The UCI School of Education has five members in the National Academy of Education – Distinguished Professor Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles, Distinguished Professor Rubén Rumbaut, Chancellor’s Professor Deborah Vandell, and Warschauer. This represents the 10th most members among schools of education nationally, behind only Stanford University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Harvard University, Teachers College, Columbia University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, and Arizona State University.
“Election to the National Academy of Education is one of the most prestigious honors a faculty can achieve in his or her career, and Mark is well deserving of this commendation,” said Richard Arum, dean and professor of the School of Education. “His research and scholarship is not only cutting-edge, but has also proven to be a great boon to our communities and to students of all ages and backgrounds.”
“These diverse scholars are at the forefront of those who are improving the lives of students in the United States and abroad through their outstanding contributions to education scholarship and research,” said Gloria Ladson-Billings, president of the NAEd, of the new members.
Warschauer has been a leader in the field of digital learning—with a focus on the needs of diverse learners—since the early 1990s. As a Fulbright scholar in the Czech Republic in 1993, he developed the first online discussion forum in the world for English language learners. As a doctoral student at the University of Hawaii, his research helped redefine the field of computer-assisted language learning to focus on the new kinds of language and literacy developed in online environments.
His subsequent research on the relationship of digital access and skills to social and educational equity—based on his own field research in Egypt, Singapore, China, Brazil, and the United States—was published in his widely-cited MIT Press book, Technology and Social Inclusion. He later made similarly important contributions to understanding the benefits and challenges of implementing individual use of laptops in schools, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Today, Warschauer’s scholarship encompasses digital learning, language and literacy, STEM education, and learning analytics. As director of the DLL, Warschauer and his team are addressing the needs of students and educators in preK-12 and higher education.
In preK-12, his team is developing and implementing a computer science curriculum that meets the needs of the nation's English language learners, partnering with PBS Kids to develop an interactive version of a new children's science television show that incorporates a conversational agent, supporting innovative use of technology in a charter school supporting full inclusion of children with special needs, and using text mining to analyze secondary students' writing.
Looking to improve learning outcomes in higher education, the DLL is carrying out experiments to improve online learning and analyzing clickstream data to better understand the undergraduate student experience. The DLL team is also exploring new approaches to data mining, machine learning, and learning analytics to analyze the learning and educational data that result from use of new digital tools.
"Early in my career, I recognized the tremendous potential of digital media to either amplify inequality or - if properly deployed - help promote educational and social inclusion," Warschauer said. "I have dedicated my career to better understand how the power of new technologies can best serve this latter goal, and thus benefit diverse learners around the world."
Warschauer currently serves as a principal investigator on eight grants, totaling $17.6 million. He has published more than 200 papers and 11 books, including, most recently, Learning in the Cloud: How (and Why) to Transform Schools with Digital Media and Japan: The Paradox of Harmony. His work has been cited approximately 34,000 times, making him one of the most influential scholars of digital learning in the world.
A strong advocate of Open Science, Warschauer has also played a key role in two prominent open access academic journals, serving as founding editor of Language Learning & Technology journal and currently inaugural editor of AERA Open.
Warschauer joined the UCI Department of Education in 2001. He led the establishment of UCI's highly-respected PhD in Education program and helped recruit senior faculty including Vandell, then-chair and founding dean. He worked closely with Vandell to establish the innovative undergraduate major in Education Sciences, first of its kind in the nation, and advance the department to School status in 2012. He later served as associate dean from 2012 to 2015 and interim dean from 2015 to 2016.
A first-generation college student, Warschauer worked as a community organizer for the United Farm Workers union upon graduating college. He then began his educational career as a Spanish bilingual math and ESL elementary school teacher aide and high school teacher in San Francisco public schools. He later taught and conducted research at Moscow Linguistics University, Charles University in Prague, and Waseda University in Japan, and served as educational technology director of a large educational reform project in Egypt.
About the National Academy of Education
The National Academy of Education (NAEd) advances high-quality research to improve education policy and practice. Founded in 1965, the NAEd consists of U.S. members and international associates who are elected on the basis of scholarship related to education. The Academy undertakes research studies to address pressing educational issues and administers professional development fellowship programs to enhance the preparation of the next generation of education scholars.
Xu is a fourth-year doctoral student specializing in Language, Literacy, and Technology. She researches technology and literacy education, digital literacy assessment, and educational equity. Xu is advised by Professor Mark Warschauer. Her Grad Slam Finals topic is Science Television Shows That Can Talk to Kids.
GRAD Slam is a University of California systemwide competition that showcases and awards the best three-minute research presentations by graduate scholars. Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate. Winners can received prizes up to $9,000 in value. Woo and Xu are two of the 10 finalists qualifying for UCI's 2020 final competition.
Woo Competition Summary: Emotions are neurobiologically embedded in how we learn, play, work, and love. It is our compass that guides and motivates us in pursuing the relationships and goals that we care deeply about. Empirical studies have found social and emotional learning skills effective in improving student's academic success, school adjustment, social relations, and persistence in K-20. With grant funding from UC Office of the President for Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, I am developing evidence-based and culturally-responsive programs that are practical and scalable for improving students emotional agility and persistence in school and in life.
Xu Competition Summary: Children's television programming reaches massive audiences. Yet its educational benefits are limited by a defining feature of TV it is a one-way broadcast medium. To overcome this limitation, my project incorporates conversational agents (similar to Alexa or Siri) into children's science-oriented television programs so that children can have direct interactions with the on-screen character, thus providing another means of relevant conversation. I am developing conversational videos as a supplementary part of Elinor Wonders Why, a new PBS KIDS animated television program created by UCI Physics professor Daniel Whiteson and cartoonist Jorge Cham. The conversational videos allow children to directly speak with Elinor as she solves everyday science mysteries, thus priming children to engage in observation, prediction, pattern identification, and problem solving through scaffolded conversation. The agent also offers contingent feedback that varies based on children's responses. We tested these conversational videos among preschool children and found that such videos increased children's engagement and learning outcomes.
Professor awarded $3.18M NIH grant to support identification of developmental language disorders in English language learners
The existing test has to be administered by a bilingual speech-language pathologist, however, which can create resource constraints. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has a membership of roughly 175,000, but only four percent – or roughly 7,000 - speak another language, Peña said.
Meanwhile, 20 percent of children in the U.S. entering school speak another language. In California, 40 percent of children entering school speak another language.
Combined, there are considerably more children who are English learners than can be currently served, Peña explains.
“This means that children may be under-identified for language impairment when testing is needed but not administered, and over-identified as having a language impairment later when no language impairment may exist.”
The TELL test will target Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking English Language Learners (ELLs), ages four to nine, in both their first language and in English. Speech-language pathologists and special educators who need to assess bilingual children’s language ability will be able to use computers or tablets to administer TELL.
“This is a completely new approach,” Peña said. "The two groups of children that will be tested - 525 Spanish ELLs and 525 Vietnamese ELLs - use very different languages."
Peña, who is also associate dean of faculty development and diversity, is a certified speech-language pathologist, a fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and director of UCI's Human Abilities in Bilingual Language Acquisition (HABLA) lab. Her research focuses on two lines of inquiry that address the goal of differentiating language impairment from language difference. These two interrelated areas include dynamic assessment and semantic development in bilinguals leading to test development.
In October 2019,Peña received a $1.25 million, five-year training grant from the U.S. Department of Education (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services) to develop a Special Education emphasis in the School of Education’s doctoral program. Read more.
The Hilda Taba award is yet another acknowledgement of Baron's productive and illustrious career. After attending UCLA and the University of Nairobi in Kenya and receiving his B.A. from UCI, Baron began his educational career working in low-SES schools at both the elementary and secondary level as a member of the National Teacher Corps program. He went on to teach at the elementary, middle and high school level before serving as a school principal at both the elementary and middle school level. In 1989, Baron received his teaching credential from UCI.
As a principal, Baron led South Lake Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District to No. 1 in the OC Register's ranking of all middle schools in Orange County. South Lake was the only school to be ranked in the top three for the first four years the paper compiled such rankings, based on a review of state-mandated educational data.
"Bruce is so deserving of this award," said Jerome Judd, UCI Single Subject Supervisor for English. "He has had such a positive influence on so many students and teachers at the elementary, secondary, and university levels and such an impact on our educational community."
In the 1980s-90s, Baron was actively engaged in multicultural education and acted as a consultant to address and ameliorate inter-ethnic tensions that existed at secondary schools throughout Southern California. His work was recognized by the Orange County Human Relations Commission with a Certificate of Commendation in recognition of “contributions and efforts to cultivate genuine understanding and appreciation for the ideals of equality, human rights and justice.”
Baron also co-authored the book, What Did You Learn In School Today: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Best Possible Education, which was published by Warner Books and endorsed by groups including the College Board, National PTA, and the National Institute for Education. The book was later adopted by the Consumers’ Union and published by Consumer Reports Magazine as their parent guide to Education in the United States.
Baron will be honored and presented with his award at the 59th California Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Costa Mesa, Friday, February 28.
The Hilda Taba Award is named for Hilda Taba, a university professor at San Francisco State University who significantly influenced education and is internationally renowned for her work in “concept development” in the social studies.
One of Arum’s current research projects is a national pilot study gathering data on undergraduate experiences to increase understanding of what makes a college education so valuable. Another branch of his research explores the relationships between neighborhood disadvantage, digital media and educational outcomes.
Duncan’s scholarship focuses on the economics of education, program evaluation, and child development. He is currently pursuing an experimental study of the impact of monthly, unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers and their children in the first three years of the child’s life. The study is designed to identify whether reducing poverty can affect early childhood development and the family processes that support children’s development.
Hess, the American Enterprise Institute director of education and Education Week blogger, and a committee of 29 scholars use nine metrics to calculate how much university-based academics contribute to public discussions of education. The metrics include Google Scholar score, book points, highest Amazon ranking, syllabus points, education press mentions, web mentions, newspaper mentions, Congressional Record mentions, and Twitter score.
The annual RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which were first published in December 2010, are intended to recognize and encourage “disciplinary scholarship, policy analysis and popular writing, convening and shepherding of collaborations, incisive media commentary, and speaking in the public square.”
"Researchers in my field often contend that it is beneficial for children who speak with a dialect to become bidialectal, that is, able to shift between informal forms of English, such as African American English, and standardized forms of English when it is expected. However, I feel that it is important to understand how young African American adults view the concept of dialect-shifting - whether they use it as a method of assimilation or as a coping mechanism, or whether they actually resist the practice, and their reasons for their choices - in an environment where they make up a very small percentage of the population.”
The Inclusive Excellence Spirit Awards support faculty activities which promote equity, diversity and inclusion on campus among faculty, students, and staff, as well as the community served by UCI.
Gatlin's research foci include language, reading, writing, cultural and linguistic diversity, measurement and assessment, and instruction. She believes that understanding the needs of children from racially, ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds is a priority in educational research. The majority of her research explores relations among language variation, namely nonmainstream American English or dialect, and literacy achievement among culturally and linguistically diverse students in early developmental stages of reading. Her ongoing research explores similarities and differences among bilingual and bidialectal learners in order to determine potential implications for improvement in assessment and instruction among linguistically diverse students.
The Office of Inclusive Excellence drives UCI's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, considered fundamental to advancing the campus's mission as a public research university.
Members discussed the following topics:
The next Credential Advisory Council meeting will be held in spring 2020.
The 2019 conference featured two keynote speakers: Kelly Gallagher, English Language Arts teacher at Magnolia High School, Anaheim, California, and Penny Kittle, Teaching Lecturer in English, Plymouth State University, who together co-authored 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents.
“Gallagher and Kittle collaborated for an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other's classrooms in California and New Hampshire, then published what they learned in 180 Days," Olson said. “We are delighted to have the two master teachers on hand.”
Gallagher and Kittle co-delivered the morning keynote, entitled, “Motivating Young Writers: Relevance, Engagement, and Agency.”
"By considering classroom condition grounded in these key principles - relevance, engagement, and agency - we can help writers construct identities of power and opportunity and to challenge themselves through meaningful talk in writing groups both inside and outside our classrooms," Gallagher said.
Following the morning keynote address, attendees expressed their appreciation for the benefits they receive from the annual conferences.
The afternoon keynote address, also delivered by Gallagher and Kittle, was entitled “Motivating Young Readers: Strategies for Engaging Inquiry with Books.”
"There is a big difference between compliant readers and engaged readers," Kittle said, "and there are strategies for moving all students — including those who have lost their momentum as readers — into engaging inquiry with books."
Following the keynote addresses, Kittle was effusive in her praise of the annual writing conference.
"Professor Olson has supported and empowered such an incredible group of educators," Kittle said. "The quality of talk about writing is better than anywhere... so impressive."
Workshops included the following:
View images from the 2019 Literacy Conference here.
The 26th Annual Literacy Conference for Teachers will be held in December 2020.
ABOUT THE UCI WRITING PROJECT
Established in 1978, UCI Writing Project is the 13th site of the California Writing Project and the oldest of the Subject Matter Projects on the University of California, Irvine campus. Located in UCI's Graduate School of Education, UCIWP is one of 200 sites of the National Writing Project. UCIWP has trained 800 teachers/consultants from 85 local school districts and twelve colleges and universities. Additionally, the project has trained 675 teachers in its open program on Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking, and 600 teachers in the Governor's Professional Development Institutes. The project has reached over 20,000 teachers via conferences and inservice programs. It was the first California Writing Project site to create a summer youth program, which has grown from 35 students and 2 teachers in 1984 to more than 2500 students and 200 teachers in 2013. UCIWP has been hosting a yearly conference since 1995.
To enrich their understanding of the structure of higher education in California, the scholars also visited Compton Community College, Chapman University, and California State University, Fullerton.
In June 2018, Arum, along with Associate Professors of Education Drew Bailey and Susanne Jaeggi, traveled to BNU for a Joint Symposium on Learning, Memory, and Development. There, Arum delivered a lecture entitled, "Improving Undergraduate Learning: Recent U.S. Research and Initiatives."
“We look forward to returning to Beijing in 2020, to learning more about the country’s educational system, and to conducting research that can benefit both nations,” Arum said.
To view photos from BNU’s visit to UCI, please click here.
Group 1, mentored by School of Education Assistant Professor Nia Dowell, focused on the emotion and development of college students. Team members were Di Zhang, Cuicui Liu, Xia Su, Na Li, and Yijuan Liu. Presentation topics included:
"I found mentoring these students to be extremely rewarding," Dowell said. "I was very impressed with the quality of their research plans, and the significant cross-cultural practical applications associated with each of their chosen topics."
Group 2, mentored by School of Education Associate Professor Hosun Kang, focused on the development and organizational influence of teachers in higher education. Team members were Wenjie Wang, Xuerong Fan, Kai Wang, and Dexin Yang. Presentations topics included:
"I was impressed about our team’s collegiality, support, and professionalism," Kang said. "They are all asking very important questions deeply grounded in their own experiences. I commend the progress that they made during such a short period of time."
Group 3, mentored by School of Education Assistant Professor of Teaching Fernando Rodriguez, focus on university teaching and assessment of quality training. Team members were Bolian Men, Fujuan Wang, and Xi Zhang. Topics included:
"I really learned a lot from listening to my mentee’s perspectives about their research area," Rodriguez said. "They had valuable ideas about teaching and learning that I never fully considered. It was truly an honor to be part of this wonderful program."
Group 4 was mentored by Professor of Education Mark Warschauer. Team members were Zhiqiang Li, Qingsong Xie, Fang Xue, Ling Fan, and Hongliang Wang. All five of the members focused on an exploration of the educational system under culture, policy, and power. Their presentation was titled "The 'Double First-Class' Project in China: Political, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives."
"This was a wonderful opportunity to get to know doctoral students from China's premier educational research university and exchange ideas on the study of higher education," said Dr. Warschauer. "It was a great learning experience for all involved on both sides."
Xu has been working with her advisor, Professor Mark Warschauer, on the Digital Learning Lab project Conversational Agents for Young Learners, which is using conversation-based audio stories to promote early language and literacy skills and science videos to foster scientific knowledge and curiosity.
"The conversational agent pauses at particular points in the story," explains Xu, "and prompts children to answer an open-ended question. The conversational agent then gives feedback on the children’s responses, explaining why the answer is correct or incorrect. We expect that findings from our research will offer design implications for dialogic systems for young children’s informal learning."
"The entire Converse to Learn project was Xu's idea," Warschauer said. "It's amazing how she was able to bring to fruition an innovation that can potentially reach millions of children with more engaging ways to develop language ability and scientific knowledge."
Xu is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate specializing in Language, Literacy, and Technology. She graduated from Sun Yat-sen University with a B.A. in Chinese Linguistics and Literature and earned an M.A. in Comparative and World Literature. Her academic training, together with her work experience as a children’s educational media designer, have guided her interdisciplinary research at the intersection of language development, education, and human-computer interaction. During Xu’s time as a doctoral student at UCI, she has contributed to three research projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation, in which she enthusiastically embraces using learning principles to maximize the benefits of cutting-edge educational technologies in supporting student learning in diverse communities.