My core teaching priority is to create a positive, affirming learning space where students’ identities are recognized and celebrated. My research and experiences in the classroom thus far have taught me that when students feel like they belong, they feel safe to engage fully in the classroom. The universal design for learning framework (Gordon, Meyer & Rose, 2014) undergirds my curriculum. I provide multiple means of presenting the content, multiple ways for students to express what they know, and multiple forms of engagement. Notably, I have taught Human Growth and Development for Early and Elementary Education to almost 300 pre-service teachers.
Human Growth & Development for Early Childhood & Elementary Education
In this professional education course for education majors and/or licensed practitioners, students learn about developmental theories and issues relevant to their future early childhood and elementary education classrooms. Specifically, students study biological, cognitive, and social development, with application to life in the family, school, community, and broader social context!
Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
1) understand how children learn and develop,
2) recognize that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and
3) design and implement developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences
Teaching Publications and Resources:
Advanced Adolescent Development
The major goal of this asynchronous advanced adolescent development course is to increase students' understanding of developmental theories and issues relevant to contemporary adolescent development and education. Specifically, we study biological, cognitive, and social development from the beginning of puberty through the transition into early adulthood. This applied developmental science course emphasizes current research, policy, and practices in adolescent development! (Dr. Mims was formerly Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration and loves research, policy, and practice!) Using an ecological approach that emphasizes that #ContextMatters, we explore the uniqueness of the adolescence stage, important trends, theoretical perspectives, key findings, and perspectives from adolescents on the challenges and triumphs of being an adolescent in contemporary society. Through this course, we reimagine adolescence as an age of opportunity.
By the end of the course, students should be able to complete the following Student Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the social construction of adolescence and identify the key features of the developmental period (What are the major biological, cognitive, social, and emotional changes in adolescence?)
2. Describe and explain how gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other social identities influence adolescent development (How do multiple and intersecting identities influence development?)
3. Apply the scientific knowledge of adolescent development to the “multiple worlds” where adolescents learn and develop #ContextMatters (How do the interrelationships between students’ family, peer, and school worlds combine to affect students’ engagement with schools?)
4. Appraise how the current major research issues and findings related to adolescent development can be applied to make teaching and learning more impactful (How do we design research, policy, and programming?)
5. Effectively communicate science to various groups who can support adolescents, including policymakers and the public (How do we translate complex scientific language into accessible and understandable language for a variety of audiences?)
***As the course instructor, I retain the rights to all course content. Students may not reproduce, distribute, or publicly post course materials without permission. Students also may not record classes without explicit permission to do so. Selling or distributing course materials may violate the Ball State Code of Contact and/or The Information Technology Users' Privileges and Responsibilities Policy.