Brandman Voices shares submitted content from faculty, students and staff; from op-ed pieces to scholarly articles, this section is dedicated as a platform for the members of the Brandman University community to share thoughts, opinions, ideas and more. To submit an article, email us at DISCLAIMER: the opinions represented in this section are solely those of the individual author, not Brandman University.

Brandman Voices: About those yoga pants and gym class

By Catherine Pearlman, assistant professor of social work

dress-code-violation-examplesOn the middle school website, the stated purpose “for student dress and grooming standards is to foster an educational environment.” Except at back to school night, I heard a different story from the gym teacher. The presentation started out predictably dull. The kids were slated for hockey (wow!) and football (ooh!) and soccer (fantastic!) and, oh, the female gym teacher almost forgot to mention—girls were not permitted to wear yoga pants or leggings because it might cause the boys to spring an erection. [Read more…]

Brandman Voices: How cross-curricular lessons inspire critical thinking

By Kimberly Greene, associate professor


Photo from Kids Discover Online.

Cross-curricular? Critical thinking? How do these rather different educational concepts work together, and why should we want them to be a part of our teaching practice? Let’s start with critical thinking, a skill we must consider to be a fundamental goal in all of our work as educators. President Obama publically identified critical thinking as a crucial 21st-century skill that learners of all ages need to master to be successful in both the educational arena and the ever-evolving global economy. Adding in the advice of old John Dewey, we see how learning experiences that stimulate thinking by having students engage in creating meaning out of a variety of facts, scenarios, and variables (rather than just memorizing a single, linear timeline or algorithm with no context or supportive background) puts the learner in the center of the learning process. [Read more…]

Brandman Voices: Dean of Extended Education talks with Evolllution about alternative credentials

Nancy Salzman, dean of the School of Extended Education, spoke recently with the online newspaper Evolllution.  

Dean Nancy Salzman makes a point.

Dean Nancy Salzman

Many supporters of alternative credentials becoming more mainstream in the higher education space point to the incomprehensibility of degrees and transcripts as a problem that needs to be solved. Digital credentials, badges and certificates, they argue, are more clear in what they represent. But as more of these alternative credentials hit the market, something needs to be done to ensure this remains the case. In this interview, Nancy Salzman shares her thoughts on how a common language around alternative credentials could play a central role in cementing their long-term viability.

[Read more…]

Brandman Voices: Lawn Chair Fridays changing school cultures

By Amy Besler

Lawn Chair Friday

Making connections at Bear River High School on Lawn Chair Friday. Photo courtesy of Amy Besler.

As I enter my second year as the principal of Bear River High School, a comprehensive public high school serving nearly 700 students in the Sierra Nevada foothills community of Grass Valley, I continue my transformational change journey with tremendous optimism. The change I seek involves creating a shared identity for all members of the Bear River High School community, as the foundation for our efforts to connect, support, celebrate, and challenge all students and staff.  [Read more…]

America’s biggest secret or Life in a culture of pay secrecy?

By Lata Murti

lifeMy eight-year-old daughter received the classic Hasbro Game of Life as a holiday gift this past year.  What caught my attention right away while playing the game with her were the salaries.

All the “College Careers” – those requiring a college degree – started at $80,000 each payday, with teachers making a whopping $100,000 each payday!  I saw on the box that kids chose the careers for this latest version of the game, and I began to wonder if they chose the salaries too.  That might explain the inflated salaries. [Read more…]

The five biggest challenges to customized corporate training

By Carol Howard, Brandman University School of Extended Education director

Carol Howard

Carol Howard

There are over 3000 four-year universities in the U.S., many providing some type of professional development or corporate training. That’s a good thing. But in today’s world of customized shopping and customized Pokémon Go experiences, a one-size-fits-most offering is no longer applicable. [Read more…]

‘A whole new way of learning’ – Isabella Christopher, graduate speaker, Northern Commencement

Isabella Christopher, who was born in Pakistan, faced, in her words, an outdated and prejudicial system of education before discovering Brandman University while working at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. Brandman introduced her to the value of cooperative learning, critical-thinking and to embrace diversity. She graduated with a master’s in educational leadership on May 14, 2016, at the Northern Commencement ceremony in Sacramento California. [Read more…]

‘Daring, dedication and destiny’ – Maurice Arnold, commencement speaker

Maurice Arnold collected his Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership on May 14 at Brandman University’s Northern Commencement ceremonies in Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium. But first, he called on his fellow students to join him in shouting out the “3-Ds” that are needed to live life to its fullest: daring, dedication and destiny. Arnold attended classes at the Travis campus. [Read more…]

Army Veteran’s compelling commencement speech

Zane Speegle is U.S. Army Veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He overcame a lot of obstacles when returning to civilian life and in this speech at the Brandman University 2016 Commencement ceremony for the Lacey campus, the father and husband shares his deeply personal experience during the journey to earning an MBA.

[Read more…]