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Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education

School Highlights

In 1998, the “Education Department” of Bellarmine College was dedicated as a “School of Education” with Dr. Doris Tegart as its founding dean (Dr. Tegart is currently Provost of Bellarmine University). The School of Education was named the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education (AFTSE) on October 31, 2001, after adding a Master of Arts in Education program and a Master of Arts in Teaching program. The AFTSE is one of six (6) schools within the university, including the College of Arts and Sciences, and has the primary authority and responsibility for delivering and operating all initial and advanced professional education programs. The university acknowledges that the preparation of educators is a shared responsibility among all schools, as appropriate, with the College of Arts and Sciences as the primary collaborative partner in teacher training. The AFTSE currently offers 20 programs in educator preparation, including a doctoral program in Education and Social Change as of Summer, 2011.

The AFTSE continues its mission of preparing caring, effective educators in the Catholic liberal arts tradition of Bellarmine University to teach and lead in diverse settings. This mission is further illuminated by the theme of the AFTSE, Educator as Reflective Learner, is the outgrowth of more than ten years of reading, discussing, and reflecting on the philosophy of the unit and its conceptual framework. The AFTSE reaffirmed this theme (May, 2011) based on its recognized consistency with the mission of the institution and with the philosophy of the education faculty and community partners, as well as with the various programs for candidates. The theme, based on Linda Valli’s (1997) five types of reflection (technical, reflection in-and-on action, personalistic, deliberative, and critical) captures the essence of the conceptual framework in that effective educators are called to reflect consistently and systematically on their own practice, as well as mentor and collaborate with their colleagues in reflective practice, in order to advance successful professional learning communities within schools and the broader community.

Events and Awards

2016 KCTE College Teacher of the Year Award

Dr. Dottie Willis was honored as the 2016 College Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Council Teachers of English (KCTE) on February 25 in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Willis, an associate professor at Bellarmine University for the past eight years, was recognized for her lifelong service as a role model and mentor to English Language Arts teachers. Before her work as a teacher of teachers at the college level, Dr. Dottie Willis taught both middle and high school English in the Jefferson County Public Schools, where she was also recognized as the 1992 Secondary Teacher of the Year. As Writing Specialist for the Jefferson County Public Schools from 2002-2007, Dr. Willis created and piloted NPR’s High School This I Believe curriculum, writing lessons that thousands of teachers throughout the nation and abroad have successfully implemented in their classrooms. Dr. Robert Cooter, Dean of the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education, when announcing her award as 2016 KCTE College Teacher of the Year, described the teaching of Dottie Willis both in JCPS and at Bellarmine University as “the stuff of legend.”

Benjamin Self (current MAT – Alternative Certification student) has received kudos from JCPS.

As noted in the JCPS Monday Memo:

Kudos to Academy @ Shawnee teachers Beth Holladay, Ben Self, and Michael Sturgeon. The three led their students to compete in the 2016 Kentucky Space Sci-fi Project, and Shawnee students were honored with a first-place prize for video and an honorable mention. The Warped World transports an unsuspecting student to an alternate universe where he discovers that his friends are all suffering from mind control. This video wowed the judges with its stark black-and-white sequence and some imaginative camera work. Jaguar II tells the story of a failed space launch and the valiant efforts of the new crew, chosen to make a second attempt. The brave crew of the Jaguar II and a team of top cyber detectives scramble to find an evil programmer before he crashes their new spacecraft. Jaguar II was recognized for its overall quality and storyline. The two Shawnee teams will share more than $400 worth of iTunes gift cards for their videos. Each seven- to ten-minute video was graded on creativity, production quality, how much the piece caused the audience to think, and overall awesomeness. The two movies, The Warped World and Jaguar II can be viewed here. The Kentucky Space Sci-fi Project is sponsored by DATASEAM. Middle and high school students are invited to create a movie, original piece of art, or written piece of science fiction.

Joe Patzelt presents at ACPA Conference

Our very own Joe Patzelt, student-athlete and future middle school MATH teacher, recently traveled to Montreal to present at the ACPA conference.

Click here for information about this conference as well as the great response received from his presentation.

Dr. Sarah Bush, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education and Assistant Dean for Assessment and Accreditation, is proud to be his advisor.

Bellarmine helps get students in poverty reading on grade level

From WLKY, Louisville, KY. – Bellarmine University is calling it an educational breakthrough with possible national implications.

The school partnered with JCPS to get students in poverty reading on grade level.

Just a few months ago, 6-year-old Diamond struggled with completing words.

Diamond is one of several Jacob Elementary students who have made progress under the new Bellarmine literacy project designed to get all students reading on grade level by third grade... (Read full article here)

Bellarmine School of Education Graduate Wins the WHAS-TV ExCel Award


Dr. Kristin Cook

IMG_2395Dr. Kristin Cook is avidly involved with S.T.E.M. - focused school reform. Her research focuses on engaging students and pre-service teachers through the exploration of scientific inquiry. At Bellarmine University, she teaches Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Science Methods, School Health, Nutrition, and Physical Education.

Dr. Cook has brought students to the Science Center to observe problem-based informal S.T.E.M. learning in action. She also invited the Science Center to partner on a recently awarded grant from the Federal Department of Education to launch Louisville’s first S.T.E.A.M. Academy.

She embodies the practice and spirit of an Ambassador of Science Literacy and we are grateful for her continued, enthusiastic partnership.

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