,” said Cavnar in his acceptance speech. “For it is the arts that teach us how to understand each other.”

“We aim to prepare our students to make a positive impact not only in their communities, but in the field of education at large,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the FSU College of Education. “Bobbie is a shining example of this mission and we couldn’t be prouder of the great work he’s doing. This recognition is a testament to the quality of our both our students and our programs here at FSU.”

After graduating from Florida State in 1999 with a degree in English Education, he spent a brief period of time teaching in south Florida before settling down at South Point H.S.

In 2016, Cavnar was selected as North Carolina’s Teacher of the Year. Local sponsors put his face on a billboard overlooking Interstate 85 as it runs through the center of Gaston County.

Cavnar accepts the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence Feb. 9 in Washington, D.C.
Cavnar accepts the NEA Member Benefits Award for Teaching Excellence Feb. 9 in Washington, D.C.


Cavnar takes great pride in his work. Among his students, he is known as the teacher who brings Shakespeare and literature to life. His enthusiastic teaching style makes it easy for his students to engage with the material and develop a more exciting outlook on learning.

He first developed that style at Florida State, where he used his love of literature to make a difference in his community.

During his freshman year, he took an Intro to Education course, which required him to give a lesson at a local high school. He taught a lesson on the Langston Hughes poem “Theme for English B,” a story about a black student writing to an older white professor. The students loved it and bombarded Cavnar with questions.

He walked out of that classroom knowing that teaching was what he wanted to do with his life, and he hasn’t looked back.


Check out his acceptance speech at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/latest-news/article200252364.html.

FSU College of Education among the nation’s top online graduate programs in Education

January 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Stone building entranceThe Florida State University College of Education’s online graduate program continues to rank among the best in the nation at No. 13. The college offers online programs in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership/administration, instructional systems and learning technologies, and learning and cognition.

“Our continued position as one of the top online graduate programs in the country demonstrates our commitment to providing students with an outstanding educational experience,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the College of Education. “We continue to offer innovative online programs, such as our M.S. in curriculum and instruction and our Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy, that suit the needs of professionals in the field of education.”

The methodology for assessing online programs included factors such as student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.

For a complete list of the U.S. News & World Report online graduate rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education.


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