Educators’ First Book Wins Award

Pat Clark and Eva Zygumnt

Pat Clark (left) and Eva Zygmunt

Patricia Clark and Eva Zygmunt, PhD ’03, knew Schools Within the Context of Community (SCC) was a story that would resonate with other educators. SCC, begun in 2009, is an immersive, community-engaged teacher preparation program that places candidates in the community for a full semester of integrated coursework. In addition to classroom work, the teacher candidates work with community mentors to better understand the scope and depth of neighborhoods and the families who live there.

“I just remember feeling like this is a great story of true university, school and community collaboration,” said Zygmunt. “And that story would honor the children and the generosity of the community who has invested in the development of future teachers.”

So the pair penned “Transforming Teacher Education for Social Justice.” The book outlines how to prepare culturally responsive teachers. It shares success stories from the first six years of SCC, during which Ball State students not only taught in Muncie schools but were matched with mentor families who invited them to local and family events to participate in the community.

“It was a lot of reflecting. It was really joyful though,” said Zygmunt.

The book was published in 2016 but Clark and Zygmunt continue to receive accolades for it, most recently the 2017 Outstanding Book Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

Both professors say they’re pleased other universities are using the text to create a similar model in their communities. Widener University outside Philadelphia has replicated the SCC program, and the University of Minnesota invited Clark and Zygmunt to speak on campus. Representatives from 15 universities from across the country came to Ball State in May for an institute on the SCC program, with the book a centerpiece of their attention.

A photo of two booksAbout Eva Zygmunt

Position: Professor of elementary education; joined Ball State faculty in 2003.

Favorite books: “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and “I Won’t Learn from You” by Herbert Kohl

Leisure reading: memoirs, reflections, and books about her specialty, education

A photo of two booksAbout Patricia Clark

Position: Chairperson of the Department of Elementary Education; joined Ball State faculty in 1993.

Favorite books: “Ordinary Resurrections” by Jonathan Kozol and “Ways with Words” by Shirley Brice Heath

Leisure reading: fiction, particularly science fiction and young adult