PPEERS Kickbox Projects Spark Innovation by SOE Students

Posted on June 07, 2023

Items from the Kickbox - including paperwork, post-it notes, Visa card, notepad, pen, and flashdrive

Impact Through Innovation’s Kickbox is an innovation toolkit that continues to spark amazing solutions to real-world educational challenges by UNC Greensboro School of Education students.

Dr. Christopher Kelly, Director, and Dr. Mark A. Rumley, Assistant Director of Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS), worked with Dr. Scott Young, Professor of Counseling and Education Development, to implement the Kickbox innovation toolkit as a year-long experience for aspiring school leaders in the PPEERS program. These graduate students are preparing to take on leadership roles in rural schools across North Carolina. Engaging in classroom or grade level (small scale) projects in Year 1 of this nationally-recognized school leadership preparation program sets the stage for using innovation to solve larger problems of practice that these leaders will encounter on a school-wide scale during their yearlong, full-time internships in public schools during the 2023-2024 academic year.

PPEERS’ students are motivated to make an impact by addressing real-world issues and needs, such as addressing equity issues in high school math classrooms, providing elementary students remote access to rich reading materials, and helping parents use technology to support students.

Innovative ideas and solutions to problems of practice employed this past year included the following:

  • Increasing the oral language proficiency of young readers by developing decodable readers for use during the school day and at home with selected struggling readers. Analyzing pre and post data, this project demonstrated that significant growth occurred in the students’ oral reading fluency category, which is a part of the benchmark reading assessment administered three times per year to emerging readers in North Carolina.
  • Developing a handheld resource of commonly used classroom phrases and terms for teachers to communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking students in their target language. This project can enhance the learning of students and teachers through a simple solution to navigating language barriers in the classroom.
  • Creating a student data analysis tool to promote students’ understanding of and accountability for their own learning. This innovation puts the responsibility for learning in the hands of a student to enhance their engagement in their own learning.

We look forward to learning more about these aspiring leaders’ projects — and their impact — during the upcoming school year!

Learn more about Kickbox: soeinnovation.uncg.edu/for-students/kickbox
Learn more about PPEERS: