Thursday, November 29, 2007
Student and professor published by national organization
By Dawn Pauli, staff writer
An Oakland University professor and student’s collaboration on a second grade social studies lesson was recently published by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS), the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education.
Donna Shaba (SEHS ’05) was required to teach a social studies lesson when student teaching in a second grade classroom during her senior year at Oakland. Working with her professor, Carolyn O’Mahony, the pair developed a lesson plan that centered on using the Internet as a tool to teach about Teddy Roosevelt and his policymaking.
“I didn’t want to lecture to the kids, I wanted to create a lesson plan that would get their attention,” said Shaba, who has enjoyed technology since her dad purchased her first computer when she was young. “They’re into video games. I wanted to do a lesson that requires technology.”
The lesson was to focus on President’s Day, so Shaba and O’Mahony considered which president would be most interesting to children. “We thought about Teddy Roosevelt, and how he started the national parks – it’s a natural fit for kids,” said O’Mahony. “And, there’s the origin of teddy bear, too.”
The lesson was well received by children, and it was shared with fellow teachers at Morse Elementary School, in the Troy School District.
O’Mahony submitted the project when the NCSS put out a call for lesson plans using technology. “I thought this would fit nicely, with the technology pieces and the Web sites,” she said.
“It’s very exciting to have something published,” said Shaba, a Troy resident, who is currently working in the banking industry. “My career has taken a twist and I’m hoping to have a career in IT. Because of the project and my love of technology, I am inspired to try IT.”
The recognition in the publication underscores the success of Oakland University’s Education Department, which was ranked first in Michigan when examined by the Michigan Department of Education earlier this year.
“This shows that our teachers are doing some cutting-edge work,” said O’Mahony. “I strongly believe that undergraduate students have a lot more to offer teachers and schools than is often recognized. The expert and novice comparison is always made. But the energy, enthusiasm and knowledge these students have is marvelous.”