Judith Herb College of Education

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UToledo Rocket Talk-Teacher Shortage

Recently aired on WGTE, Rocket Talk focused on the current teacher shortage, and the preparation of teachers. Guests on this episode are from the Judith Herb College of Education.

Most school-aged children are back in class after semesters of virtual or hybrid learning due to the pandemic. But some people didn’t return. Assistant Professor of Science Education, Dr. Natasha Hillsman Johnson, and chair of the Department of Educational Studies, Dr. Edward Janak, discuss the nation-wide teacher shortage.

Click below to view the episode:

UToledo Rocket Talk – Teacher Shortage

“United with Ukraine” Student Rally Support – JHCOE faculty to speak

United with Ukraine

Date: Thursday, March 3
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Thompson Student Union Auditorium

Free “United with Ukraine” T-shirts will be given out to first 200 students.

The Toledo Helps Ukraine rally starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Attendees, who are encouraged to make signs, will then march to the Law Center.



Svetlana Beltyukova, PhD, is a Professor in Research and Measurement at the Judith Herb College of Education. Her passion and expertise are in the development of meaningful assessments and measurement of perceptions. Some of her most prominent projects include development of a measure of passenger experience for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and development of measures of perceptions of NATO in Asia-Pacific countries and perceptions of EU in Israel and Ukraine.



My name is Alona Matchenko and I am a business owner, a resident of northwest Ohio, a student at the University of Toledo College of Law, and a native of Ukraine. I am married to Jesse Smith and we have a four year old daughter named Jasmine. My husband and I own a residential care business in Perrysburg.


I earned a bachelors in education and two masters degrees in Ukraine and was a primary school teacher in Kyiv for six years before coming to the United States in 2016, fleeing the revolution in Ukraine. I am a 2L at the College of Law with a desire to work in government.


Currently my entire extended family including Mother, Step father and two minor siblings remain under fire in Ukraine. I will continue to actively engage with the Toledo community to build support and aid for Ukraine.



Professor Natalia Chaban focuses her interdisciplinary research on political and media discourses, image and perceptions studies within the EU and IR contexts, and public diplomacy and political communication. She is a twice awarded Jean Monnet Chair, President of Ukrainian Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, co-editor of the peer-reviewed “Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies” and leader of a number of transnational research projects supported by the European Commission and NATO.



My name is Tetyana Fedorova-McGowan, I was born and raised in Lviv, Ukraine. I moved to the US in 2008. I am married to Brandon McGowan and we have two beautiful children, Valentine, 10 and Petra, 7. Currently I am Vascular Sonography student at Owens Community College.


In Ukraine I received bachelor’s and master’s degree in Apllied Linguistic and shortly after graduation I moved to USA. My parents and grandparents still live in Ukraine. Before the pandemic my family and I traveled to Ukraine. It was our first time going all together. It

was one of the best experiences for my husband, kids and of course me.


Russian aggression against Ukraine is very heartbreaking. We are here far away from home and our families feeling hopeless, but we are doing our best to spread the word, build support and aid Ukraine



We are looking to increase our pool of supervisors for our teacher candidates. Do you know someone who could be a good mentor for young teachers?

Supervisors play an important role in the development of the next generation of educators. By making classroom visits to observe student teachers, supervisors have a great opportunity to support, guide, and assist future teachers.


• Minimum three years teaching experience

• Master’s degree in field, preferred

• Minimum technology skills

Benefits of being a supervisor:

• Staying connected to the field of education

• Flexible schedule

• Stipend and mileage reimbursement

For additional information, contact:

Melissa Stewart, Coordinator of Student Field Experiences

UToledo’s Judith Herb College of Education





Student Vlog: Tips for new semester

In her UToledo Students Vlog, Taiyah Persi-Roberts, a junior middle childhood education major from Pittsburgh, shares tips for getting the most out of the new semester including not feeling overwhelmed.

Nice work Taiyah!

Follow the link below to view:


Event Invitation – The Future of Education: Divisive Concepts in the Classroom

Students in the Judith Herb College of Education course titled Schooling and Democratic Society are hosting a town hall about Ohio House bills 322 and 327 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, in Health and Human Services Building Room 1600 on Main Campus. Free parking is available for the event only in lots 1N and 1S.

The event, titled “The Future of Education: Divisive Concepts in the Classroom” and sponsored by the UToledo Department of Educational Studies, will begin with an overview of the bills and a working definition of “divisive.” A panel of speakers will lay out issues, and participants will be invited to voice or submit questions and short statements. The list of panelists is being finalized.

To attend the Dec. 8 event virtually, preregister via Webex.

FREE TO TALK: An Interactive Conversation About Mental Health

FREE TO TALK: An Interactive Conversation About Mental Health

November 9, 2021
7-8 p.m
Collier Building Room 1200 (Health Science Campus)

Dr. Spann – Distinguished Alumni Winner

Congratulations to Dr. Sammy Spann (PhD ’09), the Judith Herb College of Education’s Distinguished Alumni winner. Dr. Spann was recognized at the UToledo Homecoming Gala on Oct. 8, 2021.


Aside from UToledo’s president, Dr. Sammy Spann may be the most popular name on campus in the eyes of students. As associate Vice President and dean of students, Spann has unparalleled experience with the university. First starting as an employee of UToledo in 2002, Spann now offers leadership, administrative oversight and support to the Division of Student Affairs and several other offices.

Yippee Sammy!


The Judith Herb College of Education has recently been awarded a grant from the Ohio’s Dean Compact.

The project, entitled Launching Educators for All Learners: UToledo’s Dual License Initiative, will redesign the University of Toledo’s successful graduate-level licensure programs for middle childhood education and adolescent and young adult education. The outcome of this work will result in inclusive graduate-level teacher preparation programs which prepare educators to meet the needs of all learners, particularly those with diverse learning needs. The revised programs will be grounded in culturally responsive practices and leads to dual licensure (e.g., middle childhood education + 4-9 intervention specialist; adolescent young adult education + 7-12 intervention specialist) and a Master of Education.

The two year project is in collaboration with school partners Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools. The co-principal investigators are Richard Welsch, Jenny Denyer, and Rebecca Schneider.

Program redesign is an exciting opportunity to ensure further Rocket educators are well prepared for launching their careers as educators.


Best Wishes Student Teachers

Best wishes to our Fall 2021 student teachers!  The candidates began the semester with a day of professional development and learning on campus.  These bright candidates are eager to begin teaching and making an impact on young learners.  Have a wonderful semester!

Special thanks to all of our partner schools for mentoring the next generation of #RocketEducators

Study Shows Motivation is Key for Teachers to Overcome Racial Bias in Classroom

Study Shows Motivation is Key for Teachers to Overcome Racial Bias in Classroom

New research focused on college students training to become K-12 teachers emphasizes the need to recruit and enroll more diverse students in teacher education programs.

The study about culturally inclusive teaching published in the journal Learning and Instructionshows the motivation to appear unprejudiced alone does not result in a positive and meaningful change in teachers’ classroom-related beliefs and instructional practices.

For this to happen, it is important that teachers are also motivated to be unprejudiced — that is, to act in an unprejudiced way because it is personally important to them as opposed to acting unprejudiced because it is the politically correct thing to do or they feel pressured by others.

“All of us carry biases — it’s natural because we’re human,” said Dr. Revathy Kumar, professor of educational psychology in The University of Toledo Judith Herb College of Education. “What we do about our awareness of those biases makes a difference to our students, their comfort in the classroom, their academic efficacy, self-esteem and academic performance. It is vital for teachers to be motivated to be genuinely unprejudiced to overcome racial bias and create an inclusive learning environment.”

The study found that pre-service teachers’ genuine desire to be unprejudiced was positively associated with their endorsement of culturally and motivationally supportive instructional practices. A genuine desire to be unprejudiced also was negatively associated with expressions of explicit bias toward minority students.

The study also shows that the positive impact of being motivated to be unprejudiced — the preservice teachers’ commitment to promoting respect in the classroom and adapting instructions for culturally diverse students — gets amplified if the teacher-in-training also wants to appear unprejudiced.

“However, just wanting to appear unbiased in the absence of a genuine desire to be unbiased is insufficient,” Kumar said. “Every student should feel that he or she belongs, not isolated or alienated. This can only happen if we create culturally inclusive learning environments that are responsive to students’ academic, social and emotional needs. This requires teachers to become aware that they and their students are cultural beings.”

The research adds additional credence to ongoing advocacy efforts proposing that it is essential for Black and other minority students to see members of their community present in the teacher workforce.

The study used a sample of 258 college students studying to become teachers — 82% white, 9.7% Black, 3.1% Latinx, 1.6% Asian American, 0.7% American Indian, 2.7% biracial and 1.6% other.

Findings indicated that white pre-service teachers on average displayed a distinct and significant preference for white students over Black students, whereas minority teachers on average didn’t show preference.

“What is valued in society influences how we think and feel even about our own group,” Kumar said. “Therefore, it is important to note minority pre-service teachers are not insulated from holding bias toward students of color.”

“I would love to follow these same pre-service teachers into the classroom,” Kumar said. “We have all these beliefs and biases, and we have these motivations to be or to appear prejudiced. How are these beliefs and motivations going to translate into classroom behavior? For preservice teachers, most will advance into student teaching, but many still are not in the classrooms when they are taking important pedagogical courses such as educational psychology. They are not yet dealing with real students and students from different groups. They are talking about these issues at an abstract and intellectual level.”

Kumar, who emigrated from India in 1991, studies culturally inclusive teaching, self and identity processes and achievement motivation. She was a high school chemistry teacher before earning her Ph.D. in education and psychology at the University of Michigan and transitioning to teach future educators at the collegiate level.

“There has been a distinct difference in the last two years in the way people are responding to my work,” Kumar said. “People are starting to recognize culturally inclusive teaching as critically important in educational psychology. It’s not easy on our children. There is a social-cultural power dynamic in our educational institutions and definite link between power and knowledge that is valued.”

For teachers, Kumar said the key is to cultivate open-mindedness rather than anti-racist training because “open-mindedness includes a repertoire of intellectual virtues such as intellectual humility, intellectual diligence and intellectual courage. Developing these intellectual virtues enable us to become aware of our biases, have the humility to acknowledge that we hold biases and have the courage and persistence to overcome them.”

written by Christine Billau

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