College of Education (COE) Associate Professor Jamie Simpson Steele has been named the 2020–2021 Hubert V. Everly Endowed Scholar in Education. As part of the endowment, she will receive $10,000 to support the development of her drama, music, and dance project, Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning: A Digital Library.
Simpson Steele began working with the COE in 2001 as an education associate with Honolulu Theatre for Youth, teaching strategies and conducting classroom demonstrations for cohorts of elementary teacher candidates to integrate drama into the curriculum. Based on this work, the School of Teacher Education (STE) developed a new course called Performing Arts for the Elementary Teacher, and Simpson Steele would go on to become a tenure-line faculty member in ITE.
“The arts have always struggled for curricular existence in schools throughout the United States,” Simpson Steele explained. “Today, empty classrooms and fears of contagion have left arts education more vulnerable than ever. Through the Hubert Everly Endowment, I will have the opportunity to support arts education during this challenging time by building Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning: A Digital Library.”
Components of the project include instructional videos, written instruction, and supporting scholarship for nine performing arts strategies for teaching and learning. The digital library will be organized and published as a website, and all COE faculty will have access to support teacher education.
Simpson Steele says she began to experiment with instructional videos in response to the educational realities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the library will have positive, powerful applications well beyond the pandemic with digital resources to support arts educators now and when face-to-face instruction resumes.
STE Elementary Director Ku‘ulei Serna said, “I am elated that Jamie received this honor. She is not only an exemplary scholar and instructor but an even better performing artist. If you’ve ever experienced Jamie’s fabulous acting or highly entertaining productions, you will understand my excitement of having Jamie develop a digital library of instructional videos for faculty, candidates, and partner schools to access online. I am confident that Jamie’s videos will engage learners and prove to be an excellent online resource that will make the college proud.”
Simpson Steele is the 2018 Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recipient.