Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 12: Ethnography and Educational Research

Presenter: Mimi Lee, University of Houston.

Dr. Mimi Lee is an assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Houston. She received her Ph.D in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2004 with an ethnographic study focusing on the complexities of intercultural understanding in a rural learning environment. Her research interests include theories of identity formation, sociological examination of online communities, issues of representation in education and critical theory in instructional design.

In this presentation, Dr. Lee will provide a brief overview of critical ethnography as a qualitative research method and discuss its possible uses in educational inquiry.

Suggested explorations:

Facilitators: Dennis Culver / Jacob Larsen

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 11: Digital Equity and Black Brazilians -- A Freireian Liberatory Pedagogical Approach

Presenter: Patricia Leigh
Facilitator: Wei Wang

In this paper, Patricia Leigh and James McShay examine the history of the colonization of Brazil through the transatlantic Black slave trade and the effects this history has had upon digital equity experienced by Black Brazilians in the information age. The authors are motivated by the belief that issues of digital equity and equality of opportunity can only be effectively addressed if one has a deep understanding of the factors that led to inequities, particularly inequities that preceded the information age. In addition, the authors look to Brazilian scholar and activist, Paulo Freire (1972), and his liberatory pedagogy for countering discriminatory practices, particularly in educational settings and institutions. They then suggest ways in which Freire’s pedagogy can be used to conceptualize liberatory uses of technology tools to dismantle the racist influences embedded in school practices and curricula.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 10: Preparing Pre-service Teachers for Online Teaching: A Research Study

Presenter: Lily Compton
Facilitators: Becky Popelka / Brian Fodrey

Abstract: The first study represented the literature review portion that included a critique of an existing skills framework for online language teaching. It also included a proposed framework for online language teaching skills and a look at the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in an online learning system.

The second study reviewed literature on conceptual change and proposed a conceptual change framework to help pre-service teachers increase their awareness of online education, commonly known in the US as virtual schooling (VS). This study used a grounded approach to identify common preconceptions, misconceptions, and concerns of VS based on secondary data that included pre-service teachers’ personal journals and responses to a set of materials related to VS in part of a curriculum intervention in a pre-existing introductory field experience course at a large Midwestern university. Findings were complemented by insights from an interview with the course instructor and the researcher’s journal. It shows the importance of identifying pre-service teachers’ preconceptions, misconceptions, and concerns about VS to facilitate the selection of relevant resources and the design of curricular activities.

The third study was a case study of a pilot virtual early field experience. An in-depth analysis was conducted on the data that included personal journals and reflections from three teacher candidates at a large Midwestern university. Findings were complemented with insights from interviews with the VS teacher and the university field placement director, and the researcher’s journal. The article sheds light on the importance of virtual field experiences to facilitate the understanding of VS.