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Press Releases

Thursday, October 15, 1998

Riall Lecture Series Continues November 3--Dr. Heidi Mills

SALISBURY, MD--Dr. Heidi Mills, professor of education at the University of South Carolina, is the featured speaker for the 10th annual Riall Lecture series on Tuesday, November 3. At 7:30 p.m. in Holloway Hall Auditorium on the SSU campus, Mills will present, Sights and Sounds of Inquiry Across Classrooms. She will share insights gleaned from two years of classroom research with remarkable teachers, parents and children at the South Carolina s Center for Inquiry.

With vignettes, samples of children s work and videotapes, she will describe curricula that encourage genuine inquiry; and share stories and strategies that reflect how teachers across grade levels help children to think like readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, artists, musicians and historians. Also, she will focus on the daily rituals that make a difference in creating thoughtful learning environments; examine the role of intentional and systematic kidwatching in making sound instructional decisions; and highlights how teachers use textbooks, children s literature and classroom materials in transformative ways when creating curriculum from an inquiry perspective.

Dr. Mills has a strong and thought-provoking message for teachers at all levels: preschool, elementary, middle, secondary and post-secondary, said Dr. Debra Thatcher, chair of the Riall Lecture Committee in SSU s Department of Education, Heidi challenges all teachers to rethink their perceived constraints on their daily work. After listening to her presentations, teachers are fired up and excited about the possibilities she presents. Mills has devoted her career to collaborative inquiry, working closely with teachers interested in expanding their vision of literacy, inquiry and teacher research. She is most excited about her work at the Center for Inquiry, a demonstration site for holistic, inquiry based instruction.

Mills has spent four years working in Timothy O Keefe s first, second and third grade classrooms. Three books, Mathematics in the Making, Living and Learning Mathematics, and Looking Closely: Exploring the Role of Phonics in One Whole Language Classroom emerged from their classroom research. She also co-edited Portraits of Whole Language Classrooms with Jean Anne Clyde.

On Wednesday, November 4, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. in Caruthers Hall Auditorium at SSU, Mills will lead an interactive session which will extend ideas presented in the Riall lecture. In her session, How Responsive Teaching Reflects Best Practice, Mills will argue for a responsive teaching model that allows teachers to make decisions based on children s needs and interests. This model applies across grade levels, instructional programs and content areas. She will ground her initial stories in a responsive teaching model. Mills believes stories grow out of sharing stories; she will invite others to make the conversation their own by sharing stories, making connections and posing questions.

The Riall Lecture Series is made possible by a general endowment from E. Pauline Riall, former principal of the laboratory school at Salisbury State. Both sessions of the Riall Lecture Series are free and open to the public. For more information or a listing of fall cultural events at Salisbury State contact the SSU Public Relations Office at 410-543-6030.

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