SOE News

Peabody Pulse

The Peabody Pulse is a newsletter describing news of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

McDiarmid named to national edTPA board

Dean Bill McDiarmid has been named to the National edTPA Policy Board, which is being established to inform policy and to review edTPA, a teaching performance assessment that provides states, school districts, and teacher preparation programs a common framework for defining and measuring teaching performance. McDiarmid was selected to serve a two-year term on the board. More details about edTPA are available here.


Targeted Reading Intervention listed as 'promising' program

The Targeted Reading Intervention, a professional development program developed by Lynne Vernon-Feagans that trains rural classroom teachers to better help struggling readers in early elementary school via innovative webcam technology, has been listed by two organizations as a “promising” program with evidence that demonstrates its effectiveness. TRI has been listed as “promising” by Blueprints for Health Youth Development, an organization funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and which works to identify prevention and intervention programs that meet strict standards of program effectiveness. TRI’s description on the Blueprints site may be found here. TRI has also been included in a “Programs that Work” list maintained by the Promising Practices Network. The Promising Practices Network, operated by the RAND Corporation, describes itself as “a unique resource that offers credible, research-based information on what works to improve the lives of children and families.” The TRI description on the PPN’s site may be found here.


School of Education faculty included in 20 grant proposals in last seven months

Since September, 20 grant proposals have been submitted that have a School of Education faculty member associated, Judith Meese reports. Fifteen of the 20 submissions were led by a School faculty member. Some are subcontracts and some include our faculty but are not led by them. Some of the proposals are going through other units, such as CDS, Public Policy, Office of Undergraduate Education. However, Meese says, 20 submissions in seven months is a great record.


Kathleen Brown presenting on turning around schools

Kathleen Brown, professor of educational leadership, will present next week a paper entitled "Turning Around Schools in North Carolina" at the annual Eastern Educational Research Association in Florida. The paper looks at efforts to intervene in 30 low-achieving schools in this state. By contrasting the developments in the most improved, moderately improved, and “stuck” schools, researchers were able to reveal both the dynamics of improvement and the main obstacles to change. Identifying these dynamics and obstacles is important as a portion a portion of North Carolina’s $400 million Race to the Top grant is intended to fund efforts to intervene in the lowest-achieving 5 percent of North Carolina’s schools.


LEARN NC’s ‘The Well’ looks at CareerStart

In its most recent post, LEARN NC’s blog ‘The Well’ takes a look at CareerStart, a program that works to infuse career relevance into the core curricula in middle schools. The program is led by Dennis Orthner, a Professor of Social Work and Education. In CareerStart, lessons illustrate course content with applications to future careers, including those in the industries represented in the labor markets in which the schools reside. The Well post is available here.


Jeff Greene co-organizes conference on epistemic cognition

Jeff Greene, associate professor of educational psychology, earlier this month co-organized and facilitated a conference on epistemic cognition in New Brunswick, N.J. Greene and colleague Clark Chinn and received a grant to bring together educational psychologists, philosophers of science, and learning scientists to discuss issues of epistemic cognition during a three-day conference.


LEARN NC assisting in Ferris presentation

LEARN NC will take part in helping present “An Evening with Bill Ferris” on Feb. 15. Ferris is a folklorist and is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History and senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South. He is also a former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ferris toured his home state of Mississippi, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. LEARN NC staff will provide training and support before and during the event, including facilitating on-the-fly questions for Ferris at #LEARNChat beginning that evening at 7 p.m.


LEARN NC co-hosting Native Leaders Symposium

LEARN NC is serving as a co-host of a UNC Native Leaders Symposium on Feb. 21 at the Carolina Club. The event, entitled Discussions on Self-Governance, Sovereignty and Sustaining Vibrant Communities,” is intended to give Carolina students an opportunity to see how modern Indian Nations work, foster dialogue about their challenges and goals, and give tribal leaders an opportunity to discuss issues and develop relationships with other leaders.  The event is free and open to all. It begins at 9:30 a.m., include a free lunch, and ends at 3 p.m. To RSVP for the lunch, send an email to Chelsea Kolander at kolander(AT)


GSA hosting UNC-Duke basketball game viewing party Wednesday

For its February social event, the Graduate Student Association invites you to watch the Tar Heels stomp the Blue Devils on Wednesday. The game is at 9 p.m., but the event starts at 7 p.m. so that attendees can stake out a spot and do some socializing before tipoff. The event will be at the Back Bar/Great Room (overflow space adjoining the Back Bar) at Top of the Hill. Appetizers will be provided by the GSA. RSVP on the SOE GSA Facebook event page or to Hillary Parkhouse at parkhous(AT) if you plan to attend.


GSA organizing service opportunity for Feb. 26

Members of the Graduate Student Association are organizing a service opportunity for Feb. 26 in which members will help TableNC, a local nonprofit that seeks to put healthy food in the hands of children with their Weekend Backpack program. The GSA will be working with their food monitoring team, which will consist of creating the “menu” of food to be delivered for the week; assessing and shelving food supplies and making recommendations of "most needed" items. The work will begin at 5:30 p.m. that day and end at 7:30 p.m. Anyone interested in joining please email Omar Simpson, GSA service chair (simpsono(AT) by Feb. 22. 


TIP: Technology in Peabody

Organize your Twitter feed with
Overwhelmed by Twitter? creates an aesthetically pleasing digital newspaper that pulls from your Twitter feed, as well as other digital feeds – up to 25 feeds. Your paper can follow key search terms, hastags, individuals, and more. Published twice a day, one a day, or once a week, gives you a great and easy way enjoy your Twitter feed.
--TIP from LEARN NC’s ‘Instructify’ blog


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Got news?

Have you got news to share? A new paper published? Make a conference presentation? Win a grant? Do you know of an upcoming SOE event of interest to others? A shoutout, about yourself or someone you know? Send your news to Mike Hobbs at michael_hobbs AT



GSA Beat Dook Party
7 p.m.
Back Bar

Feb. 26
GSA service opportunity
5:30 p.m.