The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education is set to host the 38th annual Literacy Research Symposium June 20 and 21. The symposium, which is hosted by a different UW System university each summer, will be held at UWM’s School of Continuing Education Conference Center, 151 W. Wisconsin Avenue.
Speakers at the symposium will explore the complex tasks educators face in teaching literacy. These include recognizing and engaging students from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, responding to the role technology plays in students’ lives and meeting state and local policies and standards.
“It was really important to us that we look at literacy and the complexities around responding to the diversity of students,” said Leanne Evans, assistant professor of early childhood education, who is this year’s symposium chair.
“We wanted to make sure that multiple perspectives are part of the work that we do, that we’re inviting presenters that are looking at equity issues, who are looking at global literacy who are considering the variety of learners that we have in our classrooms,” she added.
The focus will be on research and classroom practices that embrace these multiple perspectives, according to symposium organizers. This year, researchers and speakers are coming from as far away as Australia and across the United States.
Many of those attending are graduate students, often already classroom teachers or reading specialists in pre-kindergarten through high school. One of the goals, according to Johanna Groene, a doctoral student who is helping organize the symposium, is to help these students make connections with researchers to discuss the latest findings.
The five speakers will discuss research on such topics as race and youth literature, how kindergarten students can learn through play, developing equity in the approaches to teaching reading, dealing with high stakes testing and political pressures and encouraging biliteracy for the increasing numbers of student coming to school with a primary language other than English. That is of continuing interest, according to Evans, because close to 20% of the students in U.S. schools are considered emergent bilingual learners.
A panel of local presenters will discuss how they are putting research findings into practice in their classrooms.
The symposium, which is co-sponsored by UWM’s School of Education and the Wisconsin State Reading Association, is open to education students, educators, researchers and policymakers.
Eurydice Bouchereau Bauer, the John E. Swearingen Chair of Education and the director of Bilingualism Matters at USC at the University of South Carolina. Her presentation topic is: Supporting Biliteracy Development in School-Age Children.
Barbara Comber, research professor in the School of Education at the University of South Australia, adjunct professor in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology and Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Her presentation topic is: Creating Sacred Truth Spaces in Classrooms: An Argument for Culturally Disruptive Pedagogy.
Timothy San Pedro, assistant professor of Multicultural and Equity Studies in Education at Ohio State University. His presentation will be: Creating Sacred Truth Spaces in Classrooms: An Argument for Culturally Disruptive Pedagogy.
Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, an associate professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Educational Division at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Her presentation topic is The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination in Youth Literature, Media, and Culture.
Karen Wohlwend, an associate professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University. Her presentation topic will be: Playing Their Way into Literacies: Building on Children’s Strengths through Play-Based Literacy Instruction.
In addition, a panel of local presenters will discuss how they are putting research findings into practice in their classrooms.
For more information on registration and speakers, go to the 38th Annual Wisconsin Literacy Research Symposium webpage.
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