Washington Post features professors Pivarnik, Schmidt

September 9, 2011

This past week, the Washington Post has highlighted two professors within the Michigan State University College of Education: Jim Pivarnik, professor of kinesiology and William Schmidt, university distinguished professor of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education (CEPSE).

Pivarnik and doctoral student Erin Kuffel’s new research about resistence training for pregnant women has already captured the attention of several news sources, including CNBC and abc12. Last Tuesday’s Washington Post column points out that there are very few scientific studies about the subject, and credits Pivarnik as one of the first to compile a list of specific training recommendations for pregnant women.

“Forgive the pun, but we’re at baby steps” on this subject, Pivarnik said.

Pivarnik and Kuffel studied a total of 214 pregnant women, 57 of whom performed 30-minute strength training workouts about three times a week. Although the study has not yet been completed, the researchers found that resistence training likely reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension.


On Sept. 3, The Washington Post also released an article about new national teaching standards, and how Maryland’s largest school district, Montgomery County Public Schools, is paving the way for change. For professional expertise, they turned to MSU Education Policy Center co-director Schmidt.

“This is not an evolution in standards. This is like a revolution,” he said. “It really calls for a different approach to teaching,” requiring teachers to have a deeper understanding of the material.

The new national policies focus primarily on core math concepts and emphasize writing and nonfiction.

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