Dr. Michele Pittard, who is the Chair/Director of Teacher Education, came to Wabash in 2002 as a Lilly Teaching Fellow and visiting assistant professor of Education. She was hired in a tenure track position in 2004 and was awarded tenure in 2010. A proud alumnus of Butler University, she received her undergraduate degree (BA in English) from Butler sometime after the Tony Hinkle era and before the new era of Brad Stephens began. After teaching English for a number of years at Lafayette Jefferson High School, she completed her MS and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Adolescent Literacy from Purdue University. Dr. Pittard and her family (including three very busy teenagers and her husband, Jeff) live in Lafayette. The Pittards enjoy hosting Wabash students for dinner, and when she is not at one of her kids’ athletic events, Dr. Pittard, an avid sports fan, enjoys attending Wabash events.
Over the last 10 years, Dr. Pittard has taught every class in the Education Program but mainly upper-level courses recently, and she continues to work with student teachers every semester. One of her favorite teaching assignments outside of the Education Program is Freshmen Tutorial and in 10 years at Wabash, she has taught five Tutorials: topics range from athletics and education to the role of humor in our lives to the origin of life. Last year, she was a member of the committee that developed the new Enduring Questions course for freshmen and served as one of the first instructors of the course in the Spring, 2011 semester.
Active with and committed to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Pittard’s most recent research projects include: examining the relationship between liberal arts education and teacher preparation and classroom-based research for pre-service teachers. In collaboration with her former colleague in Education, Dr. Deborah Butler, she co-edited and contributed a chapter to a monograph entitled, Liberal arts education and teacher education: A lasting relationship, and co-wrote an article published in MoutainRise, an online journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, entitled, “Creating and supporting mixed-level inquiry communities.”
Because the Education Program recently added middle school licensing programs, Dr. Pittard spent part of her sabbatical (Spring, 2012) teaching and researching how best to teach research skills to low achieving 8th grade social studies students at Tecumseh Junior High School in Lafayette. Her sabbatical was funded through the GLCA's New Directions Initiative and also allowed her to pursue an old dream of writing a young adult novel.
Ph.D, Curriculum and Instruction (Language & Literacy/English Education), Purdue University, 2002
M.S., Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University, 1999
B.A., English, Butler University, 1987
EDU 101 - Introduction to Student Development
EDU 201 - The American High School: A Social History and Philosophy Behind the Current Issues
EDU 202 - Literacy in Middle School Curriculum and Instruction
EDU 302 - Diversity and Multicultural Education in High School Curriculum and Instruction
EDU 330 - Studies in Urban Education
EDU 401 - Content Methods (English Language Arts)
EDU 420/422 - Content Pedagogy Seminar & Student Teaching
“Becoming an Inquiry-Minded Teacher: Are Undergraduate Teacher Candidates Ready for SoTL?” (Oct. 2009). International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Bloomington, IN.
“Journaling as a Tool for Preparing Reflective Practitioners” (Oct. 2008). International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
“A Study on the Relationship between Liberal Arts and Teacher Education” (Feb., 2007). American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Annual Meeting. New York, NY. Session with Deborah Butler and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck.
“Learning from Those Whom We Have Taught: What Five Case Studies of Liberal Arts Educated Teachers Have to Teach Us”(Feb., 2007). The Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. New York, NY. Session with Deborah Butler and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck.
King, C., Gillan, A., Pittard, M., & Peterson-Veatch, R. (2010). “Creating and supporting mixed-level inquiry communities”. MountainRise. Vol.6, No. 1. http://mountainrise.wcu.edu/index.php/MtnRise/issue/current.
Butler, D.A. & Pittard, M. M. (Eds.) (Jan. 2009). Liberal arts education and teacher education: A lasting relationship. Jointly published by: Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education and the Center of Inquiry into the Liberal Arts.
Dickinson, T.S., Butler, D.A., & Pittard, M.M. (2003). Professional development and the middle level school: Tangled threads. In P.G. Andrews & V. A. Anfara, Jr. (Eds.), Leaders for a movement: Professional preparation and development of middle level teachers and administrators. (pp. 99-122). Westerville, OH: National Middle School Association & Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
Pittard, M.M. (2003). Entering the Middle: Key Works for Middle School English Language Arts Teachers and Teacher Educators. English Education, 35(3).
Outstanding Dissertation Award (College of Education, Purdue University, 2002)