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Diana L. Beck

Professor and Co-Chair of Educational Studies

Diana Beck
Contact
309-341-7321
dbeck@knox.edu

General Interests
"Places of education should not be places for unchanging dogma or static ways of doing things. What we know about teaching and learning continues to change, as do our ideas of what constitutes a good education for individuals and how that education can further the public "good." This results in a continuing search for that which is best in pedagogy, content knowledge and social action. Translating the results of that search, the ideals, into programs of action, speaks to what I try to do with my students as well as try to encourage them to do in their future classrooms.

In my classrooms, I cultivate a learning environment that engages my students in vigorous inquiry, actively constructing knowledge, meanings, and understandings. In addition, I teach my students the skills necessary for critically evaluating their own ideas or solutions and making judgments based on those evaluations.

The value of my teaching and the value of the Educational Studies program and, a Knox College education, is shown in the way our Educational Studies students are so readily employed, are so well-perceived by their colleagues and students, and how they so quickly become leaders in the institutions where they are hired.

For the past 13 years or so, I have been researching and teaching on the Navajo Nation Reservation in the Four Corners Area. How does this work inform my teaching? The answer is that while the whole experience extends and enriches me as a person, the intellectual challenges I face as a teacher and a researcher and how I resolve these challenges informs the work I do with students in my classrooms at Knox in direct and indirect although always pertinent ways."

Years at Knox: 1992 to present

Education
Ph.D., Science Education, 1997, University of Illinois.
M.A., Secondary Education & Educational Psychology, 1990, University of Illinois.
B.A., U.S. History and Spanish, 1970, University of Illinois.

Teaching Interests
Psychological foundations of education, adolescent development, alternatives to consumerism, literary and aesthetic experiences in the elementary school, dying and death.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors/Grants
Governing Board member of Navajo Concordia Preparatory Academy, 2008-present.
Reviewer for the NSF-reviewed Trinity University's Science program, Feb. 2010.
Teach in China Program participant, Dec. 2009.
Faculty Representation to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, 2008-2011.
Caterpillar China Project participant, Dec. 2007.
Goulding Scholarship Fund ongoing grant recipient for work on the Navajo Reservation.
Grants received for Learning and the Brain conferences, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Take a Colleague's Class award recipient, 2010.
Discussant at the Athens Institute for Education and Research Symposium on the Environment, 2006 and 2009.
Japan Term participant, 2006.
Global Partners Faculty Development Seminar participant, organized and hosted by Rollins College on Costa Rica: The Search for Sustainability, 2007.
Received Research grants from the Dean of the College for work on Navajo Reservation, 1997-2008.
Instructor and Director, Navajo Nation Summer Science Camp, Atsa Biyaazh Community School, Shiprock, New Mexico. Teacher of elementary science classes and science methods classes for in-service teachers. Grants received from the Ettinger Foundation and the Navajo Nation Rural Systemic Initiative, summers 2001 and 2003.
Co-Director, Sophomore Year Experience Project, funded by a Mellon Grant, 2003-2005.
Campus delegate to the P-Kal Space Utilization Planning Conference, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 2003.
State-Appointed Illinois Delegate to School Improvement, Excellence in Education Conference, Washington, D.C., 2003.
Campus member of the Engaging the Liberal Arts Committee, 2003-2005.
Received Rockefeller monies from Environmental Studies Department for course development, 2003.
ACM Travel Grant to Costa Rica recipient, 2001.
Rotary International University Scholar Fellowship recipient, 2001.
Received two grants for Navajo Nation Summer Science Camp from the Ettinger foundation, 2000 and 2001.
Campus participant in Think Quest's Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers for Technology project, 2000.
University of Illinois Alumni Association Outstanding Student nominee, 1997.
Received Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Teaching Prize, 1997.
Received Knox College Achievement of Excellence Award, 1997.
Attended Midwest Faculty Seminars, University of Chicago, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2012.

Publications
"Literature and Theater, Punishment in." Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L.,  W. Miller, & J. G. Golson (Eds.). The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications (2012).

"Dime Novels, Pulps, Thrillers." Schroth, S.T., Helfer, J.A., Beck, D.L. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America. J.G. Golson (Eds.) Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2012).

"Literature and Theatre. Crime In." Schroth, S.T., Helfer, J.A., Beck, D.L. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2012).

"Literature and Theatre. Police in." Schroth, S.T., Helfer, J.A., Beck, D.L. The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America. W. Miller & J.G. Golson (Eds.) Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2012).

Planning differentiated instruction & assessing results: Teaching to assure each student's success. Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., & Swanson, B. L. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. (2011).

"Environmental Education Debate." Schroth, S.T., Helfer, J.A., Beck, D.L., & Swanson, B. Green Issues and Debates.P. Robbins, H. Schiffman, & J.G. Golson (Eds.) Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2011): 197-205.

"Green Community-Based Learning." Schroth, S.T., Helfer, J.A., Beck, D. L., & Swanson, B. Green Issues and Debates. P. Robbins, H. Schiffman, & J.G. Golson (Eds.) Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2011): 263-268.

Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., & Gonshorek, D. O. Edited by China. K. B. Penuel, M. Statler, & J. G. Golson. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2010.)

Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., & Lanfair, J. K. United States. Edited by K. B. Penuel, M. Statler, & J. G. Golson. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, (2010.)

"Multiple intelligences in action: Undergraduate perspectives on Gardner." Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., Gonshorek, D. O., Witzke, A. N., O'Brien, E. I., Kauffman, C. R., LaRosa, D. M., Carlin, S. E., & Dooley, M. D. Conceptual Foundations 12.2 (2009): 20-21.

"Gifted education in China: A transition toward student-centered instruction." Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., Latshaw, K. M., & Bahr, Z. A. Gifted Education Press Quarterly 23.3 (2009): 2-7.

"The Sophomore-Year Experience Project." Co-authored with M. Willhardt. Report for the ACM Engaging Students in the Liberal Arts Project (2006).

"Quality Teaching: Culturally Appropriate Teaching for Navajo Children." Co-authors Knox professors James Vandergriff and Donna Jurich. The Journal of American Indian Education (2006).

"Playing Games or Learning Science? An Inquiry into Navajo Children's Science Learning." Journal of American Indian Education 43-3 (2004): 41-55.

"Integrating reading and science education: on developing and evaluating WEE science." Co-authored with Anderson, T., West, C., Beck, D., MacDonell, E. & Frisbee, D. Journal of Curriculum Studies 29.6 (1997): 711-733.

"WEE Science--Integrating content area reading and science education." Co-authored with Anderson, T., West, C., Beck, D., MacDonell, E. & Frisbee, D. Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report Series. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1995.

"A text analysis of two pre-secondary school science activities." Co-authored with Anderson, T., Beck, D. & West, C. K. Journal of Curriculum Studies 26. 2 (1994):163-186.

Presentations
"Creating positive personal growth fordiverse gifted learners." Lanfair, J. K., Beck, D. L., & Schroth, S. T. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Gifted Children. New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011.

"Making the Arts Come Alive: Incorporating the Arts across the Curriculum." Schroth, S. T., Helfer, J. A., Beck, D. L., Lanfair, J. K., & Taylor, M. E., Jr. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Gifted Children. New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011.

"Culturally Responsive Teaching: Empowering Navajo Children in the Classroom." Paper, National Association for Multicultural Education, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2010.

"Knox College Icons and Iconoclasts." Poster session, Jefferson Scholars Foundation 2010 Biannual Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2010.

"Teaching on the Navajo Reservation." Beck, D. L., Schroth, S. T., Carlin, S. E., Witzke, A., & LaRosa, D. M. Presentation for the Knox College Board of Trustees, Galesburg, Illinois, 2009.

Discussant and Chair, International Symposium on Environment, Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece, 2006 and 2009.

"Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Theory & Practice Part 1." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: Theory & Practice Part 2." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"An Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model Part 1." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"An Overview of the Parallel Curriculum Model Part 2." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Reading Instruction in American Elementary Schools Part 1." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Reading Instruction in American Elementary Schools Part 2." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Differentiated Instruction-Matching Teaching to Learners Part 1." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Differentiated Instruction-Matching Teaching to Learners Part 2." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Assessment Trends in American K-12 Public Schools Part 1." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"Assessment Trends in American K-12 Public Schools Part 2." Schroth, S. T., & Beck, D. L. Paper presented to the faculty of Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2008.

"A Multigenerational Study of Several Navajos' Educational Experiences: Part I: Policy as Lived Experience." With L. Tsosie. Navajo Studies National Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2008.

"The Sophomore-Year Experience Project." With M. Willhardt. ACM Conference: The Future of the Liberal Arts College, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Campus & Community Involvement
Chair, Educational Studies Department, Knox College 1993-2009, currently co-chair.
Mellon Advisory Group member, 2009-present (now COFR).
Governing Board Navajo Concordia Academy, 2008-2012.
First Year Preceptorial Staff, 2002-2009, 2010-2011.
Executive Committee & IPG, 1998-2000, 2007-2010.
FASCom, 1998-2000, chair, 1999-2000, 2007-2010, chair 2009-2010.
IACUC Committee member 2003-2010.
Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Council, 2007-2010.
Faculty sponsor of students teaching English at Anhui Normal University, 2009.
University of Illinois Extension Council member, 2003-2009.
Teacher Advisory Committee, chair, 1992-2009.
Teacher Liaison Committee, chair, 1992-2009.
Teacher Education Committee, chair, 1992-2009.
Faculty Personnel Committee, 2003-06, chair, 2005-2006.
Social Science Area Director 2004-2006.
Knox County Humane Society Board of Directors and Grant Writer, 2001-2004.
Member, Engaging the Liberal Arts Committee.
Sponsor, Navajo Nation Summer Science Camp, Atsa Biyaazh Community School, Shiprock, N.M., 2001-2003.
Grant Writer for Discovery Depot, 2003.
Living Lands and Waters Advisory Council Member, 2002.
Faculty Secretary, 2001-2002.
Phi Delta Kappa Local Chapter President, 2001-2002.
Faculty Observer to the Board of Trustees, 1998-2001.
Advanced Preceptorial Committee, 1997-1999, chair, 1999-2000.
ACM Urban Education Campus Representative, 1994-1995, 1998, 1999.
Career Services Advisory Committee, 1996-1998.
Student Affairs Committee, 1996-1998.
President's Council on Intercultural Initiatives, 1996-1998.
Teaching Education, editorial review board, 1988-1996.
Editorial Review Board, Center for the Study of Reading, Technical Report Series, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988-1994.
Campus delegate, P-Kal Space Utilization Planning Conference, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Guardian Angels and Prairie Land Animal Welfare Center volunteer.
Red Cross Blood Donor.
Galesburg Community Chorus.
Kappa Delta Pi member.
American Educational Research Association.
International Reading Association.
Illinois Reading Council.
National Association for Multicultural Education.
National Council of Teachers of English.


What Students Say
"I was one of six students privileged to accompany Professor Beck to the Navajo Indian Reservation in the Northeastern part of Arizona where we provided professional development for Navajo teachers, learned about a new culture, and practiced culturally appropriate teaching. This trip--while very enjoyable--has provided me with invaluable experience that has helped me improve my pedagogy already. Professor Beck enjoys her profession, is dedicated to her job and will do everything in her power to help you succeed and offer you extraordinary opportunities."
-Derek LaRosa, Secondary Education and Environmental Studies Major

"Professor Beck is an incredibly dedicated teacher, and that shines through in and out of the classroom. Her classes are never dull, she engages her students in discussion of the subject matter, and how the research we read connects to real-world experiences. Her passion for her subject really influences the students-and the discussions in her classes are often continued outside of the classroom."
-Sarah Carlin, Elementary Education Major and French Minor

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