Literacy preparation is enhanced by the time spent in clinical settings. Students from the New York City campus have become acquainted with the teachers and Administration of The Benjamin Franklin School (PS 157) in Brooklyn, NY as a result of school visits. Each term, Dr. White and her students make it a priority to spend time in the field to observe and discuss literacy practices in a highly effective urban school setting. In both the Spring and Fall Terms, students enrolled in Literacy I and Literacy III spent the day with Principal Maribel Torres; Assistant Principal Juliana Notaro; and the school's Literacy Coach, Mrs. Morales. The students enter each classroom and are able to observe students during the morning literacy block. During that time the students are able to review curriculum materials, speak with the teacher and students, and make note of important factors which contribute to the development of literacy skills in a challenging, urban, learning environment. Afterwards, the students are invited to Mrs. Morales' Literacy Lab to investigate curriculum materials, ask questions, speak with the literacy coach and principal about their observations, and be debriefed. The school's diverse population and literacy program provides Nyack students with a clinical setting which exemplifies the best practices of highly trained and effective teachers in their classrooms. The same group will be returning in Spring 2011 when they are enrolled in Literacy III. At that time the Literacy Coach will provide Nyack students with a workshop on RTI (Response to Intervention) and how it is applied in an actual classroom learning environment.
The Nyack College School of Education NYC students are still discussing a visit from educator, researcher, journal editor, and scholar, Dr. Hefer Bembenutty. Recently returning from a trip to speak at the University of Oslo, in Norway, Dr. Bembenutty introduced Nyack educational psychology students to social cognitive theories, specifically self-regulation and self-efficacy. He used the figures of Spiderman and Dr. Octopus as characters to demonstrate self-regulation and self-efficacy in practice.
Seniors were invited to a lunch with Dr. Bembenutty, Dr. White and Professor Velez. In a very relaxed atmosphere, Dr. Bembenutty shared his own educational experiences and the methods he utilized to navigate the very challenging arena of the English Language Learner in College and University settings. His philosophy of teaching and learning provided our seniors with realistic and valuable tools for present and future planning.
Dr. Bembenutty is an assistant professor in Educational Psychology at Queens College of The City University of New York in the Department of Secondary and Youth Services; He also serves as the department chair of the Assessment Committee. In addition to having many articles published in professional journals, he has most recently served as guest editor of the Journal of Advanced Academics.Additional information about his publications can be found at: http://www.heferbembenutty.com/news.html. Twice a year Dr, Bembenutty travels to the University of Michigan where he is a visiting scholar.
Lastly, Dr. Bembenutty has been supportive of the research studies conducted by the NYC Faculty. His guidance and input have assisted the department as we strive to become even stronger in our research based and pursue scholarship. It was at his recommendation that Dr. White was invited to participate in a Scholarly Symposium at the American Educational Researchers Association in April of 2011.