Gov. Whitmer’s Return to Learn plan: U-M experts can discuss

Elizabeth Birr Moje

Elizabeth Birr Moje

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to outline the state’s Return to Learn plan at 3 p.m. today. The University of Michigan has experts who can discuss various aspects of the plan to return K-12 children to school in the fall.

Elizabeth Birr Moje is dean of the School of Education and the George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education. Her research examines how young people navigate culture, identity and literacy learning in and out of school in Detroit.

Liz Kolb , clinical associate professor of technical education at the School of Education, is an expert on teaching and technology, particularly on how teachers can learn to teach effectively online. She can talk about what needs to happen to make a hybrid learning program work.

Jenny Radesky , a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Michigan Medicine C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, recently led a weekly video series, Thrive With Your Family , to address parenting, child behavior, mental health and relationships during the coronavirus pandemic. She researches the use of mobile technology by parents and young children, and how this relates to child self-regulation and parent-child interaction.

Aubree Gordon , associate professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, works on infectious disease epidemiology and global health, particularly the epidemiologic features and transmission of influenza and dengue fever. She is an investigator with the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and can discuss the pros and cons of reopening schools from an epidemiological perspective. She wrote about this issue at the beginning of the pandemic: Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions.

Julia Wolfson is an assistant professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health. Her research focuses on food literacy/food agency, implementation of cooking skills education and nutrition assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Roshanak Mehdipanah is an assistant professor of health behavior and health education at the School of Public Health who has published in the areas of urban renewal, housing and policies aimed at eliminating health inequalities.

Nell Duke , professor of literacy, language, and culture at the School of Education, focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in economic poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education.

Brian Jacob is co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and faculty co-director and founder of the Youth Policy Lab. He is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and professor of economics, education and public policy. His research focuses on urban school reform, with an emphasis on standards and accountability initiatives.

Kao-Ping Chua , a pediatrics professor at the Medical School and researcher in the Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, recently published findings from a poll of parents in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois about returning to school in the time of COVID-19. A full report is available via the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Elizabeth Koschmann , a psychologist in the Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry is a member of the governor’s Return to School Advisory Council, which is advising the COVID-19 Task Force on Education. She runs the TRAILS to Wellness program that partners with schools to improve mental health support services for students and training for school counselors and psychologists. The program offers a range of COVID-19-related resources for school professionals and mental health providers in the community.

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