Concurrent Presentations

Reproduction of inequalities – in the science classroom?

The aim of this session is to explore the science classroom in general and laboratory work in particular when looking at opportunities for all student. With a sociohistorical and social class perspective on the science classroom and laboratory work this session discuss results from the study made by Jobér (2012). The study was inspired by an ethnographic approach and the data was produced through observations, field notes, interviews and questionnaire in a Swedish compulsory school. The students were followed during a five weeks unit on physics.

The results show that laboratory work lessons could be filled with curiosity and exciting challenges. However another pictured emerged where e.g. the organization of content rather than the mere content was important. Those students that had a cultural capital that gave value to or could be exchanged in this context had better chances and success was dependent not only on content but also on familiarity with ways of talking and communicating. In addition, laboratory work was performed in groups. This became problematic since the grades rewarded you individually. A student that could deal with this conflicting information between the expected ways of working in the classroom and the curriculum could also make successful choices as the context changed. In the end laboratory work became something complicated where learning science subjects or learning to perform laboratory work did not support educational success or learning development for many students. It was rather the opposite. Instead of developing scientific knowledge, the lessons reproduced inequality, left the student blaming themselves and excluded student foremost from lower socioeconomic background. Through descriptions and analyses of laboratory work with a sociohistorical perspective this research revealed that there is a need for reconsidering what and how is valued in laboratory work and the outcomes of that for different students.

 

Presenter:

Anna Jobér is a lecturer at Faculty of Education and Society at Malmö University, Sweden. In 2012 she finished her  PhD thesis Social Class in Sience Class. Her research interest are concerned in reproduction of inequalities in science education. In many countries, to be good at Science is a qualification needed to reach prestigious higher education and societal positions. Since the pass rate in the science subjects is lower than in other school subjects, it can be assumed that Science is a key factor in the reproduction of an unequal society. The way Science is taught in schools may thereby contribute to a society where children from minority cultures or disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds have less chance to succeed. It may even be assumed that these practices can contribute to the increasing stratification and polarisation of Swedish society.

Education Research for Social Justice: When Corporations Rule the World, Knowledge is not Enough

The purpose of this presentation is twofold: first, it is a call for urgent rethinking of education research to be intimately connected with activism concerning social justice. Second, to propose research as praxis (RAP) as a paradigm grounded in grassroots participatory democracy that also includes transformative, collective political action for social change. 

 

Conducting research for social justice requires that participants not only be able to engage democratically in the search for knowledge and understanding of their own realities, but also to act on such knowledge for their own self-development and that of their communities.  In RAP, research and activism are intertwined, and participatory democracy is a core principle. This type of research has existed for various decades in the margins. We need to bring it to the center.

 

These are very difficult times for the advancement of social justice projects. Education, like many other public functions and services, has been weakened, taken over or defunded by corporations with the help of their political allies in response to massive campaign donations.  Corporate power also controls governments at all levels, including judicial functions, and practically all social affairs and the people’s commons.  Corporations and their associated elites have become a global superpower under the neoliberal doctrine of market fundamentalism.

 

Given the extreme power differential between corporate elites and the great majority of people, we cannot continue doing education research just for producing knowledge. Knowledge is not enough. Actually, there is an abundance of studies, books, reports, and other information which nobody is using for taking action. RAP closes this gap between researchers and actors or practitioners, since any RAP project includes both through a participatory democratic process. The most common results are consciousness-raising and the individual and collective transformative empowerment of participants. Results like these prompt mobilizations of people and the building of countervailing power in defense of public education and democracy. 

 

Presenter:

Myriam N. Torres is Associate Professor and coordinator of the program in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the New Mexico State University, New Mexico, USA. Her teaching and scholarship focus on multiple critical literacies as well as on democratic and transformative approaches to research. He is co-author of the book Research as Praxis: Democratizing Education Epistemologies.

 

 

A Model for Equity in Mainstreamin Children with Special Needs

In light of the current state of mainstreaming in Egypt this paper aims at providing feasible teaching methods for classrooms where students with special needs are placed in the general education setting given that they meet traditional academic expectations with minimal assistance. This paper presents a case study of an 8 year old female with Down syndrome in Egypt, with an IQ and learning abilities well above average in one of the Egyptian International School, which is one of only 3 schools in Egypt that support and apply mainstreaming. Her mother, shadow teacher and class teacher were interviewed. Results demonstrate that the necessary attitudes, accommodations, and adaptations are not efficiently practiced in general education to provide students with special needs appropriate education. Discussion then focuses on the ideal approach and method of teaching for an effective mainstreaming classroom; in an attempt to encourage mainstreaming in Egypt. This paper is to provide a description and model of instruction which can facilitate teaching in classrooms in a general education setting with special needs students integrated in it, towards creating democracy and equity in the classrooms.

 

Presenter:

Mariam Mostafa was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts, English Language and Literature Department, Cairo University. She spent most of her high school and undergraduate summer vacations and free time working with children; she was interested the most in dealing with children who have special needs and/or learning disabilities. Mariam is currently working as an instructor at the German University in Cairo, in the English and Scientific Methods Department while completing her thesis for an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the American University in Cairo.


Film Education in Sweden
Welcome to a presentation about the growing film and media literacy movement among teachers and pupils in Swedish schools. The concept of media literacy is today a worldwide matter. Media literacy is an important issue to ensure the freedom of speech and the development of a democratic society – and to raise and secure creativity, participation and a critical awareness among all citizens, not only pupils. Listen to a summary of arguments and outcomes from some Swedish schools and experience some practical examples about how to organize film and media education in your local classroom.

 

Presenters:

Gunnel Nelzén, head of Film i Sörmland, a regional based center for the promotion of film education, film production and film screenings, founded by the county council of Sörmland in 1999.
Klas Viklund, freelance writer and lecturer, teacher in media criticism at the teacher training programme at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Sustainable Social Change: Picking up Grass Roots with a Silver Spoon

Two EFL teachers, with practical experience ranging from Ethiopian schoolrooms to a private American university in Spain, reflect on how social awareness must form a prominent part of the educational experience of a country’s elite in order for social change to grow and be sustainable.

 

Teachers have a responsibility to educate students regardless of their background, whether under a baobab or in a high-tech language laboratory, and Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus, as a Jesuit institution, encourages the integration of humanistic moral values within the curriculum. To this end, we actively foster social awareness – and perhaps even changes – through curricular and extra-curricular activities, and through the very nature of the culturally-diverse, multi-racial campus. A significant number of students at the campus come from influential, elitist families in their countries, and one day may well have the power to instigate or endorse change. Our hypothesis is that grass roots social movements are more likely to succeed if they have sympathizers or empathizers among the social elite.   

 

Presenters:        

Hilary Plass, ESL professor

Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus, Spain

Hamish Binns, Coordinator Language Programs

Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus, Spain


Reading to Learn in the classroom: how all teachers can employ powerful pedagogical tools to take transformative action in the classroom enabling equitable outcomes for all learners.

This workshop will provide an overview of the Reading to Learn pedagogy developed in Australia to accelerate student literacy learning. This pedagogy has been trialled around Europe through the EU funded project, Teacher Learning for European Literacy Education (TeL4ELE). It is a genre-based approach to teaching reading and writing using carefully designed strategies to support students to recognise language patterns in written texts, enabling them to read with critical understanding, and then to use these language patterns in their writing. It is designed to be integrated with classroom practice across the curriculum, at all levels of education; from early years to senior secondary school and in academic settings. Participants will learn how Systemic Functional Linguistics has been used to give teachers a fundamental set of tools to improve students reading and writing. The workshop provide a glimpse of the potential of the pedagogy for transforming teaching and learning by familiarising participants with the Functional Model of language, the Reading to Learn pedagogy cycle and an overview of the genres of schooling. Sample texts will then be used to provide an insight into how teachers prepare their lessons and a classroom simulation will be used to provide an experience of the teacher - student classroom interaction cycle.


 

Presenter:

Claire Acevedo is one of the founders of Reading for Life. She is also an international, freelance education consultant and teacher educator with a major focus on the Reading to Learn teacher professional development program. She is an experienced in-service teacher educator with a background in primary, secondary and tertiary language teaching. She has managed large-scale school and sector-wide literacy research projects in Australia and international projects in Europe. She focuses on using Systemic Functional Linguistics to improve reading and writing outcomes for under achieving students in all areas of the school curriculum. She currently works across Europe in language and literacy teaching, teacher profession-al development, project management and curriculum materials writing.


Education for Social Justice and Sustainable Development: 

Case of Basaisa, Egypt

(Salah Arafa, Morsy Abu-Youssef,* Mohamed Dabbour, Mohamed Gad

The American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt. * Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Egypt)

 

Social justice, equality and human rights are complex and inter-linked concepts and feature prominently in Egypt social policy rhetoric. This paper begins with an overview of the discourses surrounding these concepts in education and the ways in which they are used in Egypt, which, in general, is founded on principles of universalism.

 

The need for some degree of redistribution of national universities, national investment and public services has been recognized for certain communities, but less attention has been paid to recognizing the identity of marginalized groups. There is also evidence to suggest that categories such as learning disabilities and social emotional and behavior difficulties are applied disproportionately to groups from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, cementing rather than challenging their marginalization.

 

The paper presents and discusses case studies where appropriate technologies and approaches helped to achieve social justice in few communities in Egypt's rural areas. The paper also reports on the progress of Public education for grassroots democracy and social justice for sustainable development in the Basaisa projects. The paper concludes by suggesting a road map for utilizing ICT and public education that population with additional support needs require more, rather than less, redistribution and recognition. Policies need to be couched within a discourse of rights, rather than needs.

 

Presenters:

Professor Salah Arafa is a tenured faculty member at the Physics Department, School of Sciences and Engineering of the American University in Cairo (AUC). He joined AUC in 1968. Before joining the University, he worked as a physics researcher at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority from 1962 till 1968. Dr. Arafa holds a BSc in Physics and Chemistry (1962), an MSc in Nuclear Physics (1966), and a PhD in Solid State Physics (1969); all from Cairo University. He was the Chair of the Science Department twice and served as senator at large in the University Senate.

 

Professor Arafa is well known as one of the leading Social Entrepreneurs in Egypt and the Arab World. He was selected a Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2004 and was awarded as the 'Man of the Year' for Environment and Development in 2009. Since 1974, Arafa has been involved in many Civil Society activities and is today the chairman for a few of the leading NGOs in Egypt. He has also served as a consultant to many international organizations, including: US-AID, UNICEF, GTZ, EU, and UNDP. He is a member of the National Committee on Climate Change and is also a member of the Research Council on Environment and Development at the Egyptian Academy for Scientific Research and Technology.


Mohammed Dabbour, Ph.D 

Associate Dean and Director, Student Development, The American University in Cairo.


Mohamed Dabbour is the associate Dean of Student and Director of Student Development at the American University of Cairo (AUC).  He is also an adjunct faculty at AUC in the School of Science and Engineering.


He has been quite active in curricular educational programs and social activities of the University. In his capacity as a student affairs professional, he promoted voluntarism and the community services program among the students and encouraged, supported and supervised their participation in different community-based action projects. He also has promoted student organizations and the Student Govenment at the university, which help develop the organizational and leadership skill of the students .


Early in his career, he was also the resident director of the AUC dormitory for 10 years, where he was responsible for all aspects of students' life and services for students of various nationalities. Dabbour participated in the Basaisa project, which is a sustainable model for development built on the notion that development and the adoption of appropriate technologies through a participatory approach.  Throughout his career, he was affiliated to several NGOs, and was a TOKTEN program consultant at UNDP Jerusalem, where he was assigned to help the capacity building of  the Palestinian National Authority.   He was an active member of the Education Committee  for five years working closely with the Minsters of Education and Higher Education and participated in drafting several policies pertaining to education in Egypt.  


Understanding notions of ‘quality education’

Out of the three broad yet crucial issues of education – access, management and quality, Nepal has been able to make progress on the aspect of access. The issue of management has been at the core of the government initiatives and plans since the new education system has been introduced. Despite the increase in the investment from the government, the outcome has not been satisfactory. With stakeholders in the country opining about the ‘quality’ not being improved, the notion of quality in itself remains a contested one. The universal notion of ‘quality education’ consolidates itself in the broader scenario of numeracy and merits based on standardized tests, however, in reality there are understanding and practices on context-specific notions of 'quality’ which play an important role for education to be a tool for social transformation. This also links with the larger question of ‘quality education for what?’ The presentation will focus on a) the notions of quality education perceived by different stakeholders and b) the initiatives of Alliance for Social Dialogue for social transformation.

 

Presenter:

Swagat Raj Pandey is Programme Officer, responsible for the Education portfolio at Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD), Social Science Baha in Nepal. He provides strategic oversight to current education grantee’s, coordinates and supports Open Society Foundation Education Network Programmes in the country. He also oversees preparation of policy briefs on education policies. Prior to joining the ASD, he worked at Nagarik Aawaz managing programs on conflict transformation and peace building. He is also engaged in teaching students of MSW (Master’s in Social Work) at the partner institution of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in Kathmandu. Swagat completed his Masters of Arts in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India.

 

The Social Science Baha is an independent, non-profit organisation set up with the objective of promoting and enhancing the study of and research in the social sciences in Nepal.

What is the influence of teachers’ own reading habits on their students’ reading development?

 This talk will consider the benefits that “text-curious” teachers can bring to the task of teaching reading by sharing their own explorations of literature with their students. Teachers who are genuinely interested in literature and make the process of reading visible to their students by reading aloud to them, by reading with them and thinking aloud with students about their own understandings of sentences and words can have a positive influence on student reading practices. 

 

Presenter:

Anne-Marie Körling 

Author, school developer and provider of teacher professional development

Received the 2006 Swedish Academy Swedish Teachers' Prize,

Microsoft Innovative Teacher price 2007.

Scira Honors Diploma in 2013


Reading to Learn in Ovanåker

This is a group presentation of some results of the the R2L work that was done in Ovanåker’s municipality in the school year 2012/2013 within a Nordplus project joining Finland, Sweden and Estonia. In Ovanåker in Sweden fifteen teachers in many different subject areas and from grade 1 through 12 joined in the project. Data in the form of pre and post reading comprehension tests and pre and post student texts were collected by all fifteen teachers. An overview of the project and teachers’ experiences will be given as well as specific insights into the different class room situations. We will present examples of successful R2L strategies and teacher reflections. In the presentation we will show examples of student progression, both in the form of statistics and in the form of student texts. We will also present some student reflections.

 

Presenters:

Pia Anderson, Lic. Phil. Education, PhD student Language Education, Stockholm University, Secondary school teacher, Ovanåker, Sweden

Britt-Marie Forsman, Secondary school teacher, Ovanåker.

Gustav Strömberg, Secondary school teacher, Ovanåker.

Lena Ahlström, Secondary school teacher, Ovanåker.

Åsa Lundman, Primary school teacher, Ovanåker.

 

Participatory Action Research as Pedagogy of Expansion

Framed by a Participatory Action Research (PAR) paradigm, this presentation will explore the possibilities of engaging college students in what Cannella (2008) calls a pedagogy of expansion. That is, engaging in a process that gives everyone involved (including those designated as teachers) the opportunity to experience an “expanded notion of learning, expanded engagement of identities, expanded idea of educational goals” (p. 190).  This pedagogy of expansion intentionally positions everyone participating as a learner and a teacher.  In other words, an “effort is made to dislodge the hierarchy of which knowledge is worth more than the others” (p. 190); as such, teachers learn from students as much (or even more) as students learn from teachers.  Thus, PAR, as pedagogy of expansion, deliberately disrupts “power dynamics of conventional models of learning and teaching” (p. 190) that bring light to the educational process and facilitates the re/visioning of democratic classrooms.  For the purpose of this presentation, a pedagogy of expansion refers to not only an expansion from institutional constrains, but also for everyone involved to experience an alternative model of teaching and learning that reflects horizontal relationships and encourages social action and transformation. 

 

The author of this presentation contends that incorporating PAR into the college classroom has the potential to foster an atmosphere conducive of growth, while students and teachers organize for action-taking around generative themes (Freire, 2000) that address issues relevant to those involved for the benefit of entire communities.  Overall, this presentation will discuss how PAR offers an alternative for teachers and students not only to see themselves reflected in the curriculum, but also as contributors to local, national, and global movements towards equity and social change.

 

Presenter:

Romina A. Pacheco was born and raised in the Caribbean city of Maracay, Venezuela. She has a M.Ed in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University (USA), where she is studying Critical Pedagogies and Women’s Studies.  Her research interests include: Participatory Action Research/Research as Praxis, Critical Multicultural Education, and Black/Latina Feminist Theory.

Using Wikis and e-books to improve EFL reading and writing: A presentation of a project investigating the action taken to improve EFL secondary school SEN students’ writing by introducing collaborative writing in a Wiki.

There will be a  presentation of the small scale research project undertaken tracking Swiss secondary school special needs German speaking students’ learning how to write in English in a Wiki. The investigation was based on genre-writing theory, R2L, Vygotsky’s and others’ scaffolding theories. The research looks at how Wiki technology can encourage collaborative writing thus enhancing learning through social interaction. The discussion will include the pedagogical theory to support Wiki writing, and practical ideas on implementation and assessment within a secondary or special needs classroom. There will also be a demonstration of how e-books can be used in the classroom to engage the students in interesting and meaningful experiences, thus promoting language learning that does not rely on vocabulary or grammar lists, but instead can be tailored to individual learning experiences or teaching styles encouraging a more democratic learning environment.  E-books can, in particular, support language learning through Systemic Functional Linguistics using interactive text and puzzles.


Presenter:


Karen Philpott  is primary school teacher,and mother of 4 from England who  works in Switzerland in a special needs school. She moved to Switzerland when her children were young and became interested in language  when  they struggled to learn German.  She has an M’Ed in Applied Linguistics and found that Systemic Functional Linguistics, Genre theory and the sociocultural theories of learning (Vygotsky) can be used to enhance learning. She has been investigating how children can learn by working collaboratively using a Wiki and e-books. In Nepal she helped to find technological resources for Nepali teachers so that they were better equiped to teach in the remote mountain villages.