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Sociocultural Diversity in Childhood and its Implications for Pathways Into Adulthood: About the Seminar

Seminar Content

We are faculty interested in "the different pathways available to youth that derive from culturally based childrearing practices, economic and educational opportunities, language backgrounds, and other social influences."

We are studying critical pedagogy through the work of Paulo Freire, Suzanne SooHoo, Annette Lareau, and others. We are finding many ways that these theoretical lenses illuminate our work with clinicians, local agencies, teachers, and students.

Schedule of Meetings

November 5, 2015: Initial meeting

December 10, 2015: Discussion of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

January 14, 2016: Further discussion of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

February 4, 2016: Discussion of Unequal Childhoods, chapter 1

February 18, 2016: Discussion of excerpts from Unequal Childhoods

March 18, 2016: Discussion of articles by Suzanne SooHoo

March 28, 2016: Suzanne SooHoo guest lecture

Multidisciplinary Faculty Seminars

Multidisciplinary Faculty Seminars encourage faculty to create spaces where they can discuss significant ideas across disciplinary boundaries, sharing methodological approaches and building intellectual community at the University of Redlands. Funding from the Office of the Provost supported three seminars per year in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Seminar Participants

Barbara Conboy (CDIS)

Conboy is interested in how sociocultural practices lead to diversity in early cognitive (including language) development in young children. Her research has employed experimental and observational quantitative methods to study the cognitive and linguistic systems of infants and preschool children growing up bilingually in the U.S. and Latin America; her academic preparation and teaching have also included work in qualitative (ethnographic) research. She hopes to gain from this seminar additional ways of viewing the complex issue of how childhood experiences expand and constrain the pathways available to individuals.

Sol Cooperson (CDIS)

Cooperson is interested in language development and disorders in bilingual children and has conducted research on differences in spoken language between bilingual and monolingual individuals.  He has experience as a speech-language pathologist working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations and with individuals with multiple disabilities.  These experiences have developed his interest in how culture affects language and learning.  By participating in this seminar, Cooperson hopes to gain a broad perspective on how cultural differences affect learning and educational attainment and to gain knowledge of best practices for educational professionals working with diverse learners

Jose Lalas (EDUC)

Lalas conducts on-going research on the influence of the learner’s social and cultural capital, race, funds of knowledge, and language on student engagement.  His research informs educators that there is a need for a theoretical and practical view that is “socially and culturally situated” for understanding the connections among concepts, perspectives, approaches, policies, and classroom practices related to teaching and learning of all students, especially diverse learners.  Influenced by Bourdieu’s notions of social and cultural capital, Lalas attempts to examine and demonstrate how special caring relationships among peers, parents, and teachers and the appropriate match between home and school cultural practices are influential themes for fostering student engagement and meaningful learning. From this seminar he hopes to learn more about how diversity from childhood experiences to adulthood in K-16 settings is broadly defined and handled by other faculty colleagues across disciplines

Sanjeet Mann (LIB)

Mann’s work as an academic librarian brings him into daily contact with students whose information-seeking behavior and attitudes toward libraries have been shaped by the presence – or absence – of libraries as cultural institutions in their communities and K-12 schools. Academic librarians aspire to develop lifelong learners who are also critical thinkers and informed citizens, but their success is often dependent on the work of colleagues in school and public libraries, who have opportunities to inspire children’s curiosity, creativity, sense of self and value for diversity. Through this seminar, Mann hopes to develop a better understanding of how libraries can support children and teens as they grow into adulthood.

Susan Porter (EDUC)

Porter is interested in assessment and literacy interventions for children and adolescents who are English language learners and who may also have underlying cognitive challenges, including Specific Learning Disabilities and other reading disorders.  Her research has explored the cognitive and cultural challenges of second language learning, including cross-linguistic transfer of skills for reading (including phonemic and morphological awareness).  Her studies have explored ways to account for these skills and challenges for English language learners as part of the special education referral process. She has explored ways to design pre-referral intervention models (RtI and MTSS) so that the cultural diversity and multiple literacies of ELLs’ home and community are considered assets, rather than liabilities.

Julie Shuler (CDIS)

Shuler has worked with literacy interventions in a May term travel course in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The intervention methods incorporated the Te Whariki early childhood education model.  As the Clinic Director for the Department of Communicative Disorders, she has interest in creating professional relationships with Inland Empire agencies in order to offer assessment, intervention and educational services and support.  It is the goal of these relationships to facilitate regional implementation of best practice models. This multidisciplinary faculty seminar is seen as an opportunity to broaden the future scope of the University’s regional obligation of helping local agencies through multi-disciplinary research projects and programing.