EMU Alum and Professors Present at the Ethnography in Education Research Forum at University of Pennsylvania

Carroll Hill (MAED Alum, 2015; teacher at Kate Collins Middle School in Waynesboro) along with EMU professors Kathy Evan and Beth Lehman presented at the 37th Ethnography in Education Research Forum at University of Pennsylvania in February 2016. The Ethnography Forum is an internationally recognized gathering of educational researchers and teachers who share concerns for building equity in education and seeking justice through educational research. This year’s theme was: Mobility, Multiplicity & Multimodality: Theoretical Innovation in Education Ethnography.

Beth presented at the Forum previously and was delighted to invite Carroll and Kathy to co-present a panel session titled: Writing Ourselves: Teaching and Learning Toward a Social Justice Stance. The collaborative effort was meaningful and allowed each to further examine and share findings, insights, and concerns. Carroll’s portion of the panel highlighted processes and findings of his teacher action research project completed as capstone to the MA program last spring. He engaged participants with insights about employing writing workshop approaches as a tool for fostering resilience in middle school students. Beth showcased an ongoing inquiry about the implications of pairing undergraduate teacher education candidates with eighth grade reading students in a semester-long writing partnership, and Kathy reported on a pilot study examining ways in which the philosophy of education paper serves as a narrative in which teacher education students demonstrate growth and awareness of an educational advocacy stance. The projects are thematically linked by concern for the development of social justice in educational practices and the use of writing to increase equitable educational experiences for students on the margins of schooling.

The Ethnography Forum was a particularly engaging venue for this trio from EMU because it is an event with a long tradition of celebrating teacher action research, an essential element of EMU’s graduate program. Day two of the Forum is designated Practitioner Inquiry Day. Practitioner inquiry, another term for action research, is a research methodology that honors the knowledge that classroom teachers bring to intentional study of the teaching and learning activities within their own practices and school communities.

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