PSU Graduate School of Education presents at AERA Annual Meeting: The Dreams, Possibilities and Necessity of Public Education
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 8:00am to Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 3:45pm
Graduate School of Education


Invited Speaker Session: The Mentoring Web: Developing Systems of Support and Sustentation in Academia

Fri, April 13, 8:00 to 11:45am, New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Gramercy Suite A

Jada Phelps-Moultrie


Session: Windows into the Life Worlds of Early Childhood Settings

Fri, April 13, 12:00 to 1:30pm, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 3

Round table: Reliving Early Childhood Experiences: Frank's Symphonic and Larisa's Dynamic Documentation

This research study looks deeply into two educators’ lived experiences as documenters with children, families and in their contexts. Frank and Larisa’s journeys presented in this research study each offers its own uniqueness and also now intertwines to weave new experiences and bring forth new meaning. As researchers working closely with our co-protagonists, we weave together Latour's (2004) matters of concern through documentation and learning experiences with people and with contextualized places.

Will Parnell


Division Roundtable Session Park 12:00 Friday

Session: Advocating for Marginalized Families and Communities

Fri, April 13, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Park Central Hotel New York, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom

Round table: "This Is the Reality of the World...." Racial Protection as Participation: Counterstories of Black Families

We highlight a critical qualitative study using critical race theory focused on parental participation of 16 sets of Black families. Sets described their participation as Black parents in their child’s education. Counterstories revealed racism experienced by students impacted participation, which was primarily grounded in safeguarding children. Findings expand the concept of racial protectionism (Mazama & Lundy, 2012) to parents implementing school and home level strategies as a means of protecting children from school-related racism. Additionally, out-of-school contexts (e.g. police-involved killings) ignited racial protection as participation. Because endemic racism impacted participation in schools, a discussion on possible frameworks that may assist in understanding the critical strength of racial protectionism as participation among Black families are offered (critical race parenting, motherwork, fatherwork).

Jada Phelps-Moultrie, Jomo W. Mutegi


Symposium: ChildhoodNature Collective: An Assemblage of the Knots and Threads in Repositioning ChildhoodNature Research

Fri, April 13, 4:05 to 6:05pm, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Belasco

Paper: ChildhoodNature Ecological Aesthetics and the Learning Environment

This presentation explores the ecological and aesthetic dimensions of learning environments in which ChildhoodNature encounters take place. While environmental education has traditionally placed children in contact with a relational and interconnected world, too often the aesthetic dimensions of these encounters have been overlooked (Ingold, 2000, 2013). Eco-aesthetics provides fertile grounds for interdisciplinary research and practice which attends to richly textured compositions of ChildhoodNature through a diverse range of material, social and conceptual practices. Such approaches have become increasingly relevant following the onset of the Anthropocene epoch, which has provoked new modes of thinking and practice which transgress established barriers between the arts, humanities, sciences and technology. In attending to the sensuous and affective qualities of ChildhoodNature encounters, multiple sites are opened up as vital spaces for children to respond to the changing material conditions of everyday life. These spaces are not limited to national parks, remote wilderness areas, nature schools or community gardens, but also include art galleries, online environments, museums, urban landscapes, everyday domestic spaces, among many other settings. Each of these sites of engagement can be considered inherently ecological and aesthetic spaces which afford and constrain the very possibilities for movement, learning and thought (Whitehead, 1978). This perspective supports methodological turns towards arts-based, creative and sensory practices in educational research with children.

David Rousell, Dilafruz R. Williams


Symposium: Dual Language Education and Neoliberal Reforms: When a Bilingual School Becomes a School of Choice

Fri, April 13, 4:05 to 5:35pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Fourth Floor, Midtown Suite

Paper: The Reissuing of Valdés' "Cautionary Note": Two-Way Bilingual Education as Product or as a Political Vehicle?

The paucity of empirical studies that have documented the “gentrification” of TWBE (Valdez et al., 2016) is the impetus for this paper. Specifically, it documents two distinct stakeholder discourses that manifested in a gentrifying Hill Valley (pseudonym) ; TWBE as product and TWBE as a political vehicle.

The 20th anniversary of Guadalupe Valdés’ “cautionary note,” the upsurge in TWBE programs nationally (de Jong, 2016; Wilson, 2011), and the potential impact of neoliberal processes on these programs (Author, 2017; Varghese & Park, 2010) demand a “reissuing” of the “cautionary note.” This “reissuing” is explicit in naming these neoliberal processes as a hegemonic force that poses a dangerous threat to the original race radical vision of bilingual education that centers the interests and realities of transnational bilinguals and their families (Flores, 2016). This “reissuing” also demands that TWBE spaces go beyond the foundational pillars of academic rigor, biliteracy, and multicultural competence to include a Freirean pillar that foments critical consciousness (Author, 2017). Courageous critical pedagogical work driven by “imagination, love, and fury” (De Lissovoy, 2015) that positions TWBE as a political vehicle poses potential to move beyond a critique of neoliberal processes to include concrete responses to these processes.

Daniel Heiman


Symposium: DREAMers, Immigrant Rights Advocates, and Allies: Strategic Engagements to Expand PK-16+ Public Education

Fri, April 13, 4:05 to 6:05pm, Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Empire Ballroom West

Paper: DREAMing of STEM: Testimonio as a Means to Prepare Future Bilingual Teachers

Through our collective work to prepare teachers of bilingual students, we –several university faculty members--wanted our teacher candidates (TCs) to gain a sense of urgency towards the barriers legal status may play in education. We wanted our TCs to understand their own students as more than simply working towards bilingualism, and to understand the complexity faced by students and families navigating the US immigration system. As such, we invited Dario M.L., a first-generation college student in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), to share part of his journey with our TCs. so that they could see what happens when a child’s curiosity in STEM has been nurtured, and to see how this youthful passion can carry forward into adulthood. We saw Dario as an exemplar of what can happen when young learners have their curiosity supported by their teachers, and we wanted this to serve as a call to action for our TCs.

Anita Bright, G. Sue Kasun




Symposium: Critical Approaches to Food Systems Education Part I: Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education

Sat, April 14, 8:15 to 9:45am, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Belasco

Paper: Youth Voices of Bounty and Opportunity: High School Students' Experiences with Food and Community

“It has, however, become increasingly important that the town’s young people have an alternative frame of reference that doesn’t include the local mall and that gives them a respite from an economic system that treats them as if they are only consumers in training. A hand plunged into freshly tilled soil, the squiggle of an earthworm, or a tiny seed mysteriously transformed into a green life force were, at the time of the farm’s inception, experiences fast approaching the brink of extinction. (Winne, 2008, p. 55)

Every person is worthy of access to fresh, quality food. However, as local sustainable food practices surface to a mainstream audience, low-income populations in this country and all over the world, remain ignored. While healthy food is becoming a class-based issue of privilege, underserved young adults are being denied access to real-world, big ideas associated with bettering themselves, their community, and the non-human world in regards to growing their own food and the policies that are associated with food (Thorp, 2006; Wekerle, 2004; Winne, 2008; Wynne, 2006).

Kara Gilbert, Dilafruz R. Williams


Session: Enacting Inclusive and Culturally Relevant Practices in Special Education Teacher Preparation

Sat, April 14, 12:25 to 1:55pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse B Room

Paper: Interruption or Disruption? Dismantling Dominant Ideologies for Critical Inclusive Teacher Preparation

Scholars in inclusive teacher education have suggested that teacher preparation programs should weave together critical theory and inclusive education to provide teachers candidates with the theoretical and practical tools to disrupt dominant ideologies in practice. This type of preparation is challenging because dominant ideologies constitute deeply embedded habits of mind that are difficult to shed. This paper explores how four graduates of a preparation program with critical inclusive commitments drew on their preparation experiences and personal histories, to critically analyze special education processes and promote inclusion in their practice contexts. Findings indicate that the program mediated a partial interruption of dominant constructions of normalcy but not sustained disruption. Implications for critically approaches to inclusive teacher preparation will be discussed.

Molly Elizabeth Siuty


Invited Speaker: From the "Color Line" to Free Schools & The White House: (Re)Centering Race in Discourse about Equity in Public Education

Sat, April 14, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Mercury Ballroom

In this session, leading scholars will discuss the history and importance of (re)centering race in discourses about equity in public and urban education. Using insights from their own research, they will offer recommendations about how to bring race (back) to the fore in broader debates about educational policy, practice, and research. This invited session is sponsored by the AERA Research Focus on Black Education (RFBE) SIG.

Marvin Lynn


Symposium: Teacher Agency and “Pedagogies of Hope” for Bilingual Learners (in a Brave New World)

Sat, April 14, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Gramercy Room

Paper: Pillars of Hope in Two-Way Immersion Spaces: "Spanish, Love, Content, Not in That Order"

This panel brings together a group of papers that examine teachers as transformational change agents and leaders in bilingual public educational spaces. Each paper highlights the pedagogies they employ to dream, empower, engage, and change: teachers as policy-makers in their classrooms, as organizers/advocates for and with bilingual children and families, as active participants in larger professional communities creating new discourses and models for change, as language users and models for equitable and powerful interaction for bi(multi)lingual children. We theorize agency in a range of ways, deepening the field’s active use of the term. This panel brings together ideas for pedagogies of hope and change, to support equity and transformation for bilingual children and their teachers.

Daniel Heiman


Session: Race, Gender, Dis/Ability, and the Intersection of Core Curriculums

Sat, April 14, 4:05 to 5:35pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse F Room

Paper: Challenging the Color-Blind Status Quo: First Graders Talk About Race and Racism

Educators have frequently suggested that children are not “ready” to tackle controversial topics such as race, racism, and racial identity. Consequently, race is often perceived as a taboo topic in education, while the existence of racialized educational opportunities and the devastating impact of racial injustice is often ignored (Milner, 2010; Tatum, 2007). Although, the last sixty years of educational research has indicated that children do understand the concept of race at very early age (Katz, 2013; Proshansky, 1966). Therefore, this study investigated the perspectives of the first-grade students participating in a series of anti-racist lessons, in order to gain an understanding of how they experienced explicit conversations about race, racism, and racial identity.

Carrie Larson, Kelly JoAnn Cutler




Session: Assessing for Change: Critical Insights for Teacher Educators

Sun, April 15, 8:15 to 9:45am, Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Metropolitan West Room

Round table: Local Police Ride Alongs for Teacher Candidates: Examining Our Social Context

Teachers need to know their local contexts in intimate and nuanced ways. With the actions of police officers continuing to dominate the media, with vividly graphic images provoking public discussion around the roles and actions of law enforcement officers, conversation has increasingly focused on the role of race and other aspects of identity in these interactions. As such, 86 teacher candidates enrolled in an urban university teacher preparation program engaged in police ride-alongs, to learn about the ways the work of law enforcement officers intersects with our work as educators, and to consider the implications of race, class, gender, and other aspects of identity. This research explores the lasting insights, changes, and questions held by participants.

Anita Bright


Symposium: Developing the Next Generation of Black Male Teacher Researchers Through Undergraduate Research

Sun, April 15, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse E Room

There is a growing body of research focused on in-service Black male teachers. However, studies of pre-service Black male teachers in teacher education and participate in undergraduate research are scant. Focusing on pre-service Black male teachers in teacher education programs fills an important gap in the Black male teacher research literature. Grounded in participatory action research, this session provides an overview of the research process, pre-service Black male teachers’ research, and perspectives of Black male teacher researchers who collaborated with the undergraduate researchers. This session provides insight into ways of recruiting traditional and nontraditional Black males into teacher education programs, retaining them in teacher education programs, engaging them undergraduate research, and preparing them for a career in the teaching profession.

Chair: Marvin Lynn




Session: Constructing a Respectful Relationship With ELLs: Colaboración, Éxito, y Posibilidades

Mon, April 16, 8:15 to 10:15am, New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse G Room

Paper: Where Are All the Bilingual Teachers? Culturally Responsive Relationships in Bilingual Teacher Education

The state of Oregon, like the nation as whole, experiences a lack of qualified bilingual teachers to staff their growing dual-language and bilingual education programs (Taxin, 2016).

This paper explores the perspectives and experiences of bilingual teachers who graduated from a culturally responsive teacher preparation program (AACTE, 2012) in the Pacific Northwest. The qualitative study points to the power of modeling culturally responsive relationships as critical in the retention, graduation, and successful teaching positions in local school districts as bilingual teachers. Everything that we learn from the our teacher candidates - through the collection and analysis of the data - helps us improve the program and increase the number of bilingual / bicultural teachers for social justice in our schools.

Carrie Larson, Esperanza De La Vega


Session: Math as Language

Mon, April 16, 10:35am to 12:05pm, New York Hilton Midtown, Concourse Level, Concourse E Room

Paper: Preservice Teachers' Developing Understandings Related to Language in the Mathematics Classroom

Mathematics reforms are increasingly highlighting the important role that language plays in mathematics teaching and learning, however, there remains a common misconception that mathematics is somehow “language-free.” This qualitative study explored 67 elementary preservice teachers’ (PST) developing understandings of the role of language in the mathematics classroom based on conversations with their mentor teachers and observations of classroom lessons. Using iterative open-coding techniques (Marshall & Rossman, 2014), it was found that the Language Demands in the Mathematics Classroom tool helped focused PSTs’ attention on how language is used in mathematics teaching and learning. However, both the PSTs and mentor teachers focused primarily on vocabulary acquisition when discussing language in the mathematics classroom over strategies for facilitating more sophisticated student discourse.

Amanda T. Sugimoto


Session: Critical Conversations: Social Justice Practices for Overcoming Psychological Barriers in K-12 Settings

Mon, April 16, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Millennium Broadway New York Times Square, Fifth Floor, Room 5.02

Paper: Do Middle Schoolers' Experiences in a Garden-Based Education Program Predict Changes in Their Learning, Motivation, and Achievement in Science?

This study examined whether middle schoolers’ experiences in a garden-based science education program, designed to be meaningful to youth from low socioeconomic, ethnic and racial minority backgrounds, predicted improvements in students’ engagement, learning, and achievement in science over the school year. Information from 312 highly-diverse sixth- and seventh-grade students about whether their experiences in the garden program led them to feel competent, autonomous, and related was collected at the beginning and end of the school year. Consistent with self-determination theory, students’ garden experiences predicted changes in their corresponding experiences in science class, and their engagement in science, which, in turn, predicted changes in science grades. Discussion focuses on the potential for garden-based education to motivate underrepresented students to pursue science.

Heather Anne Brule, Dilafruz R. Williams, Julia Dancis, Sybil Kelley, Ellen Skinner


Session: Equity: Moving Toward the Equity Through Policy and Practice

Mon, April 16, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Park Central Hotel New York, Mezzanine Level, Manhattan B Room

Paper: Enhancing Equitable and Inclusive Pedagogical Practice: Capturing Practitioner-Based Evidence Through District-Wide Equity Surveys

In June, 2011, Portland Public Schools voted to adopt its Racial Educational Equity Policy. The new policy specifically calls out race-based disparities in schools, identifies the district's role in eliminating them, and holds up high expectations to ensure that all students reach their academic potential. As part of its educational equity work, the district also began administrating its Equity Survey to gain insight on where it stood in terms of employing equitable and inclusive pedagogy and practice. Through application of Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analytic Models, the present study aims to understand 1) constructs of equitable educational practice measured by the instrument, and 2) their alignment with what are known as the Effective School correlates.

Motoaki Hara, Esperanza De La Vega, Elise Christiansen, April Mara Arevalo




Symposium: The Intellectual Struggle to Be Human: Reading Wynter for Rethinking/Reimagining Equitable Educational Opportunity in STEM

Tue, April 17, 8:15 to 9:45am, New York Marriott Marquis, Fifth Floor, Edison

Paper: Decolonizing Science Education: Taking Science Back from the Old Dead White Guys

This session together scholars who are exploring Sylvia Wynter’s analysis of the development of the Western colonialist episteme and its productions of categories of race, gender and ethnoclass in the project of desettling, decolonizing and reimagining science education. Drawing on Wynter’s notions of Man, humanness and knowledge, the presenters will engage participants in a dialogue around how these have and continue to shape social institutions and hierarchies, including schools and classrooms and science-learning contexts. Using Wynter’s conceptions as foundational we plan to have a generative discussion that will lead to collaborations and approaches that challenge existing frameworks and approaches to equity in order create a paradigm shift towards more knowledge inclusive and critically-oriented teaching and learning contexts.

Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez


Session: Cultural Stereotypes, Outcome Disparities, and High Schools

Tue, April 17, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Metropolitan East Room

Round table: Middle School Students' Perspectives about How Learning Gardens Facilitate Engagement in Science

As part of a longitudinal, explanatory, mixed methods research study examining the factors that support student success in science, researchers conducted ten focus group interviews with ethnically and linguistically diverse middle school students participating in a garden-based science program at their schools. Quantitative results have elucidated correlations between students’ experiences in the garden and their motivation, engagement, and learning. This qualitative phase sought to identify the specific aspects of the experience that led to positive student outcomes. Findings revealed specific aspects of the garden-based context and experience that supported students academically and socially.

Sybil Kelley, Dilafruz R. Williams, Julia Dancis, Heather Anne Brule, Ellen Skinner


Session: Latinx and ELL Children and Families in Education

Tue, April 17, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Metropolitan East Room

Round table: Inclusion Gatekeepers: Teacher Identity (Re) Constitution for Critical Inclusion in Communities of Practice

Scant attention has been paid to the ways in which graduates of inclusive teacher education programs (re)constitute their teacher identity as they traverse the boundaries between their preparation experiences and school systems. This study explored the social processes through which four special educators and graduates of a critical inclusive teacher preparation program (re)negotiated their identities within the power dynamics of their communities of practice. Results indicated that inclusion was a privilege that students with disabilities had to earn rather than their right. Special educators, then, were positioned as the inclusion gatekeepers with the power to create inclusive experiences but also deny them. Most often teachers reified dominant ideologies but they also demonstrated creative resistance for inclusion and equity.

Molly Elizabeth Siuty