School of Education News

Cap Times reports on Rural Education Research and Implementation Center's 'Teacher Speakout!'

December 06, 2019

In a recent article, The Capital Times newspaper put the spotlight on UW-Madison’s Rural Education Research and Implementation Center (RERIC), which is housed within the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). 

For their third annual "Teacher Speakout!" event, RERIC hosted 19 teachers from rural Wisconsin districts at UW-Madison.

Now the assistant director of RERIC, Jennifer Seelig attended the first-ever Teacher Speakout!. 

RERIC logo“Centering teachers’ voices would be an effective way to engage them with research we’re already doing at WCER, as well as interest researchers in connecting with teachers,” Seeling said to The Capital Times on the event’s origins. “Folks often don’t think of rural schools as places to do research.”

Many teachers who attended the event spoke about some of the unique opportunities at rural schools, according to the newspaper. Science and math teacher Jessica Dennis, who teaches in Washington Island, incorporates the natural features around the district in her lesson plans. 

Jacob Roberts, another science instructor, teaches in the Pecatonica Area School District. Roberts also takes advantage of the area’s natural features in his lesson plans, referencing the Pecatonica River during lessons on broader topics, like climate change.

During the panel, which was moderated by Seelig, teachers discussed questions about higher education, including how universities can better engage teachers in grant proposals. Many teachers brought fruitful suggestions to the table — such as removing barriers like transportation when hosting events, or providing resources to help teachers sort through grant opportunities. 

Though there are many researchers on campus interested in rural parts of the state, WCER Director Bob Mathieu believes that RERIC can offer a “place of connection,” so that researchers and teachers across the state can work together more efficiently. 

Read the full Capital Times report via this web page.

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