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Hegemonic Psychology: The Politics of Ethnic Minority Research

Conducting research that focuses on the experiences of ethnic minorities is fraught with sociopolitical challenges. In predominantly white academic settings the norms for publication outlets are often antagonistic toward so-called “low impact”, “specialty” journals. This has created an academic culture that often marginalizes and penalizes ethnic minority research. In this talk, psychology is used as an example to demonstrate how hegemonic processes perpetuate the marginalization of ethnic minority research. The question “How do we measure the impact of ethnic minority research?” will be addressed. Traditional and alternative metrics of impact will be discussed.

Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. is the Oscar and Anne Mauzy Regents Professor of Educational Research and Development and Professor of Educational Psychology and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers and is Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis. Dr. Cokley’s research and teaching can be broadly categorized in the area of African American psychology. His research interests focus on understanding the psychological and environmental factors that impact the academic outcomes and mental health of African American students. His publications have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Counseling Psychology; Journal of Black Studies; Journal of Black Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology; Educational and Psychological Measurement; and the Harvard Educational Review among other outlets. He is the author of the 2014 book “The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism” that challenges the notion that African American students are anti-intellectual. He is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Black Psychology and was elected to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association for his contributions to ethnic minority psychology and counseling psychology. He has written several op-eds in major media outlets on topics such as Blacks’ rational mistrust of police, the aftermath of Ferguson, police and race relations, racial disparities in school discipline, and black students’ graduation rates.

Racial Inequality & Schooling: Providing opportunities for access and identity in a changing educational landscape

This talk examines the nature of racial inequality in schooling, and through drawing on findings from multiple empirical studies, argues that we can and must find ways to provide equitable access to high-quality instruction, using STEM as an example, both within and across schools and districts. Na’ilah Suad Nasir also will discuss the critical role of student identities— racial identity, gender identity, and disciplinary identity— in the learning process and share ways that districts, schools, and teachers have worked to provide new kinds of opportunities for identity construction for marginalized students.

Nasir is the sixth president of the Spencer Foundation which supports research about education. She was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2017 where she served as Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley from November 2015. Nasir earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at UCLA in 2000 and was a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University from 2000 – 2008. Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth and has published numerous scholarly articles. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2016 she was the recipient of the AERA Division G Mentoring Award.

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“A Hauntology on Data: Diffracting Specters of Racialization Toward an Autopoietic Turn/Overturn”

As Avery Gordon (1997) reminds us, there are already ghosts or hauntings in the seemingly present; what might be understood as an absence of presence, and a complex history and subjectivities. Indeed, the haunting demands sociopolitical significance as Derrida (1994) cogently states it “is necessary to speak of the ghost, indeed to the ghost and with it” … “in the name of justice.” In this talk, Dr. Dixon-Román will begin by providing some theoretical articulations of, to, and with, the ghosts of data assemblages. While in the computational turn there has been increasingly more theorizing on data (de Freitas, Dixon-Román, & Lather, 2016; Gitelman, 2013; Kitchin, 2014), few have focused their examination on the sociopolitical forces imbued in data. In recent work, Dixon-Román (in press) has engaged Sylvia Wynter’s (2001, 2007) theories of power, inheritance, and the human in order to theoretically examine and postulate the ways in which the assemblages of data become haunted by sociopolitical relations of racialization. Dixon-Román will engage, in this talk, new materialisms and black literary feminists in order to develop a process of social inquiry that conjures and speaks of, to, and with the ghosts of data assemblages in order to move toward address/redress and reconstitute the human.

Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-Román is an associate professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarship focuses on the cultural studies of education, quantification, and social policy. He maintains a program of research that philosophically rethinks and reconceptualizes the use of quantitative methods from a critical theoretical lens (broadly conceived), particularly for the study of the biopolitics of human learning and development. Dr. Dixon-Román has published in leading social science, education, and cultural studies journals such as The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Transforming Anthropology, Urban Education, Teachers College Record, and Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies. Dr. Dixon-Román co-edited Thinking Comprehensively About Education: Spaces of Educative Possibility and Their Implications for Public Policy (Routledge, 2012), “Alternative Ontologies of Number: Rethinking the Quantitative in Computational Culture” (Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies, 2016), and “The computational turn in education research: Critical and creative perspectives on the digital data deluge” (Research in Education, 2017). He’s also the author of Inheriting Possibility: Social Reproduction & Quantification in Education (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

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“Navigating the quicksand: How postsecondary administrators understand the influence of affirmative action developments on racial diversity work.”

Liliana M. Garces is associate professor at The University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and affiliate faculty at the University of Texas School of Law. Her scholarship, focused on the dynamics of law and educational policy, examines access, diversity, and equity policies for underserved populations in higher education and the use and influence of research in law.

Many postsecondary institutions respond to a legal and policy environment that seeks to end the consideration of race in education policies by adopting race-neutral policies and practices in admissions. Meanwhile institutions have remained publicly committed to racial and ethnic diversity and to promoting inclusive learning environments. In this talk, Dr. Garces discusses how their research findings point to the importance of intentional efforts to implement diversity policy through a race- and racism-conscious lens, develop narratives that counter distorted narratives about racial discrimination, and address legal terms and definitions that do not reflect a realistic understanding of inequality or discrimination.

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Scientific Integrity and Developmental Science: Increasing the Power of Our Science

Dr. Davis-Kean is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, where she directs the Human Development and Quantitative Methods Lab. She is both a methodologist and substantive researcher. Her research focuses on the various pathways that the socio-economic status (SES) of parents relates to the cognitive/achievement outcomes of their children. Her primary focus is on parental educational attainment and how it can influence the development of the home environment throughout childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood. Davis-Kean is also a Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research where she is the Program Director of the Population, Neurodevelopment, and Genetics (PNG) program. This collaboration examines the complex transactions of brain, biology, and behavior as children and families develop across time. She is interested in how both the micro (brain and biology) and macro (family and socioeconomic conditions) aspects of development relate to cognitive changes in children across the lifespan.

Secondary data analysis of large longitudinal and national data sets is a standard method used in many social sciences to answer complex questions regarding behavior. In this talk, Dr. Davis-Kean will detail the advantages of using these data sets to study education and health questions across the lifespan. First, she will provide an overview of how using secondary data can increase studies’ scientific integrity. Then, she will detail where and how data sets can be obtained that answer specific questions. Finally, she will discuss methodological issues related to using longitudinal, population data sets. These data sets can enhance science and test theories by increasing the rigor and generalizability of research to the general population, making secondary data analysis an important method to consider.

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Ed Talk with Sarah Powell – Early Math Predicts Later Math: Implications for Intervention

Across grade levels, early math performance predicts later math performance. For example, math performance in kindergarten predicts end-of-year math performance in grades 1, 3, 5, and 8. What does this mean for educators? Educators need to assess students early and regularly to identify students that may need additional math support. Educators also need to provide intervention support early and regularly. With early assessment and intervention, it is possible to change the math pathways for students.

Successful performance in mathematics (i.e., math) requires an understanding of numbers, the quantities represented by numbers, counting, and comparison of amounts. Math also requires an understanding of the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and algorithms for quickly solving such problems. Students must be able to apply their calculation and computation skills to math problems featuring fractions, decimals, percentages, measurement, and algebra. Additionally, students must be familiar with geometric shapes and concepts, as well as positive and negative numbers. Students begin learning math informally as babies and toddlers, and as students learn more about math as they age, these math skills set the stage for later success with math.

Math performance is directly related to employment opportunities in adulthood (Murnane, Willett, Braatz, & Duhaldeborde, 2001), and math outcomes are as important as reading outcomes for success in school. For these reasons, it is necessary to understand how early in a student’s school career educators can identify students who struggle with math in order to provide proper instruction and support. Without identification and support, students may continue to struggle with math throughout middle school and high school. Additionally, difficulty with math may influence college decisions and workforce placement.

Read Powell’s full summary of Trajectories of Mathematics Performance: From Preschool to Postsecondary

 

Janelle Scott is an associate professor at UC-Berkeley in the Graduate School of Education and the Department of African American Studies. Her research explores the relationship between education, policy, and equality of opportunity. It centers on three related policy strands: the racial politics of public education, the politics of school choice, marketization and privatization, and the role of elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education.

Jennifer Keys Adair, Ph,D., is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Adair works with parents, teachers, administrators and young children to offer more dynamic and sophisticated learning experiences to children from resilient, marginalized communities in the US and globally. Her areas of expertise include early childhood education for children of immigrants, project-based learning, and the importance of young children recognizing racial discrimination and valuing cultural differences. Dr. Adair is a former Young Scholars Fellow with the Foundation for Child Development and a current Spencer Foundation major grant recipient.

Dr. Adair has published in numerous journals including Harvard Educational Review, Race, Ethnicity and Education and Teachers College Record. She conducts research and lectures in multiple countries, most recently in Austin as part of Blackademics and SXSWedu. Jennifer’s work and expertise can also be found in a variety of news outlets including The Conversation, Washington Post, CNN, and National Public Radio.

This talk considers learning as “opportunities” that are constructed in and translated through white supremacy. Using an historical interrogation provided by the work of Charles Mills, Adair argues that although learning and development are presented as an amoral, biological or even constructivist set of events, their application to children’s lives is one of constructing and reifying personhood and subpersonhood along racial lines.

Using interview data with young children, teachers, and directors in Texas and the particular case of the “word gap” argument, Adair shows how denying children of color certain learning experiences is often justified by a perceived “lack of development.” This denial then prevents children from demonstrating capabilities and contributes to blaming/changing children and families rather than supporting cultural communities and improving institutions and systems.

There are noticeable differences in academics and the employment gap that statistics can show between deaf learners and the general population. Stephanie Cawthon of the Department of Educational Psychology discusses the obstacles and attitudes towards deaf learners that influence their outcomes, and what can be done to combat these. This Ed Talk examines the tyranny of low expectations and the importance of understanding root causes when working to reduce inequities in education.

Stephanie Cawthon investigates issues of equity and access in education from multiple vantage points. Cawthon is a national expert on issues related to standardized assessment and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly in the context of accountability reforms such as No Child Left Behind. She is the Associate Director for Research and Evidence Synthesis at pepnet2, a Technical Assistance and Dissemination project that serves individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Cawthon explores assessment issues such as the effects of accommodations or item modifications on test scores for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.