As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our SJSU Lurie College of Education is positioned to lead. Our faculty, staff, and students have done remarkable work during this past year. We’ve grown enrollments in our traditional programs and launched exciting new programs that extend our reach to new student populations. We’ve strengthened our commitment to educational equity and racial justice by investing resources in bold emancipatory initiatives and tackling structural challenges within the college. We’ve amplified the impact of faculty-led research by strengthening our community partnerships and growing our media engagement. These achievements position Lurie College to lead our regional P-20 educational ecosystem and to be a model nationally of what it means to be a truly transformative college of education.
The Institute for Emancipatory Education at the SJSU Lurie College of Education is honored to present Dr. Tara J. Yosso as our Inaugural Distinguished Scholar in Residence. Dr. Yosso will kick off this new role by leading the webinar “Emancipatory Education from Theory to Praxis: Community Cultural Wealth, Counterstorytelling, and Critical Race Media Literacy” on Monday, October 25, from 5-6:30pm PDT.
This webinar is for SJSU students, faculty, and staff interested in moving the concept of emancipatory education from theory to praxis. Tara J. Yosso will discuss three areas of her work: community cultural wealth, counterstorytelling, and critical race media literacy. Together, participants will identify points of praxis for our own work.
Shoutout to Teacher Education faculty Wanda Watson, who has been invited to be a panelist at “Preparing Educators to be Critical in their Analysis of History, Systems of Oppression, and the Status Quo in K-12 Schools” on Monday, November 1, from 10-11:30am as part of the CSU Educator Preparation and Public School Programs (EPPSP). RSVP to attend the panel by completing this Zoom registration form.
Shoutout to Teacher Education faculty Eduardo Muñoz-Muñoz and student Romina Román Shugan, who have been invited to be a panelist at “Presente y futuro de los programas de preparación de educadores plurilingües: Educar y aprender en un contexto de translenguaje / Past and present in Plurilingual Teacher Preparation Programs: Educating and learning in translanguaging spaces” on Friday, November 19, from 10-11:30am as part of the CSU Educator Preparation and Public School Programs (EPPSP). RSVP to attend the panel by completing this Zoom registration form.
“Initially, she was shocked. She expressed her excruciating pain and disappointment toward me and herself, thinking that she wasn’t a “good” Asian mother. She became silent for a while; years went by. Then she slowly opened up, started asking me questions, listening to my stories, and meeting my partner. She ultimately replaced her feelings of shame and guilt with deeper understanding and love.”
Congratulations to Counselor Education faculty Jason Laker, who published a chapter entitled, A Modest Ambitious Proposal: Envisioning an Education System that Works for Everyone, with co-author, Dr. Kornelija Mrnjaus (Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Rijeka, Republic of Croatia) in a text entitled, Problems and Perspectives of Contemporary Education (2021). The book was published by the Institute for Educational Research (Belgrade, Serbia) in collaboration with the Faculty of Philology, Peoples` Friendship University of Russia (Moscow, Russia) and the Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia).
Congratulations to Communicative Disorders and Sciences faculty Pei-Tzu Tsai, who has been selected to present at the next SJSU University Scholar Series on Wednesday, October 20 from, 12-1 pm, on Zoom! Dr. Tsai will discuss underlying factors of stuttering and stuttering therapy to develop culturally and linguistically responsive services for individuals who stutter and advocating for acceptance and diversity in communication. Learn more and RSVP at library.sjsu.edu/faculty-services/university-scholar-series.
Congratulations to Communicative Disorders & Sciences faculty Nidhi Mahendra, who was the guest editor for and published “Racism, Equity and Inclusion in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Reflections and the Road Ahead” in Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders: Beyond Cultural Competence: Addressing Racism, Equity and Inclusion! The article introduces this timely special issue on Beyond Cultural Competence: Addressing racism, equity and inclusion, and provides information on how this issue was conceptualized. The editors reflect on the critical importance of equity and inclusion work in speech-language pathology and audiology in order to address structural racism and inequities for diverse students and professionals. It concludes by offering insights about the emerging levels of evidence as well as a call to action for continued engagement and expanded scholarship of teaching and learning research on these topics.
Parents should also realize that it’s not a fair fight. Social media apps like Instagram are designed to be addictive, says Roxana Marachi, a professor of education at San Jose State University who studies data harms. Without new laws that regulate how tech companies use our data and algorithms to push users toward harmful content, there is only so much parents can do, Marachi said.
“The companies are not interested in children’s well being, they’re interested in eyes on the screen and maximizing the number of clicks.” Marachi said. “Period.”
Congratulations to Counselor Education faculty Kyoung Mi Choi, who copublished “A phenomenological approach to understanding sexual minority college students in South Korea” in the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development! Dr. Choi and Dr. Insoo Oh used a phenomenological approach to explore 12 sexual minority Korean college students’ coming out experiences. They found four themes from in-depth interviews, including (a) expression of universal needs, (b) awareness of sociocultural violence, (c) coping strategies, and (d) cocreating an inclusive culture. They characterize interactions of sociocultural factors, such as gender norms, sexual prejudice, and education with sexual identity development. Findings provide an understanding of the importance of developing effective and empowering strategies for counseling.
Shoutout to Child and Adolescent Development faculty Ellen Middaugh and recent alumni Kristen Huey, Kristina Smith, and George Franco, who were recently featured on the Visions of Education podcast to discuss the research project they are involved in, which centers around young people’s engagement with news through social media.
…but small steps can make a difference online. Nidhi Mahendra, a professor of communicative disorders and sciences, began opening her Zoom classroom well ahead of the start time when she noticed students clicking in 20 minutes early. It gave them more time to bond through chitchat. “That’s been kind of a kick, actually,” Mahendra said. “Never happened before.”
How can pursuing an education help you find your voice — and how can you use your voice to transform others?
San José State’s Connie L. Lurie College of Education is subverting the hierarchies embedded in higher education, primarily “systemic racism that has historically prevented full inclusion and equity for our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students, staff, and faculty,” one initiative at a time. Starting in 2018, Dean Heather Lattimer invited students, staff and faculty to participate in a year-long strategic planning process to brainstorm innovative ways to disrupt education. How could each department, from Teacher Education to Communicative Disorders and Sciences, create an environment that promoted inclusivity, diversity and anti-racist thought?
The first step? Listening. Listening to our teachers, undergraduates, graduate students and staff as well as educators working in the field, researchers and policymakers. Listening to lecturers like Marcella McCollum, ’05 MA Speech Pathology, ’22 EdD, who not only volunteered to serve on the strategic planning committee but also proposed a minor in Transformative Leadership in partnership with Rebeca Burciaga, professor of educational leadership and Chicana and Chicano Studies.
“We need to think about changing paradigms,” says McCollum. “We cannot just offer a class or textbook that tells you how to overcome the challenges that exist in our current educational systems as they are designed. We want students to question why things are the way they are. We want them to have the tools, so they can push back when something looks unjust.”
Throughout the year-long process, the strategic planning committee interviewed students, gathered research and collaborated to update the college mission. The committee created an identity statement and formed four strategic pillars — community engagement, cultural sustainability, holistic approaches and interdisciplinary collaboration — which unites the college’s work across departments. Faculty, staff and students were then invited to submit grant proposals for endeavors that aligned with those pillars.
Luz Nicacio, ’21 Child and Adolescent Development, provided key insight as the only undergraduate on the committee who helped review grant proposals, provide feedback to those submitting ideas and select those that would be awarded funding.
“I saw how influential my voice was in deciding the college’s direction,” she says. “Being on the committee showed me that my college values the opinions of its students and does care about us.”
Shoutout to Special Education faculty Saili Kulkarni, who was recently featured by the SJSU Writing Center in their Better Know a Dept series!
“My particular research interests are to understand how race and disability inform teacher beliefs and practices. I am particularly interested in how special education teachers of color enact their beliefs in classrooms for multiply marginalized youth across disability and race. I am additionally interested in how discipline and behavior are approached for young children of color with disabilities. In far too many instances, these children are being harshly disciplined or excluded from spaces with their peers for minor behavioral issues. I am interested in how we can reframe discipline and be more restorative (draw from restorative justice) in our approaches to discipline for young people.”
Congratulations to Child and Adolescent Development faculty Dina Izenstark, who was quoted in the National Geographic article “Want better talks with your kids? Take them outside.” Read the article at on.natgeo.com/3lB5X6x
“Nature restores people’s ability to pay attention to conversations and reduces their mental fatigue,” says Dina Izenstark, associate professor of child and adolescent development at San José State University and one of the authors of the 2021 study. “This can help family members communicate more effectively and get along better with one another.”
Shoutout to Teacher Education faculty Brent Duckor, who is presenting “Got formative assessment? Exploring the history, logic, and assumptions of the field from an evidence-centered design perspective” on Tuesday, September 21, from 2-4pm on Zoom as part of the Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center (BEAR) Seminar series. Learn more and RSVP at bearcenter.berkeley.edu/seminars.
Congratulations to Multiple Subject Credential Program Supervisor and Lecturer Asha Sudra Finkel, who has been selected as September’s honorary poet laureate for Santa Clara County! Asha has been recognized by the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educators, KQED, TEDx, Content Magazine, SVPride, and GenCreates that she consistently uses her platform to voice out against injustice. She published Crawling in my Skin, a Kafkaesque exploration of the mind and mental health through the metaphor of ants, which was featured by Brown Girl Mag. Her latest book, Not Your Masi’s Generation is a memoir-like workbook that tackles mental health and healing from intergenerational trauma. Her dream is to establish her own K-12 school rooted in restorative practices, art, and social justice based standards.
Using a dis/ability critical race theory (DisCrit) and critical quantitative (QuantCrit) lens, we examine disproportionate application of exclusionary discipline on multiply marginalized youth, foregrounding systemic injustice and institutionalized racism. In doing so, we examined temporal-, student-, and school-level factors that may result in exclusion and othering (i.e., placing into special education and punishing with out-of-school suspensions) within one school district. We frame this study in DisCrit and QuantCrit frameworks to connect data-based decision making to sociocultural understandings of the ways in which schools use both special education and discipline to simultaneously provide and limit opportunities for different student groups. Results showed a complex interconnectedness between student sociodemographic labels (e.g., gender, race, and socioeconomic status) and factors associated with both special education identification and exclusionary discipline. Our findings suggest that quantitative studies lacking in-depth theoretical justification may perpetuate deficit understandings of the racialization of disability and intersections with exclusionary discipline.
In collaboration with Dr. Insoo Oh at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, Counselor Education faculty Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi facilitated a week-long international virtual exchange program from August 8 to August 12, 2021. It was a wonderful opportunity for seven Counselor Education graduate students, Victor Calvillo Chavez, Yesenia Torres, Jasmine Torres, Laura Sheldon, Jilian Gomez, Ligia Briseno, Elvia Hernandez, at San José State University to co-facilitate a small group discussion and to engage in cross-cultural conversation with 13 Korean college students at Ewha Womans University about a range of topics, including diversity in college life, learning styles and academic success, career exploration and decision-making process, friendship and romantic relationships, and self-care and mental health in COVID-19. Dr. Samuel Y. Kim (assistant professor at the University of Denver) and Julia Kim (graduate student in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education), also joined as guest speakers and shared their cross-cultural expertise and experiences.
Congratulations to Department of Educational Leadership faculty Arnold Danzig, who recently co-published School Leader Internship: Developing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Your Leadership Experience! The book is available for 20% off at routledge.com/9780367652036 with the discount code FLY21.
Whether you’re a K-12 educator, caregiver or parent, this fall promises more than the usual back-to-school excitement and anxiety. Nearly 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers and educators must, once again, evaluate how to safely interact with learners while feeling the pressure to make up for lost time.
As the spouse of a high school teacher and mother to a kindergartner and a 1-year-old, I’m all too familiar with these concerns. While I’ll feel better once my kids can access a vaccine, I am still eager to usher them both into classrooms of some kind next week. Like many of my peers, I have way more questions than answers.
This summer, she offered a webinar on considering community and trauma as part of Lurie College’s K-12 Teaching Academy. She was kind enough to answer my questions — and yes, lower my blood pressure — about preparing for school in a COVID world.
How can schools, educators and parents prepare students for returning to a classroom environment?
Lara Ervin-Kassab (LEK): Everyone has experienced some level of trauma during the pandemic, and we need to acknowledge that in others and in ourselves.
First, this is an opportunity for us to step back and ask, what is really worthwhile in education? What is the actual purpose of this whole process? What do we really want it to do?
Then, we can reprioritize and open up dialogues around how we make schools a place where everyone feels supported coming out of this traumatic experience. How can we make schools a place where everyone’s humanity is acknowledged and engaged and their interests are being heard?
How have districts addressed some of these concerns?
LEK: Several of our local districts and parent-teacher associations have started these conversations about what we want schools to look and feel like. At least one district has moved toward offering an in-house online school for parents and students who may have concerns about going back to face-to-face. That, again, is an opportunity to look at making sure our educational system is thinking about everyone’s needs and how those can best be supported.
How has COVID-19 affected how teachers design and implement curriculum?
LEK: I teach a course in classroom management for pre-K and K-12 teachers. I’ve also been researching how teachers should continue to use technology.
I think there has been resistance to changing some of the ways we teach in order to better utilize technology, and COVID either reinforced resistance to the tech or helped teachers overcome their fears. A lot of us used tools we never used before, and the ways we used those tools caused us to reflect on how we’ll continue to use them moving forward.
For instance, I feel strongly that all student voices need to be heard. In a face-to-face classroom, you have students who may never speak, who may not raise their hands or who may feel really uncomfortable engaging that way. Since teaching online, a lot of the students who usually don’t want to raise their hands or speak out loud were very engaged through the virtual chat feature.
So, going forward, how can I still provide my students with that ability to be a part of the conversation through chat once we’re back in a face-to-face environment?
Many of my teaching colleagues have provided their students with options to do videos or podcasts in lieu of more traditional assignments. This semester will be a test case for what sticks and what doesn’t, not only in K-12, but in education writ large and even in the corporate world.
As COVID protocols continue to shift and the Delta variant poses a threat this fall, how can teachers manage their own stress, mental health and well-being as well as that of their students?
LEK: I recommend teachers and parents look into the Center for Reaching and Teaching the Whole Child, which was founded by Emerita Professor of Elementary Education Nancy Markowitz. It is grounded in the idea of helping the whole person learn. It’s very integrated with social emotional learning — helping our students learn to engage socially to understand and regulate their own emotions.
This is especially important after more than a year of being isolated from other people. With every class I teach, whether in person or online, I start with a short mindfulness activity that helps reinforce how to breathe and sit in the present.
The center has a great teacher competency anchor framework that reminds teachers to do the work alongside their students. So, for teachers and parents alike, if you take a few minutes to practice mindfulness with your kids, remember to practice it yourself. These activities are very helpful when you or your kids are feeling overwhelmed.
What main message do you have about returning to school, whatever it looks like, in 2021?
LEK: Be patient. Be kind to yourself and to all the people around you.
Take this uncertainty and find ways to embrace your creativity. This year is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the discomfort, and with that, we can either push back and close down, or we can say, “This is uncomfortable. What do I need to do to make it better? How creative can I be right now? How can I think of how these possibilities could recognize our diversity?”
What’s one tip you’d give every parent and teacher?
LEK: When you’re not sure about something, ask the children and listen to their answers. Because even children as young as 2 or 3 years old have a really good sense of what they need. They may not have the vocabulary for it, and they may not be able to distinguish between what they want and what they need, but if you have a conversation with them, you can begin to understand what they need.