Questions for the Vancouver faculty:  If you’re inclined to daydreaming, is it a good thing or a bad thing that the view from your office features majestic Mount Hood?   Or that the blue-green branches of a 100-year-old Douglas fir fill the conference room windows?

High-rent views are among the delights of WSU Vancouver’s new Undergraduate Classroom Building, home to College of Education programs on the West Side.   Construction delays meant that occupants couldn’t move in until a week before classes started.  So, they’re still settling in. But reports are glowing.  Says Academic Director June Canty:   “The faculty and staff love the space.  The classrooms are incredible — state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities.  The students are using all the casual interaction spaces and furniture and the building has really come alive just the way we envisioned it.”

Faculty grant winners
Life’s not all about scenery-gazing and unpacking in Vancouver. There’s a lot of research under way, as evidenced by the fact that education faculty members snagged six of the 13 mini-grants awarded to Vancouver researchers for 2009-2010.  The grants of up to $5,000 fund projects that involve exceptional scholarly activity or will lead to requests for external funding.  Recipients and their grant topics include:
June Canty, Teacher Induction in Southwest Washington. June plans to follow a first-year teacher through her/his  first semester on the job, documenting how and how well a school district helps with the transition into a new profession.
Michael Dunn, Ask, Reflect, Text: Does the Use of Art During Pre-Writing Help Students Write More Elaborate Text? Michael explores the use of artistic expression to improve the work of students who struggle with the standard composition process.
Stephen Kucer, Discourse Context and Its Impact on Word Identification During the Reading Process. Stephen is analyzing data from his research into the effect that initial letters, semantics, location in text, and other factors have on readers’ ability to identify words.
Tonda Liggett, Notions of Diversity in a Neoliberal Context: The Undermining of Education in Chiapas, Mexico. Tonda intends to study the work of teacher educators interested in placing social justice and diversity at the center of their teaching, in a region negatively influenced by the corporatization of education.
Nancy Sanders, Research-based Practices: Guidelines for Educational Leaders. Nancy is investigating how administrators interpret the federal mandate in No Child Left Behind to use scientifically based practices, specifically understandings about research in relation to values of equity and social justice.
Richard Sawyer, Education at the Crossroads of Tension and Change: An Investigation of the Impact of Globalization on the Educational System in Southern Mexico. In a study complementary to Tonda’s, Rick intends to examine how teacher educators in Chiapas are dealing with the influences of neoliberalism in the education of new teachers.

International students
Did you read about WSU’s record enrollment of international students and wonder how many of those students our college enrolls?  The answer: 41, all at the graduate level. Of those, 31 students are current and 10 are on  grad/leave status.  Thanks to Jason Sievers  for the information.

Reading (and viewing) matter
Colleges find juicy titles swell enrollment. When “German Literature of the High Middle Ages’’ becomes “Knights, Castles, and Dragons.’’
Using Twitter in the classroom.  A video from UT Dallas.
Confessions of a D-student. The Seattle School District is considering lowering its graduation requirements. This writer knows first-hand that some good can come from a lousy grade.