Inside Moravian
e-Newsletter of the Moravian College Campus Community 05/14/15

ABOVE: Moravian College was well represented at the Action Research Network of the Americas third annual conference at the University of Toronto.


Moravian Education Department Leads the Way at Ontario Institute

The Action Research Network of the Americas met for its third annual conference May 6-9 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. At its annual business meeting, Joseph Shosh, professor and chair of the education department, was named Chair of the Executive Committee, the organization’s chief executive officer. At the meeting, outgoing chair Dr. Lonnie Rowell from the University of San Diego signed a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Davaasuren Munkhjargal, president of the National Mongolian University of Education, which educates 98% of Mongolia’s school teachers. “ARNA’s close ties and emerging partnerships with educational leaders from around the world will clearly enhance the international teaching and research opportunities available to Moravian students and faculty,” Shosh said.
Shosh addressed conference delegates in multiple plenary sessions, laying out a vision of ARNA for the year ahead focused on action research outreach worldwide, research dissemination for meaningful change, and community building infrastructure within the organization.  He praised Moravian College for its steadfast support of ARNA’s mission and vision, noting that the historic Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus served as host site for the 2014 conference and that the Education Department sponsored this year’s Eduardo Flores Benefit Concert. Flores, an initiator of ARNA and professor at Universidad Autonomo de Chihuahua in Mexico, lost his battle with cancer only days after the inaugural ARNA conference in San Francisco in 2013. The Flores Benefit Concert, headlined by Moravian College artist in residence Suzanne Kompass and featuring fellow artist in residence Sean O’Boyle, will make scholarships for future conference attendance available to action researchers throughout Latin America.

ABOVE: Students, alumni, and faculty participated in educational simulations and talks at the ARNA conference.

ABOVE: Moravian College Artist-in-Residence Suzanne Kompass performed at the ARNA conference in Toronto, ON.

Moravian student and alumni presenters at the Toronto conference included Christopher Ossont ’15 and Brianne Schoolcraft ’15, who shared the results of their summer 2014 SOAR project entitled “The Role of Action Research in Reclaiming Teachers’ Professional Lives in an Era of International Accountability”; Peter Richmond MAT ’15 sharing “Coming in the From the Cold: Transitioning from Writer to Teacher of Writing”; Damian Beaman M.Ed. ’14 presenting “Rounding Out The Curriculum: Facilitating Critical Thought”; Wendy Elvin-Thomas M.Ed. ’14 sharing “Metacognition: The Key to Unlocking Reading”; and Nathan Snyder (M.Ed. ’09) presenting “Flipped Classrooms: Teachers’ Perceptions.” Rachel Sherman (M.Ed. ’12) served on the Conference Planning Committee and convener of a panel discussion featuring Canadian teachers for social justice. Jamie Hill (M.Ed. ’12) received recognition as part of the 2014 Conference Proceedings Team presented with the 2015 ARNA Community Development Award.
Additional events included a pre-conference study day at the University of Toronto’s Jackman Center for Child Study. Camie Modjadidi, field experience director for the education department noted, “We had the opportunity to see masterful inquiry-based teaching in action, and what we saw in the lab school was recorded live, so we’ll be able to share the best practices we observed with Moravian students back on campus.”  Emily Ozer, professor of community health and human development at the University of California, Berkeley, and Budd Hall, UNESCO chair in community based research and social responsibility in higher education, delivered keynote addresses. Shosh and Jean McNiff of England’s York St. John University served as keynote discussants.
Since its inception in 2012, ARNA has received its sponsorship from Moravian College, Canada’s Trent University, the Autonomous University of Baja California, the University of Tennessee’s Teaching & Learning Center, the University of Notre Dame, Pepperdine University, St. Mary’s College of California, Taylor & Francis Publishing, the Educational Action Research Journal, Social Publishers Foundation, and others. The 2015 conference will be held at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the 2016 conference in honor of the 40th anniversary of the first World Congress of Action Research will be held in Cartagena, Colombia.

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