Student News

Five doctoral students present research at SEAES Conference

Five doctoral students from the School of Education presented research findings at the Southeastern Association of Educational Studies (SEAES) conference on Feb. 11 at University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The presenters were Kathleen Rands and Kari Lee Siko, of the Culture, Curriculum and Change Program, and Cathie Field, Yongmei Li and Chih-Ing Lim, of the Early Childhood, Families and Literacy Program.

The annual conference brings together people from the traditional educational studies domains ─ sociology, anthropology, history and philosophy of education ─ as well as persons from other fields related to education.  Those fields include cultural studies, service learning, action research, multiculturalism, policy studies, bilingual education, antiracist education, high stakes testing, standardization in education, psychology and counseling, literacy studies, responding to neo-conservative ideology education policies such as vouchers and funding, and testing and assessment.

The conference is attended by university educators, primary and secondary educators, community activities, students and other practitioners. Its goal is to stimulate productive and progressive dialogue among the conference participants, who represent many different disciplinary lines of inquiry related to education.

The presentations by the five School of Education students were as follows:

  • Kathleen Rands gave a presentation on “Walking Through the Anthology of the World: A Critical Gender-complex Approach to Education.” Her premise was that a commitment to social justice requires educators to teach gender in more complex ways, taking into consideration the existence and needs of transgender people. She presented a framework for teaching with implications for teacher education programs.
  • Cathie Field discussed “The Education Component of the Child Development Associate Credential: The Relationship of Credit Bearing Education to Knowledge and Practice.” She examined the implications of the requirement that teachers working with birth-to-5-year-old children must complete 120 clock hours of education in specified child development areas before applying for the national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. She investigated the relationship of the credit-bearing status of that education to performance on the CDA assessment instruments.
  • Yongmei Li talked about “Elementary Grade English-Language Learners’ Writing: A Research Synthesis for Teachers.” Summarizing findings from 16 studies, she discussed the relationship between English-Language Learners’ (ELLs’) writing and native-English speaking children’s writing, between knowledge and skills in ELLs’ native language writing and English writing, between ELL writing, reading and orality, and the influence of sociocultural factors.  In addition, she provided instructional suggestions for teachers.
  • In a presentation titled “Living in the Shadow of the Native Speaker: When Language Proficiency Is Not Enough for NNS Educators to Succeed in English Language Teaching,” Chih-Ing Lim used the social dominance theory as a framework to discuss the difficulties that non-native speaking (NNS) teachers face in the field of English language teaching.  She presented implications for teaching practice.
  • Kari Lee Siko examined one student’s experience in an online course in a presentation titled “Building Community in an Online Course ─ A Student’s Perspective.” She discussed how the student interacted within the online course and how a learning community was developed in the online learning environment created by the students in the course.  The presentation looked at the formation of a community of learners from the student’s perspective.

The SEAES conference was initiated in 1995 by two graduate students at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education – Amee Adkins, who is now on the faculty at Illinois State University, and Kathy Hytten, now on the faculty at Southern Illinois University. It has been held in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee ad Virginia. Next year, SEAES will return to UNC-Chapel Hill.