solutions for novice and veteran educational therapists. Also as of 2019, Dr. Kaganoff is still in private practice in Orange County as an educational therapist. She continues delivering conference presentations and serves as a mentor to educational therapists in training. "Retirement is not yet on the horizon, and there are other books to write."
February 5, 2019
One does not always appreciate where one is in the stream of institutional history, until one leaves the stream. So it was with my time at UCI.
In 1985, I was a fairly new Ph.D. who was hired by Rita Peterson to start a reading clinic, and then thrust into an administrative position when Fred Baker, the Assistant Director, decided not to return to the Office of Teacher Education from his sabbatical leave.
Rita kindly explained the responsibilities of Acting Assistant Director of Admissions and Placement, and Lois Deutsch miraculously kept me looking like I knew what I was doing, administratively.
The following are my perceptions of important themes and trends of my seven years in the Office of Teacher Education (OTE), perceptions that I did not necessarily appreciate or recognize at the time. (Looking back has been very helpful.)
The Historical Perspective: The change of leadership from Ken Bailey to Rita Peterson brought a new emphasis on a more research-based approach to education. We did not yet claim that what we did was always "research-based," but that is where things were headed. Brain-based data was just beginning to be important in education, also thanks to Rita Peterson and her co-researchers, and to the emerging field of neuroscience. The OTE program benefited from a steady supply of well-qualified applicants. As a faculty, we could hold our heads high, since we were fortunate to work with the best and the brightest.
The courses offered at this time now had to address multi-cultural concerns, with increased populations of 2nd language speakers and immigrants. The first state-wide requirements in Multicultural Education became a part of teacher education. Technology became a more important focus, with both faculty and students having to learn classroom applications for computers and "devices." I remember a machine in a mysterious room known only to students and Kim Burge that "read" information off a very large disc that contained "knowledge" and projected it on a screen. Kim Burge was extremely helpful to us all.
There was a strong emphasis on out-reach to the schools and the greater community, as UCI grew in strength, including such programs as the UCI Writing Project, which brought many young students to campus during the summer.
This was a time of aspirations for the "Office of Teacher Education" to become a Department, to be less marginalized and no longer viewed as merely "vocational."
Personal Benefits: As I think more about my time at UCI, I realize once again how important my job there was to my own professional development. OTE Director Rita Peterson was a strong motivating force regarding our in-house Staff Development. The constant focus on all aspects of education at UCI provided an environment of research, newest methods, problem solving, questioning, and outreach. This led to more sophisticated methods for the entire faculty, and I believe we grew mutually toward our shared goals.
The aspirations to increase the status of OTE to a Department led to a constant push for improvement of teaching methods. Meeting the changing education demands state-wide provided an environment for evaluation of assumptions and for group and personal reflection.
For me personally, Rita gave me the opportunity to develop a professionally operated clinic (UCI Reading and Neurolinguistic Clinic) that not only served the community but that also introduced research-based methods to the clinic teachers and the families we served. My advisory board included faculty at the Child Development Center and the UCI Medical Center. My clinic teachers were hired from the local schools all over Orange County, and I found many of them through being in classrooms supervising student teachers.
In my Reading Methods course, I linked the idea of assessment-based teaching from the clinic environment which could be adapted to the classroom. This emphasis was continued after I left UCI to conduct staff development for four surrounding school districts, where my experience as a supervisor of Student Teachers was invaluable. I found a second calling in working with experienced teachers.
My clinical background became very important to me when I was introduced to educational therapy, and started a new career as an educational therapist. I have been in private practice since 1992, working one-on-one with students with a wide range of learning issues. My population includes students with LD, ADHD, high functioning autism, bi-polar disorder, dyslexia, anxiety disorder, etc. I have conducted workshops nationally in educational therapy and have served as President of the Association of Educational Therapists.
My best memories of UCI? It was really fun to show up at work. Most everyone had a good sense of humor. My colleagues took education very seriously. We respected each other. We knew about each other and our families. The sense of sharing and the sense of discovery were enormous. I am forever grateful to have worked here.
Mary Roosevelt and Ann Kaganoff
50-Year Celebration, 2015
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