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Department of Counseling, Leadership and Educational Studies
Mark Dewalt's faculty website
, chair of Winthrop University’s
Department of Counseling, Leadership, and Educational Studies
, has worn many hats in his 30-plus-year career. He can now add another: participant in an Emmy-nominated documentary.
Several years ago Dewalt was asked for an interview as part of the documentary “
Country School: One Room, One Nation
” by filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle. Dewalt also was asked to provide topic ideas for the documentary. The documentary shows the positives and negatives of one-room schools in the Midwest region through photographs and interviews with former students, teachers, and parents about their connection and experiences with the schools.
“One of the things that spurred my interest in research on one-room schools is that a mid-1980s report by the
National Center for Educational Statistics
predicted that there would be no public one-room schools left in the U.S by the year 2000,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘That doesn’t seem right.’” So he started collecting information on the number of public and private one-room schools in the United States.
Growing up in Berks County, Pennsylvania, Dewalt was right in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country. Dewalt developed an interest in Amish culture and one-room schools, interests that would stay with him. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College and moved to South Carolina, where he taught middle school mathematics and third grade, and coached middle school football and high school track.
He eventually earned a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate from the University of Virginia.
At Winthrop, Dewalt teaches graduate courses in educational research, assessment, and an occasional honors course in Amish culture. He has published several books, Amish Education in the United States and Canada, and three children’s activity books focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson as well as the people and places of South Carolina.
All of the activity books were projects he embarked upon with graduate students. His current book project is titled, A Tour of the University of Virginia with Edgar the Squirrel. The team hopes to have the book in print by April of 2013, just in time for Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful students,” he said. “It’s just amazing what a team can accomplish.”
Last updated 09/17/2012
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