Dr. Lauren Lunsford, associate professor of education and Dr. Darlene Panvini, professor of biology, were recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) for their project, “Untold Stories: Using Informational Texts to Expand Content Knowledge in ELA, Math, and Science while Facilitating a Respectful Culture in the Classroom.”
The duo will work with other Belmont faculty members including Dr. Sally Barton-Arwood of Education, Dr. Kimberlee Entsminger of Chemistry, Dr. Bonnie Smith-Whitehouse of English, Ms. Kate McGowan of Education and Dr. Ryan Fox of Mathematics. Drs. Jesse Register and Alan Coverstone, Education, will serve as consultants to the project. This is the third time Lunsford and Panvini have received funding from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to hold this workshop.
The project will take place in summer 2017 and will serve approximately 30 secondary teachers across three school districts. The utilization of storytelling and incorporation of nonfiction narratives (e.g., biographies, historical and current events) will strengthen teacher content knowledge and skill within their licensed content areas as well as develop their ability to utilize informational texts in their disciplines.
English, social studies, math and science teachers will work to develop personal learning communities to create interdisciplinary units of study that will incorporate stories to help students master their assigned content and improve their reading skills through the use of informational texts. The incorporation of stories will also allow teachers to bring different voices into the classroom, thus promoting a culture of respect. Teachers will receive 24 hours of workshop instruction on campus at Belmont, with an additional four hours of pre- and four hours of post-workshop instruction, as well as four hours of follow up support.