Laura Willemsen, alumna (Ph.D. 2016) and lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has won the 2016-17 Gail P. Kelly Award for her dissertation, Embodying Empowerment: Gender, Schooling, Relationships and Life History in Tanzania.
This award of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) is conferred on an outstanding Ph.D. or Ed.D. dissertation that manifests academic excellence; originality; methodological, theoretical, and empirical rigor; and that deals with issues of social justice and equity in international settings. These issues may include—but are not limited to—gender, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality.
The committee wrote the following assessment of Dr. Willemsen’s dissertation:
“This is a solid piece of academic work engaging with ethnographic realities which clearly paints a scenario of gender disparity and the fundamental role that education should play in ameliorating the current status quo. It examines the role schooling has played in empowering young women from vulnerability toward increasing security and well-being. The study illustrates how school needs to include an element of care to be successful, particularly in marginalized women’s lives, underscoring how quality education moves beyond what can be measured through traditional indicators such as academic performance. Through her study, Willemsen critically engages with prominent discourses in the field of comparative and international education, for example the role of education in empowering of marginalized groups (here young women in a low-income country), yet also underscoring how the school is not necessarily the decisive factor in this empowerment, how additional forces, such as family, community and religion can play more prominent roles than education. Additionally, she put forward a critical perspective on the content of schooling, promoting a more holistic notion of education for the institution to at all be able to function as a factor for empowerment of marginalized groups. In this dissertation, the notion of empowerment as understood by researchers and development experts, and the role of education within it, is challenged through this dissertation and the young women populating it. The role of social justice is a cross-cutting issue in the dissertation by Willemsen. She also engages with central CIES discourses in a critical manner, something rather bold in a Ph.D. dissertation and in such a way contributing to academic excellence and originality.”
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) and co-principal investigator of the Research for Improving Education Systems in Vietnam (RISE), conducted interviews with national policymakers in January. The research will be analyzed to understand the political-economic changes that affected Vietnamese educational successes and challenges. One of the unique features the research aims to understand is how policies were implemented throughout the country and at local levels during a process of decentralization and “democratization” that allowed for a large expansion of educational participation and learning, while also maintaining a strong socialist ethos and commitment to equality.
Read more about RISE, a 6-year, $5.2 million research project about children’s learning throughout the world.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and colleague Lesley Bartlett (University of Wisconsin-Madison) have recently published the book Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach with relevance across the fields of education and human development. The book is designed as a textbook for graduate students and other researchers seeking a more holistic approach to case study research, especially research with a focus on policy, and it has exercises in every chapter that guide readers through the research process.
The book is available at www.routledge.com (use the following promo code for a 20% discount: IRK69) or at www.amazon.com. Professor Vavrus will also be available in the fall term to speak in classes that might want to use the book.
Darwin Hendel, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and his collaborators, Karen Kaler and Gwendolyn Freed, presented the results of their study “The lives of Presidential Partners in Higher Education Institutions” at The Presidents Institute at a meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges in Orlando Florida. Their study was featured in the Inside Higher Education article “Gender Roles and Presidential Spouses.”
Alexandre Ardichvili, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), delivered a keynote at the Association of South East Asian Institutions of Higher Learning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He also conducted external evaluation of graduate and undergraduate programs in HRD at the University Putra Malaysia.
An article by Kyla Wahlstrom, lecturer and senior research fellow in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), is the cover story of the December issue of Kappan magazine, which is a publication of Phi Delta Kappa, a leading professional organization for educators. See the story, “Later start time for teens improves grades, mood, and safety.” Wahlstrom has been researching the outcomes of later high school starting times on teens for 20 years, and this story reports on the largest study ever done on the topic.
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), wrote an op-ed article for The Huffington Post: Muslim Registry Would Be Hideous-And Thoroughly American. It examines the history of racialized surveillance in the U.S. and the possibilities of resisting and confronting this latest version.
“But taking a look at Trump’s proposals against a long history of racial and religious surveillance provides a larger, and even more disturbing landscape. Because, for one, it is shocking to find that this kind of program is nothing new. And, second, programs like the ones he’s suggesting have provided no discernible benefit for the shame of betraying the rights of our neighbors.”
Michael Stebleton and Rashné Jehangir, associate professors in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently had a feature article published in the journal Learning Communities Research and Practice. “Creating Communities of Engaged Learners: An Analysis of a First-Year Inquiry Seminar” focuses on student engagement and the high-impact practices used in the First-Year Inquiry program in the college.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was an invited speaker in the Faculty of Education and Social Work Dean’s Lecture Series, which is part of the University of Sydney Ideas program. The lecture, entitled When ‘What Works’ Doesn’t: Comparative Pedagogies and Epistemological Diversity in Education, was presented on Wednesday, November 16th. Professor Vavrus was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Sydney for the month of November.
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and Maria Hantzopoulos, associate professor at Vasser College, co-authored a blog post titled In a Time of Islamophobia, Teach with Complexity on the Teaching Tolerance website.
“When teaching about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), U.S. teachers are often confronted with a dearth of accurate and nuanced material about the history, politics and people of the region. This crisis of critical awareness mainly materializes through two recurring narratives that circulate in mainstream media, political discourse and popular culture: “Islam as anti-Western” and conflict fueled by “ancient hatreds.”
David Chapman, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a paper, co-authored with Nancy Pellowski Wiger and Joan DeJeaghere at the UNESCO-APEID education conference in Bangkok October 25-28. The paper summarized key findings from their 5-year longitudinal study of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship training for economically disadvantaged youth in East Africa, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, Canada.
Muhammad Khalifa, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was interviewed in a podcast titled The Killing of Knowledge: A Brief History of Islam in the Western Society. The first in the three part series Centering Equity in Supporting Muslim Students.
Dr. Khalifa offers a critical historical analysis of the religious oppression of Muslim peoples. He surfaces how, with a greater understanding of historical oppression and religious persecution of Islam, educators can better understand and disrupt school practices that create unsafe learning environments for Muslim students. Further, Dr. Khalifa discusses how educators can use this information to reflect upon their own assumptions and biases about religious stereotyping and discrimination.
Frances Vavrus, professor, and Peter Demerath, associate professor, from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in PhD Days on September 12-13th at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway. The two-day event, organized by the Faculty of Education and International Studies, included seminars for PhD advisors and sessions for PhD students on a range of issues relevant to doctoral education.
Dr. Demerath led a session for advisors on the internationalization of teacher education and a workshop for students on qualitative data analysis. Dr. Vavrus’ session for advisors addressed academic writing and identity formation, and her workshop for students dealt with the intersection of epistemology, methodology, and methods in the design of a dissertation.
David Weerts, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and the Faculty Director of the jCENTER for Innovative Higher Education, has written an article regarding state-university relationships titled Covenant, Contract, and the Politics of the Wisconsin Idea included in the American Association of University Professors’ publication Academe.
“Political, demographic, and economic influences have fundamentally changed the state-university relationship since the “golden age” of higher education in the 1960s: a large segment of the public today views higher education primarily as a private good instead of a public good, and competing state priorities such as health care and corrections crowd out financial support for higher education.”
Dr. Weerts also has a post in the Academe blog titled Pursuing Virtue in State-University Relations.
Joan DeJaeghere, Co-PI and associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), along with Paul Glewwe, PI and professor in the Department of Applied Economics, and other Vietnamese and international researchers led a workshop on the new Research for the Improvement of Education Systems (RISE) in Hanoi, Vietnam in August. The RISE program was discussed in the national newspaper, Dan Tri.
Read more about RISE, a 6-year, $5.2 million research project about children’s learning throughout the world.
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a paper co-authored with Aditi Arur (OLPD-CIDE alum) titled, Girls’ education and early marriage in Rajasthan, India: A longitudinal capability approach, at the Young Lives Adolescents, Youth and Gender conference held at Oxford September. 8-9th. The paper is based on qualitative research that Dr. DeJaeghere leads as part of a 3-year research study funded by the Department of Labor to a research team at Williams College.
Michael Goh, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), provided testimony on August 15 to the Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health regarding issues of access barriers and challenges and culturally competent clinical services for ethnically diverse, new immigrant, and refugee populations.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), attended the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Beijing in August and presented a paper entitled Critical Historical Geography of Educational Inequality. There were also three OLPD alumni who presented their research at the conference: Drs. Taro Komatsu, Xinyi Wu, and Ya Liu.