PULLMAN — Associate Professor Dawn Shinew, who coordinated changes in the way WSU education majors are prepared for classroom teaching, has been honored with the 2007 Washington Award for Excellence in Teacher Preparation.
Shinew accepted the award, which comes with a $2,500 professional development grant, from the Professional Educator Standards Board at its Jan. 16 meeting.
She was accompanied by Corinne Mantle-Bromley, chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning, who noted that this is the third time that the award has gone to a WSU College of Education faculty member.
Previous winners include Professors Darcy Miller and Christine Sodorff.
Shinew has coordinated the elementary education program for six of her nine years at WSU. Under her leadership, the program doubled the number of hours pre-service teachers spend in classrooms by including a quality field experience each semester.
She also reorganized the program into three “blocks” of courses, which allowed faculty to collaborate on assignments and experiences, as well as model the importance of integrated curriculum and instruction.
Shinew is also responsible of developing new ways to assess students’ professional dispositions, which are the standards that underpin a teacher’s work. In 2006, the program was recognized with the Best Practice Award in Professional Ethics and Moral Dispositions, given by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
To ensure pre-service teachers’ voices are heard, Shinew formed an Elementary Education Student Advisory Board, comprised of student representatives elected by their peers which she meets with regularly.
Shinew is an active member in the community where she assists with the Chess Club, Teacher Appreciation Day at a local elementary school, and serves as a liaison between the WSU College of Education and the university Children’s Center.
Shinew’s most recent research has been  published in the journal “Action in Teacher Education.” Her work was also recently highlighted in the book “Social Studies: The Next Generation.”
She also co-edited a book on integrating information literacy in teacher education programs. Another book, co-authored with former student Deborah Thomas Jones, is in press and explores the experiences of adolescent youth with lesbian parents.