Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
Eilene's research and teaching biography and philosophy revolve around the concepts of comprehension and accessibility, each from the interpersonal and content perspective. In terms of comprehension, the learning process by which students grasp concepts and fully understanding the content, occurs through different instructional methods that help students relate new ideas to their prior knowledge. It is gratifying to witness the process of learning with students, seeing their moments of discovery and understanding, especially with students who might think it too difficult. In addition, her six years of higher education teaching has enabled her to share my professional experiences directly with students, providing examples that are relevant and practical applications of what they are learning. Comprehension of content is also important because a strong foundation of knowledge is essential, especially in statistics. A personal example of this approach to teaching and learning is a time in graduate school when we computed the t-test (amongst other statistical procedures) by hand. Today she fully appreciates how this process in itself is critical to fully understanding the statistic, rather than simply relying on the results generated by a computer program. In research, it is critical to develop solid working relationships with stakeholders to differentiate their research needs from requirements as an organization. In these partnerships different types of analyses, sound methodology, and clear communication of the results can be achieved, especially in cases where results are targeted to a varied audience.
In regard to accessibility, she continues to work toward my professional goal of making data and its analysis available and meaningful for different audiences by translating this principle to my teaching. Understanding data can be overwhelming for some and it is rewarding for her to help students bring data and analysis to a useable form, to demystify it, make it accessible and valuable. Lastly, she is a strong supporter of open communication between teacher and student, being available for students in support of their learning. She believes in differentiated instruction and meeting students at their level to maximize their potential and further their learning. In regards to research, the practical application of scientific inquiry in partnership with stakeholders is critical. The ability to partner with a broad range of stakeholders including teachers, principals, administrators, parents, external partners and the general public is essential.