on faculty since 2003
Ed.D., Aurora University, Aurora, ABD
M.A., Saint Xavier University, Tinley Park, Illinois, 2002
B.A., Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, 1999
Just as a carpenter uses a variety of tools and methods to construct buildings, professors also need to determine the right tools and methods that will help their students achieve a new level of understanding. Dr. Trina Vallone, associate professor of education, sees herself as a “facilitator of knowledge” in the learning process, and likens her role in the classroom to that of a skilled carpenter who builds on the backgrounds of students and challenges them at the appropriate level. Vallone “provides the scaffolds that help students through the period of cognitive dissonance so they can build new knowledge structures.”
As a teacher’s teacher, Vallone finds joy not only as a facilitator, but also as the person who helps her students make the connection between newly acquired information and what they already know. Much of her satisfaction comes from observing her students as they think through problems and arrive at a solution.
“Hopefully my work positively impacts culture for Christ’s kingdom,” said Vallone. “I like to talk with students about our role as Christian educators in a secular workplace and how, as educators, we are called to provide equitable opportunities for all of our students.” When students grasp the idea that they, too, are agents for transforming culture, the content of what they are learning takes on new dimensions.”
The Highland, Indiana, resident is well versed in what it means to teach from a Reformed perspective, having earned her undergraduate degree at Trinity. She tries to impart to her students the valuable lessons she learned during her own educational journey.
“When our employer surveys come back, Trinity candidates score very high in the ‘personal morals and integrity’ section. I hear stories from our P-12 partners about how our teacher candidates really care about the students they serve. I cannot help but think this sets us apart.”
Her involvement in activities outside the classroom attests to her efforts to embrace a broad understanding of multi-cultural learning. Vallone has served on numerous campus committees, such as the ethnic diversity committee (2004-present), diversity awareness committee (2004-present), ad hoc committee on diversity in curriculum (spring 2006-present), the Greater Chicagoland Christian Leadership Scholarship interview committee (spring 2006), and co-sponsored the Organization for African American Unity for a year. She also was a faculty chaperone at the National Christian Multicultural Student Leadership Conference, Seattle, Washington (2004).
“It is a pleasure to equip our teaching candidates to teach students from many different backgrounds. My goal in the classroom is to welcome each student, their culture, and their background, as we build knowledge together. I want each person who shares a class with me to be affirmed and challenged.”
As a doctoral candidate at Aurora University, Vallone’s focus is on “perceptions of school: Hispanic Children from Low SES.” Her scholarly work supports her role as the coordinator of the ESL/BL endorsement in the Adult Studies program. She is a member of four professional organizations: International Reading Association; Illinois Association of Multicultural, Multilingual Education; Association for Supervision and Curriculum; and, Illinois Reading Council.
Consistent with her classroom activities, Vallone relaxes with a good book whenever possible, and also enjoys writing and journaling. She worships at Zion Lutheran Church in Tinley Park, IL.
“Toward an Expanded Understanding of Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Education: Constructing Identity Through a Critical, Addictive, Bilingual/Bicultural Pedagogy.” Multicultural Perspectives, 9 (3), 3-11. Reyes, S.A. & Vallone, T.L. 2007.
Constructive Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners. Thousand Oaks, California. Corwin Press. 2007. Reyes, S.A. and Vallone, T.L.