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2019-2020 Events

Global Education Colloquium

October 17, 2019
The Study

20 S. 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

World Class: One Mother’s Journey Halfway Around the Globe in Search of the Best Education for her Children 

Teru Clavel
Author and School of Education Alumna

Author and Drexel University School of Education alumna Teru Clavel will share her insight in comparative international education based on her new book, World Class: One Mother’s Journey Halfway Around the Globe in Search of the Best Education for her Children. The book explores reasons why Asian students are outpacing their American counterparts in their education outcomes and key takeaways on how to bring the best of Asia’s education and parenting philosophies to American schools and homes.

November 20, 2019
3401 Market St. room 3014
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Schooling at the Intersection of Refugee Identity and (Dis)ability: Implications from North Korean Students with Refugee Backgrounds

Yosung Song, PhD
Moravian College

In this talk, Dr. Song shares the results of a qualitative study examining the intersecting experiences of (dis)ability and refugee backgrounds for North Korean students. Researchers have previously found that school-age refugees and asylum-seekers are frequently characterized as experiencing physical, emotional, or psychological disabilities or disorders in schools because of the adversity that they face and a lack of adequate resources during their refugee journey. In their relocated society, many refugee students are interpreted as having disabilities or receiving special education services. While refugee experiences are often framed as causing deficits in students, the purpose of this study was to better understand the interplay of (dis)ability and refugee identity at a school that publicly proclaimed refugee experience as an asset. The findings of this study build on previous research by demonstrating how disability is both embodied and constructed, not only through refugee experiences, but also through the effects of living within the culture, policies, and educational structures of a new society. Findings also demonstrate the culturally relevant philosophical approaches and practices that teachers used to support North Korean to develop a positive understanding about their identity. In this talk, Dr. Song shares implications and recommendations directed to educators, school administrators, and practitioners who work with diverse student demographics, including those with refugee backgrounds.

Dr. Yosung Song is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Moravian College. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education and Disability Studies at Syracuse University. Her research interests include the intersection of disability and refugee identity, and implementing inclusive practices to support diverse students, especially those with refugee backgrounds. She conducted research on inclusive education in township schools in South Africa and about disability in the context of North Korea. Her research has published book chapters and in journals such as Disability and the Global South and Canadian Journal of Children's Rights. She is originally from South Korea where she taught students with and without disabilities in public elementary schools.

January 15, 2020
3401 Market St., room 3014
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Why Educators Should Study Privilege: Class, Race, Gender, and Golf in Mexico

Dr. Hugo Cerón-Anaya
Lehigh University

Social Scientists have a relatively nuanced understanding of the tastes, pastimes, consumption practices, socialization patterns, educational aspirations, perceptions of gender, notions of violence, and racial ideas of the lower classes. But they have a very shallow understanding of the corresponding attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors among upper-middle and upper classes. The limited understanding social scientists and policymakers have about these groups might have inadvertently allowed them to expand their power and privilege during periods of capitalist expansion. Reflecting on the process of studying upper-middle and upper-class elites in Mexico, Dr. Hugo Cerón-Anaya considers the implications of his research for American educators and Schools of Education.

Dr. Hugo Cerón-Anaya is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Lehigh University. His work focuses on social hierarchies, inequalities, and privilege, examining how class, race, and gender inform the behavior and perceptions of affluent people. He is particularly interested in the wide array of ordinary and everyday practices that reproduce privilege. He is the author of Privilege at Play: Class, Race, Gender and Golf in Mexico, Oxford University Press, 2019.


February 19, 2020
3401 Market St., room 3014
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Occupying Land, Occupying Schools: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education

Rebecca Tarlau, PhD
Pennsylvania State University

This presentation is about how social movements use state services, such as schools, to support their social change goals. Over the past thirty-five years, a million farmers in Brazil have won access to land through occupying large land estates. This farmers’ movement also fights for agricultural assistance, housing, health clinics, schools, and other services that support their rural livelihoods. In the case of education, the movement has developed an educational proposal that encourages youth to stay in the countryside and participate in more just farming practices. This book analyzes how activists convince government officials to implement these educational practices and how these initiatives strengthen the movement.

Dr. Rebecca Tarlau is Assistant Professor of Education and Labor Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She was inspired to pursue a career in education by her experiences with community organizing in Latin America and the United States, where she witnessed the potential education has to advance economic and racial justice in poor communities. Dr. Tarlau is compelled by the question, what role does education play in facilitating social change, both within formal school systems and in informal contexts? She completed her doctorate in Social and Cultural Studies in Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Her research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) theories of the state and state-society relations; (2) social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; (3) Latin American education and development. Her scholarship engages in debates in the fields of political sociology, international and comparative education, social movements, critical pedagogy, global and transnational sociology, and social theory. Her recent book reflects these findings: Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education (Oxford University Press, 2019).

March 18, 2020
3401 Market Street, classroom 3014
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Promise-Keepers: Group-Mediated Education by and for African-Born Women Seeking HIV Care in Philadelphia

Kimberly McClellan, EdD
Drexel University

African-born, HIV-positive women living in the U.S. continue to experience care disparity in access to and control over their treatment when receiving professional health care services. In an effort to find ways to redress this injustice, this study uses the case of “The Promise Keepers,” to explore the role of community mediated education on community and individual health. The Promise Keepers are a community of practice that gathers regularly to deepen, share, and create a living repository of their knowledge of living as HIV-positive, African-born women seeking and obtaining care in Philadelphia. Through in-depth life history interviews, a group interview, and extensive participant-observation, this research illuminates the relevance and positive effects of education in the restoration of self-efficacy among community of practice members. As voiced by the Promise Keepers, group-mediated education facilitated members to established trust, create “safe space,” and reduced their perceived risk of isolation – as women, as both HIV-positive, and foreign-born – and in turn enhanced their perceived benefit of seeking support to achieve wellness. Findings will be of interest to educators and health practitioners working at the intersection of global education about health and healthy living.

Dr. Kimberly McClellan, EdD, MSN, CRNP, is an assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions of Drexel University. Her primary clinical focus is driving the evolution and application of care models formulated to advance cultural/gender specific care access and outcomes. Her research interests include African and gender-related, cultural aspects of HIV Primary Care. She uses qualitative research to integrate translational concepts such as communities of practice, education, cultural humility, and health promotion to inform evidence-based care models in US, with a particular focus on supporting immigrant communities. Dr. McClellan holds nurse practitioner board certification in both Women's Health and Family Practice. She has extensive experience in the clinical areas of Women's Health, Family Planning, Community Health and HIV Primary Care. Dr. McClellan maintains her active membership in the American Nurses Association as well as the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, and she is the founding Vice President of the board of The African Family Health Organization.

April 15, 2020

Understanding Academic Dishonesty as Social Practice in Vietnamese High Schools 

Phoebe Linh Doan
PhD Candidate, Teacher’s College, Columbia University 

Research on academic dishonesty has consistently been proven to have a detrimental impact on the learning process. Nevertheless, there is very little research that explores “cheating” from student perspectives, or the role that peer groups play in the proliferation or reduction of cheating cultures. This study seeks to fill the gap using an innovative research design which draws on a sample of 1000 high school students in five provinces of Vietnam to understand (1) how students define “cheating,” (2) how different classroom structures and climates affect the frequency of cheating, and (3) what factors lead to widespread and systematic cheating. The researcher applies advanced statistical methods – Social Network Analysis, Latent Class Analysis, and Hierarchical Linear Model – to her own meticulously collected data, and finds that not only do students reject dominant definitions of academic dishonesty, but their friendship networks and the classroom structures in which these networks operate, prove to be vital catalysts in the spreading of cheating behaviors in Vietnamese high schools.

Linh (Phoebe) Doan is a doctoral research fellow and Ph.D. candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Her research interests include issues in educational testing and academic dishonesty in Southeast Asia. In addition to her research, she teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in quantitative methodology, public opinions in education, sociology of education, and large-scale international assessments. She earned her M.A. in International and Comparative Education (2015) and M.S. in Applied Statistics (2018) from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Communication from the University of Washington, Seattle. Phoebe also works as a data analyst at the National Center for Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST), where her research focus on high-school-to-college transition and education equity for low-income students in Michigan.

May 12, 2020

Engaging with Higher Education in Azerbaijan

Dr. Nabil Al-Tikriti
Associate Professor of Middle East History, University of Mary Washington

In this talk, Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti will describe his year serving as a Fulbright Scholar in Baku, Azerbaijan. In the course of that year he compared his experiences teaching research methodology to undergraduates with Azerbaijani colleagues, conducted historical research in manuscript collections and university libraries, and assisted national counterparts in designing a proposed reform of Baku State University's American Studies curriculum. In the course of his immersion, Prof. Al-Tikriti gained numerous insights into post-Soviet legacies in Higher Education, as well as in alternative models of university instruction.

Nabil Al-Tikriti is Associate Professor of Middle East History at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. He has served as a member of the editorial board of Middle East Report since 2017, and prior to that was a member of the MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017. He has served as a consultant, election monitor, and relief worker at a number of field locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Dr. Al-Tikriti earned a bachelor’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a doctorate in Ottoman History from the University of Chicago in 2004. He has also studied at Bo─čaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul, the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad in Cairo, and the American University in Cairo. He is the recipient of several grants and scholarships, including three Fulbrights, a U.S. Institute of Peace Fellowship, and a NEH/American Research Institute in Turkey grant.

May 20, 2020

New Ways of Evaluating the Impact of Women’s Education in a Global Context

Rebekah Burroway
Stony Brook University

Women’s education is widely heralded as a key factor in improving health and development, especially in the Global South. Yet despite the fact that it is one of the most well-correlated aspects of wellbeing, there is still much we do not know about why and how education matters. Dr. Burroway presents two studies that make us think more deeply about creative ways to measure the effects of women’s education in global research. The first study (with Andrew Hargrove) combines multi-level modeling with geospatial data techniques to examine the effects of individual and community levels of women’s education on child immunization rates in Nigeria. Results show that the education level of a child's own mother influences the likelihood of being immunized, but above and beyond that, living in a community in which many women are educated also influences that likelihood. This suggests that education has a protective effect on child health not only because more individual women are going to school, but also because everyone benefits from the education and empowerment of women in the community. As broad societal transformations take place, education may shape women's capacity to take advantage of better access to power and resources, resulting in a dispersion effect of expanded women's education on health. The second study (with Kristen Shorette) uses quantile regression analysis to better understand cross-national disparities in infant mortality across 154 countries from 1970-2015. Traditional regression techniques summarize relationships between predictors and outcomes at the mean, assuming a uniform relationship between education and mortality. However, quantile regression allows for the possibility that the relationship between women’s education and infant mortality varies, depending on observed mortality rates. Indeed, results show that the expected beneficial health outcomes of women’s education are limited to countries at the center and moderately high end of the distribution of infant mortality rates. Specifically, women’s education is associated with reduced mortality between the 45th and 75th percentiles (17 – 64 deaths per 1,000 live births) and is largest at the 60th percentile (40 deaths). At the lower end of the distribution, there is no relationship between education and mortality. More theoretically significant (and puzzling), women’s education is associated with worse health outcomes where mortality rates are high. This association strengthens from the 80th to 100th percentile of the distribution (75 – 203 deaths). This demonstrates that the relationship between women’s education and health is more complex than currently understood.

Dr. Rebekah Burroway is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Sociology at Stony Brook University. She is particularly interested in the ways in which women are constrained from fully participating in their communities and the subsequent impact this has on households and societies at large. Two key goals of her research agenda are to further the measurement of women’s empowerment in innovative and creative ways and to evaluate the consequences that gender inequality has on families and societies. Some of her findings challenge the prevailing notion that economic development is the key to improving wellbeing in poor countries by demonstrating that the effects of women’s empowerment are comparable to or larger than those of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Inherent in much of Dr. Burroway’s work is an overlapping interest in child health, since women typically bear the primary responsibility for caregiving and maintaining household food security. Understanding the patterns of inequality in malnutrition and childhood illness not only effects children in the present, but it has long-term consequences for the future as well since healthy children are more likely to succeed in school and society. Thus, a large part of her research agenda also centers on understanding the reasons that some children are at higher risk of malnutrition, disease, and mortality while others are shielded from such risk.


June 3, 2020
Please note: due to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, this colloquium will be rescheduled for fall 2020.

What’s “Special” about Special Education Policy? The Politics of Perception in Egypt

Alia Ammar
Drexel University

Special education is a relatively new field in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. As such, there are widely divergent definitions, policies and programs designed to address education for children with disabilities. Egypt provides an interesting case to examine what happens when special education comes to mean different things to diverse stakeholders such as policymakers, educators and parents, and the role context plays during implementation. This presentation introduces the different laws pertaining to the education of differently-abled students in Egypt, and examines how perceptions of those laws impact implementation, particularly at the school level. Data was collected over a three-month period in two data collection phases (phase one: survey specifically designed for this study; phase two: participant interviews), and contextualized through personal experience as a school-level teacher for six years. Findings illuminate special education policy as a contested site of struggle. As different stakeholders work to control what it means to provide inclusive education to Egyptian citizens, they reframe special education policy to fit their own particular interests.

Alia A. Ammar is a PhD Candidate in Drexel’s School of Education. She is passionate about education, equity, and English Language and Literature teaching. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in English Literature (2007) and an M.A. in International and Comparative Education with a concentration in international education development and policy (2014) from the American University in Cairo. Her research interests include equitable special education policy, literacy and reading comprehension, learning disabilities, and program evaluation. The focus of her dissertation is on special education policy in Egypt. She enjoys using an international comparative framework, when appropriate, in her projects.