University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
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Ruth Nyland began her higher education teaching career at UW-Eau Claire in 1995 and as adjunct faculty with UW-Stout in 1998. In 2002, while serving as adjunct faculty at Stout and raising a family, she began her doctoral degree, earning the degree in 2006. In 2005, she accepted the position of assistant professor with the School of Education. Currently, Nyland is in charge of teaching all of the “add-on” courses for students in Early Childhood-Special Education. These courses include Introduction to Early Childhood Special Needs, Methods, Materials, and Curriculum for the Exceptional Child, Early Childhood Special Education Programming, Early Childhood Exceptional Educational Needs Assessment and Introduction to Communication Disorders, a requirement for all special Education majors. Depending on the semester, Nyland also teaches other core special education courses. She is actively involved with state and national organizations, currently serving as President-Elect for WCEC and Vice-President for WDEC.
In an effort to help students “get it,” Ruth uses different techniques. Primarily she aims to incorporate all different learning styles into her lessons. She embraces the use of both visual aids as well as oral teaching, and promotes the use of laptop computers within the classroom. If for some reason students do not understand a concept, Ruth will backtrack and approach the situation in a different way. She makes an effort to use humor in the classroom whenever possible to help students enjoy the learning process.
Nyland embraces the idea of problem-based learning within the classroom. This innovation consists of a weekly question or problem, for which students seek out information about how different areas of the state handle the specific situation. This addition to her program has helped students understand what resources are available for children with disabilities.
One of the most rewarding responsibilities that Nyland holds is supervising student teachers while in the classroom. She loves seeing students progress through the Early Childhood Education program and experiencing the final product as students shine while they student-teach.