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College of Education

October 2016

Animals do more than teach us responsibility

Can a new pet help a child learn responsibility? Sure! They can learn how to take a dog for a walk, for example, or make sure the cat’s food bowl gets filled every day, or make sure the goldfish tank gets cleaned out.

But, if you’re of the vein that it’ll just be dad who ends up walking the dog in the end, perhaps here’s another reason to take interest: a new book shows not only what a pet can teach us, but what the pet can teach people about other people. And, if that’s not enough, it shows how the interactions of humans and animals throughout history can shape our own actions, be it moral, ethical or otherwise.

Rud_photo02The book is called The Educational Significance of Human and Non-Human Animal Interactions: Blurring the Species Line. and it edited by our own A.G. Rud, distinguished professor in the College of Education, along with Suzanne Rice, professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Kansas.

The book contains chapters from scholars from across the country and an array of disciplines to examine the intersection of humans and animals. The topic is on the rise in education and the WSU College of Education has been involved in research on our campus

The book contains three sections exploring human animal interactions from various perspectives. One of them includes examining several K-12 educational practices in which animals play a role. That includes showing how animals serve as teachers to humans, and how animals have characteristics formerly thought to be only the domain of humans.

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WSU alumni are teacher of the year finalists

By Kyla Emme

Two WSU education alumni have been chosen as regional finalists for the 2017 Washington Teacher of the Year Award. Jose Corona, a third grade teacher at Kirkwood Elementary School, completed the WSU teacher prep program in 1995. He was the regional finalist for ESD 105. Kendra Yamamoto, a preschool teacher at Martin Luther King Elementary School and teacher mentor for Vancouver Public Schools, completed her ESL endorsement at WSU Vancouver. She was the ESD 112 regional finalist.

This year, eight regional finalists had been chosen for this award, but only one has received the honorary distinction of “Teacher of the Year.” This honoree will now represent Washington as its nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

All regional finalists have gotten the opportunity to share their teaching stories with legislators and educational leaders. They also have been provided with the opportunity to go around the state and share their expertise with the community and up-and-coming teachers. There are cash awards and other prizes given for their achievements also.

Kendra received a “full-ride” scholarship for her endorsement that stemmed from a grant of WSU Vancouver’s Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit. “TEAMS is a 1.3 million funded program by the US DOE,” Ernst-Slavit explained, “it’s designed to prepare practicing teachers and school administrators to work with ELLs in Southwest Washington.”

Since graduating from WSU, Jose has spent his 20 years of teaching at Kirkwood Elementary School. This school was no random choice, though, as he grew up in Toppenish and felt the need to go back.

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