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Event honoring IU School of Education professor emeritus to focus on exemplary teachers, schools



INDIANAPOLIS — Educators will discuss success in the face of high-stakes testing and accountability in the inaugural Michael R. Cohen Lecture on Meaning and Motivation in Education.

The lecture, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at the IUPUI Campus Center Theater, will feature a panel of educators from across Indianapolis and a faculty member in the IU School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis who works closely with local schools. The theme of the discussion is “Courageous Teachers/Extraordinary Schools: A Conversation About Educational Possibilities.”

The Cohen Lecture honors professor emeritus in science education Michael Cohen, faculty member at the School of Education from 1968 to 2003. Cohen was selected in 1984 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed upon members by their peers in recognition of meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. He wrote an influential elementary school textbook called “Discover Science,” and his research has focused on children and adults’ concepts and misconceptions of science and the environment.

“Dr. Cohen devoted his professional career to discovery and the pursuit of outstanding educational practices,” said Pat Rogan, executive associate dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI. “It is truly fitting to honor his legacy through this annual lectureship that recognizes local educators who exemplify extraordinary practices.”

Cohen has also been very involved with Indianapolis Public Schools’ Key Learning Community, a K-12 magnet school focused on developing student strengths. Two original Key Learning Community leaders, Kathleen Sahm and Hazel Tribble, will share their thoughts about how schools can help students learn in a time when testing and new accountability standards are challenging practices.

Sahm, a Key Learning Community co-founder now teaching kindergarten at Brookside Elementary, helped develop the Key curriculum; she has also consulted with schools and districts about curriculum, classroom management and other education issues over the past 25 years. Tribble, an original Key teacher, has retired after an award-winning, 43-year career that earned her grants and awards from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the National Science Foundation, the Eli Lilly Foundation and the Eisenhower Science Grant. A 1975 master’s graduate, she earned the IU School of Education’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.

Joining Tribble and Sahm on the panel will be Rick Crosslin, the district science coach at the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. Crosslin is a winner of the Milken National Educator Award and a 2004 IU School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award recipient who has earned honors not only for developing science curriculum but for a science television program “Indiana Expeditions.” His show focuses particularly on demonstrating the way real impact science has on everyday life. He is also the school liaison for science learning at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Monica Medina, senior clinical lecturer at the IU School of Education at IUPUI and associate director of the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education, will speak about her experiences working directly with schools in Indianapolis. Medina has worked extensively in the area of school and community relationships and particularly the operations of full-service community schools. She has led School of Education involvement in the George Washington Community School, where she guides pre-service teachers from IUPUI who work directly with students in the classroom.

Medina teaches most of her courses in schools or community centers as a way to expand multicultural education by creating experiences for genuine encounters among students, teachers, community leaders and culturally diverse families. For her efforts, she earned the Indiana Latina Educator of the Year award from the Indiana Latino Expo in 2013.

There is no admission for the event, but organizers ask attendees to RSVP online. A reception before the panel discussion begins at 5:30 p.m.