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2018-2019 Events

Global Education Colloquium

October 31, 2018

Longitudinal Experimental Impacts of the ‘Quality Preschool for Ghana’ Interventions on Classroom Quality, Teacher Professional Well-being, and Children’s School Readiness: Implications for System-level Reform 

Sharon Wolf, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Sharon Wolf, Applied Developmental Psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, assessed the impacts of a teacher professional development program for public and private kindergartens in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. She and her team examined impacts on teacher professional well-being, classroom quality, and children’s readiness during one school year. This cluster-randomized-trial included 240 schools (teachers N = 444; children N = 3,345, Mage = 5.2) randomly assigned to one of three conditions: teacher training (TT), teacher training plus parental-awareness meetings (TTPA), and controls. The programs incorporated workshops and in-classroom coaching for teachers, and video-based discussion groups for parents. Moderate impacts were found on some dimensions of professional well-being (reduced burnout in the TT and TTPA conditions, reduced turnover in the TT condition), classroom quality (increased emotional support/behavior management in the TT and TTPA conditions, support for student expression in the TT condition), and small impacts on multiple domains of children’s school readiness (in the TT condition). The parental-awareness meetings had counteracting effects on child school readiness outcomes. One year after the intervention, impacts on children’s overall school readiness persisted for children in the TT treatment arm, but decreased in size from effect size of 0.16 to 0.13. In addition, persistent counteracting effects of adding a parental-awareness intervention on children’s overall school readiness varied by literacy status of the male household head. Implications for policy and practice are discussed for Ghana and for early childhood education in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Sharon Wolf is an applied developmental psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies how children's family and educational environments shape their development, focusing on disadvantaged populations in the United States and in low-income countries. Dr. Wolf's research informs interventions and tests the effectiveness of theoretically informed policy solutions designed to promote childhood development and learning through randomized field experiments. Her current work focuses on three primary areas: developing and evaluating school-based interventions to improve educational quality and child learning outcomes; the measurement of educational settings and children’s learning outcomes; and understanding the links between poverty, education, and child development.

November 28, 2018

Rethinking Cooperative Education: Expanding the Drexel Model to Chinese Universities 

Jin Li, PhD
Associate Professor
Henan University of Urban Construction

Underemployment of undergraduates is an issue of concern globally, and higher education institutions worldwide are utilizing various measures to increase the employability of their students. In order to resolve the problem of structural unemployment in China, the Chinese government has implemented a policy to encourage local undergraduate universities to transform into universities of applied science. Important aspects of the transition include strengthening cooperation between universities and industries, cultivating applied talents needed in the industry and improving students' employment rate. Drexel’s cooperative education program offers an interesting model for China’s education reform agenda. It was one of the first of its kind, and it continues to be among the largest and most renowned cooperative education programs globally. It has deepened school-enterprise cooperation, increased student employment opportunities and positively affected their starting salaries.  Through an examination of Drexel’s cooperative education model, this paper offers suggestions for Chinese Universities serving primarily undergraduate students.

JIN LI is an associate professor in Henan University of Urban Construction, China, and currently a Visiting Scholar at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She obtained her EdD in Education from Southwest University, China. Sponsored by the China Scholarship Council, she was a visiting scholar at Australian National University during Summer 2011 and at Drexel University for a year in 2018. Her research interests include higher education and comparative education, applied research and cooperative education.

December 11, 2018

Getting to Girls 

Emily Anderson, PhD
Associate Professor of Education Studies
Centenary University

The Millennium Development Goals’ (hereafter, MDGs) inclusion of girls as a specific population target (Schneider & Ingram, 1993) represented a significant shift in the way that gender was used as an organizing framework in international education policy and development. Grounded in a critical feminist discursive institutional perspective (Kangas, Niemelä & Varjonen, 2014; Kuwalik, 2009; Mackay, Kenney, Chappell, 2010; Schmidt, 2008), this presentation will purposely interrogate the discourse construction of girls as a target population in international education policy and development during the MDGs. Using historical policy documents, contextualized by interviews with girls’ education actors, my analysis shows the incremental shift from policies targeting children and those targeting women, to specific policies targeting girls as a unique and distinct population of interest in education policy making. Further, this presentation will identify how the focus on girls was extended during the MDGs to include boys and men as ‘allies’ for gender equality in education. Taken together, the aims and outcomes of this presentation problematize the gendered constructions of population targeting and highlight implications for girls’ education policy and agenda setting for the Sustainable Development Goal era.

Emily Anderson is currently an Associate Professor of Education Studies at Centenary University, transitioning to Florida International University in 2019 as a
Visiting Assistant Professor of International and Intercultural Education. Dr. Anderson holds dual-title PhD in Educational Theory and Policy and Comparative and International Education from The Pennsylvania State University, and Master’s degrees in both Comparative and International Education and Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. Using qualitative, participatory and network approaches, her research investigates the construction, diffusion, and complex negotiation of gender in internationally comparative education policy discourses. Her work is published widely in journals and collections including Girlhood Studies, Studies in Social Justice, and The International Handbook of Teacher Quality & Policy, amongst others. Dr. Anderson is a Co-Chair of the Gender and Education Standing Committee of the Comparative and International Education Society and a 2018 – 2019 Visiting Scholar with the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

January 16, 2018

Gender Discrimination at Schools in Turkey 

Figen Ereş
Gazi University

The gender roles and responsibilities attributed to women bring about inequality and discrimination between men and women. Gender discrimination is considered as the result of insufficient economic and socio-cultural structures of nations. Schools are the places where gender discrimination behaviors can be displayed, as well. The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of teachers on gender discrimination. This research differs from other studies in that it reflects the perceptions of teachers working at different school types on gender discrimination at schools. Data was obtained through using a semi-structured interview form prepared by the researchers and composed of two parts. In analyzing the data obtained in the research, content analysis technique was used and in the process of analysis of the obtained data, interview records were deciphered and analyzed. Research findings show that women teachers encounter with some inequalities owing to social structure, are underrated in society and even are treated in an oppressive manner at schools. Gender discrimination behaviors are often displayed by school administrators. Women teachers generally cope with gender discrimination by means of verbal warnings, displaying a strong decisive personality and making complaints when they found no way out. Women benefit from gender discrimination in some cases.

Figen Ereş is a professor of educational management at Gazi University, Ankara. Her research focuses on education policy and planning and diversity management in education. She also conducts cross-cultural and cross-national research in education. Her recent scholarly works have focused on immigrant education and its relationship with social development. In addition to her published international works, Dr. Ereş is visible at major national and international conferences. Besides she is also member several international associations and organizations regarding education. Dr Ereş is Visiting Scholar at Drexel University in 2018-19.

April 3, 2019

Access and equity in higher education: A case of minority students in Northwest Vietnam 

Nga Ngo, PhD
Lecturer in the Faculty of Foreign Languages
Tay Bac University, Vietnam

The global inter-independence and demographic shifts have critically accelerated higher education reforms across Asia (e.g., Neubauer & Tanaka, 2011, Pham, 2012). In response to this current trend, Vietnam has undergone various renovations in tertiary education, incuding diversifying and decentralizing education, changing curriculum and evaluation, and advancing teacher education in order to satisfy the diverse demands of the job market (e.g., Bui & Nguyen, 2016; Nguyen & Hamid, 2015, Pham, 2012). However, issues of social and regional access and equity for minority students in tertiary education in Vietnam remain under-researched. In an attempt to address these concerns, this study aims to explore factors affecting minority students' equity access in Northwest Vietnam. The study draws upon Bourdieu’s (1986, 1991) social reproduction theories to understand how education capital in higher education can either support or create disadvantages for minority students in obtaining socio-economic and political equity and social integration. Using a case study research design, this study is based upon data from document analysis, and interviews with different stakeholders including minority students, managers, and lecturers in a leading university in Northwest Vietnam. The results indicate that students’ opportunities to access and obtain equity to higher education are significantly influenced by linguistic, financial, socio-cultural, and geographical factors. Using Bourdieu’s social reproduction theories to explore these factors further indicates that minority students can only access fragile forms of socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic capital within and outside of the higher education setting. Such forms of capital can pose tremendous threats to minority students’ aspirations, access, and equity in higher education. To this end, the study provided suggestions to improve access and equity issues in higher education for minority students in Vietnam and beyond.

Dr Nga Ngo is a lecturer in the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Tay Bac University, Vietnam. She obtained a PhD in Education from the University of Sydney in 2017. Her research interests bridge the areas of language and culture. She also undertakes projects on teacher education, higher education, and graduate employability focusing on disadvantaged population in Vietnam. Her current research under the Fulbright Vietnamese Scholar at Stanford University focuses on the challenges that ethic minority students face in higher education.

April 24, 2019

The Palei and the City: Language Endangerment and Socialization in the Context of Vietnam’s Rural–Urban Migrations 

Dave Paulson
PhD Candidate
Temple University Department of Anthropology

Studies of language endangerment have demonstrated how processes of urbanization and rural to urban migration have negatively affected the survival of the world’s endangered languages. Cham has been spoken in the south-central region of Vietnam since the 2nd Century but is spoken by only 0.1% of the Vietnamese population today. As young people move away from the palei (village) into Ho Chi Minh City, they are presented with new sociolinguistic environments where they must position themselves in relation to their heritage language and the various other linguistic codes they encounter. Drawing from ethnographic observations of folk-heritage classrooms, community events, and homes, the present research examines how young people are socialized into the use of their community’s communicative traditions as they migrate to urban environments and become “temporary” residents of the city. These practices reflect a socio-historically specific linguistic marketplace in Ho Chi Minh City that comprises wide-ranging levels of Cham-language proficiency, as well as divergent language ideologies that are (re)produced and transformed in everyday urban encounters. Through an investigation of both informal and institutionally organized interactions, this study analyzes how young people use new and sometimes contradictory opportunities during migration for the acquisition of their endangered language, and what this suggests for how they imagine urban-rural spaces in the process.

Dave Paulson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University. His enduring research interests are committed to understanding the complex intersections of language endangerment, cultural socialization, and transformations to the (broadly conceived) material world. His doctoral-dissertation research has been supported at different stages by the Temple Global Studies Program, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program in Vietnam, and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. Before coming to Temple, Dave conducted undergraduate studies at Southern Connecticut State University in Anthropology, with minors in Asian Studies and Psychology, as well as Master’s Studies in Bilingual, Multicultural Education & TESOL. At Temple University, Dave helped to establish the Visual Anthropology Society at Temple (VAST) and has been a Research Fellow at Center for Vietnamese Philosophy, Culture, and Society at Temple University since 2011.

May 15, 2019

Addressing Menstruation Globally: Where have we come from and where do we go from here? 

Marni Sommer, DrPH, MSN, RN
Associate Professor
Columbia University

There is growing attention to the issue of menstruation around the world, ranging from efforts to address the menstruation-related barriers facing schoolgirls in low-income countries to the period equity and period poverty campaigns newly underway in high-income countries. Around the world the effort to address menstruation must address ongoing stigma and taboos around the topic, breaking the silence and engaging new partners in the effort to meet the needs of those who menstruation. This talk will explore the origins of the menstrual movement, the expanding attention to the issue, and what remains to be done.

Marni Sommer is an Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health. Her particular areas of expertise include conducting participatory research with adolescents, understanding and promoting health transitions to adulthood, and the intersection and public health and education, gender and sexual health. For many years her research has explored girls’ experiences of menstruation, puberty and schooling, and the ways in which the onset of puberty may be disrupting girls’ education and healthy transition to young adulthood. Dr. Sommer presently leads the Gender, Adolescent Transitions and Environment (GATE) program, is a Senior Editor for the journal Global Public Health, and is the President of Grow and Know, a small non-profit that focuses on developing puberty books for girls and boys in partnerships with Ministries of Education in low-income countries.

June 5, 2019

A Diaspora in Cultural Crisis: Non-formal Education and Ethnic Uyghur Migrants in Turkey 

Rebecca Clothey, PhD
Associate Professor of Education and Director of Global Studies
Drexel University

In recent years Turkey’s population of ethnic Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group from China’s northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has rapidly increased due to political turmoil in their home region. As the Uyghur community rebuilds their lives in Turkey, they are also seeking ways to preserve their unique culture, as it is under assault at home. This talk explores the political situation in China leading to challenges for Uyghurs in Turkey, and describes non-formal education initiatives undertaken by the community to preserve their culture amid these challenges.

Rebecca Clothey is an associate professor of Education and the Director of the Global Studies program in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences. She recently returned from a sabbatical in Istanbul, Turkey, where she conducted a qualitative study on the challenges the Uyghur immigrant community is facing to preserve their culture as a diaspora community. Her research was funded by an American Research Institute in Turkey – National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship (ARIT-NEH). Dr. Clothey has also conducted research on Uyghur education in China, where she lived off and on for almost six years. Among her published work, she is co-editor (with Richardson Dilworth) of the forthcoming book entitled, “China’s Urban Future and the Quest for Stability,” to be published by McGill Queen’s University Press, and the recent “Another Way: Decentralization, Democratization, and the Global Politics of Community Based Schooling” (with Kai Heidemann), published in 2019 by Brill/Sense Publishers as part of the Pittsburgh Series on Comparative and International Education.