Back-to-school experts available on teacher shortages, digital learning, more | CU Boulder today


This week, students in the Boulder Valley School District are expected to return to their classrooms for a new school year, with Denver Public School students scheduled to follow on August 23. Experts from across CU Boulder are available to discuss the challenges K-12 schools in Colorado and beyond will face over the coming year – from youth mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic teacher shortages affecting many school districts.

Learn more about what CU Boulder researchers are learning about K-12 education during a pandemic.

Attrition and teacher shortage

Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education, can discuss the effects of the pandemic and other factors on teacher shortages in Colorado and across the country. She studies how principals and teachers can work together to build trust and create caring and compassionate learning environments.

Standardized test

Derek Briggs, professor at the School of Education and chairman of the National Council on Measurement in Education, can speak to the number of colleges and universities that have eliminated application requirements for standardized tests, such as ACT and SAT, during the COVID-19 pandemic. His research focuses on the advancement of methods of measuring and evaluating student learning.

Trauma and health in the classroom

Julia Zigarelli, Associate Director of the Renée Crown Wellness Institute at CU Boulder, is a licensed clinical psychologist who studies trauma and anxiety in children. She is available to discuss how schools can recognize and address student mental health during a difficult time for young people across the country.

Elizabeth Dutro, a literacy teacher at the School of Education, examines how trauma works in classrooms. She can discuss strategies to address trauma in schools, including the upheavals children faced during the pandemic.

Digital learning

José Ramón Lizárraga, assistant professor in the School of Education, studies the role of social networks, television and other digital media in learning. They can discuss the role digital tools play in classrooms at the start of the new school year.

School movement without police

Kathryn Wiley, a faculty member at the School of Education, studies racial disparities in education, school discipline, and police policy. She can explain the “Policeless Schools” movement, its history, and the many recent changes in discipline policies in school districts in Colorado and across the country.

Teaching about climate change

CU Boulder researchers Kelsey Tayne and Dan Liston will host a webinar series starting August 24 that will explore the challenges of teaching climate change in schools. The events will examine how teachers can approach this topic in a way that supports the emotional experiences of young people.

Learn more about the webinar series

Kelsey Tayne, an environmental educator who recently received her PhD from CU Boulder, can talk about how young people are participating in global action on climate change and how educators can design learning spaces to support action.

Dan Liston, Emeritus Professor of Education, can discuss the importance of recognizing the emotional experiences of students and teachers in the classroom.

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