Education faculty, students present research

School of Education faculty, students and project assistants associated with the Access through Critical Content and English Language Acquisition (ACCELA) Alliance presented their work May 5 at the fourth annual “Teachers as Researchers” conference sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Teacher Education Program.

The ACCELA Alliance is an inter-related group of projects sponsored by the School of Education in collaboration with the public schools of Holyoke, Springfield and Amherst.

Patricia Paugh, assistant professor in the School of Education, presented "Reporting Teacher Research to Principals" and ACCELA faculty member Costanza Eggers-Pierola presented “Understanding Through Questions: An Analysis of a Fifth Grade Literacy Project” with students Wendy Seger and Nadia Przybylowski.

Several collaborative research projects were highlighted:

• "Writing on the Walls and Rhythms in the Street: Multimodal Literacies and Hip Hop Genres in Urban Schools," by project assistants and doctoral students Andrew Habana-Hafner, Carlos McBride, Pierre Orelus and M.Ed. student Mary Wright.

• "Supporting English Language Learners’ Academic Literacy Development Through Blogging," by doctoral student Dong-shin Shin and M.Ed. student Wendy Seger.

• "Teacher-Research as Strategic Alignment: Serving English Language Learners in the Era of Accountability," by doctoral students J. Andres Ramirez and Andrew Habana-Hafner and M.Ed. student Mary Wright.

• "Creating Dynamic Communities of Practices Across Grades and with Familes in our ELA Curriculum" by doctoral students Ruth Harman and Nelida Matos and M.Ed. students Nadia Przybylowski, and Joanne Rubeck.

In addition, undergraduates in the Bachelor of General Studies Program in Interdisciplinary Studies into Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Communities, coordinated by Theresa Austin, associate professor in the School of Education, developed proposals in Idali Torres and Elissa Small’s course on health education. The students include Aida Acevedo, an early childhood educator in Holyoke and planning on becoming an elementary teacher; Manuel Chambers, a Chicano middle school para- educator in a Holyoke Alternative Program working on becoming a math teacher; Maritza Figueroa, a Head Start teacher whose goal is to be an elementary teacher; Marisol Fontanez , a parents and families coordinator in Holyoke and a Head Start teacher who plans to be a counselor and/or math teacher; Yamaris Rivera, Head Start program teacher director hoping to become an elementary teacher; and Denise Trask, a pre-school teacher working in the Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start Program.