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Award Will Boost EMU Faculty Research Project

Posted on February 16th, 2005

Cathy Smeltzer Erb
Cathy Smeltzer Erb, associate professor of teacher education

A member of the teacher education department faculty will receive a national award that will help her continue a research project on the emotional dynamics of beginning teachers.

Cathy Smeltzer Erb, an associate professor of teacher education, will receive the 2004 "Scholar Award" from The Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) at the organization’s annual meeting Feb. 20 in Washington, D.C. EMU is one of more than 200 member institutions.

The award is given annually to a faculty member at an AILACTE institution in his or her first five years of appointment as a full-time faculty member to conduct research related to the impact of teacher preparation at AILACTE- member schools.

Dr. Smeltzer Erb’s research is examining the relationship between the highly emotional context of beginning (student) teachers at AILACTE institutions and the moral and ethical decisions of beginning teachers as they learn to teach.

Cathy Smeltzer Erb receives award
Cathy Smeltzer Erb, associate professor of teacher education receives the AILACTE award.

"I’m pleased to be honored in this way," Smeltzer Erb said of the award. "My current research ties in well with my doctoral work, ‘Realms of Beginning Teachers’ Emotional Experiences,’ which suggested that emotional knowledge is an important dimension of teacher development in the early years of teaching.

"The implications of this study relate well to AILACTE’s mission, ‘to focus teacher education on the moral dimensions of schooling and education’ and to the purpose of promoting quality teacher education," she added.

Smeltzer Erb received a Ph.D. degree in curriculum, teaching and learning from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the EMU faculty in 2002, she was a family studies teacher and guidance counselor for more than 15 years in private and public middle and secondary schools in Ontario, Canada.

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