A Model for the Future: ENTEC's Cross-Cultural Classroom Research Partnerships
As part of the Enhanced Network Teacher Education Capacity project (ENTEC), supported by OSUN and led by Bard MAT, alumni of the Bard MAT program are advising candidates in the AUCA MAT as they research and write their capstone projects. The collaboration not only enhances capacity through a cross-campus sharing of human resources, but it also enriches the projects and the work of students and faculty alike.
Having taught for many years in K-12 settings, and having completed doctoral level studies in education or their discipline, Bard alumni involved in the project during 2020-21 are eager for the opportunity not only to guide teacher research, but also to benefit from the cross-cultural experience that the OSUN setting offers.
“It was great to see [my advisees] deepen the questions they investigated and use their own research to improve education in Kyrgyzstan,” says John Shekitka, Assistant Professor at Manhattanville College in Harrison, New York. “The OSUN collaborations are definitely a model for future educational partnerships in our increasingly globalized world.”
Peter Joshua Hatala, Director of Curriculum and Innovation at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, also noted the value of “connecting our two worlds through this cross-cultural exchange.”
Bard MAT alumni got a glimpse into the reality of schooling in the Kyrgyz context; while the AUCA MAT candidates were able to situate their analysis and articulate their insights within a broader perspective of research on interventions (teaching methods, lesson plan, other activities) that teachers design and implement in their own classroom to improve the learning environment and learning outcomes.
Like their advisors, the AUCA MAT candidates appreciated the opportunity to work across campuses and cultures. Many of them spoke enthusiastically about the guidance they received. Zalina Satylganova wrote, “Thanks to the questions (my advisor) asked regarding some ideas in my findings, I could better analyze, unpack, and make them accessible to readers.”
Versaviia Gura attested to the ways her advisor’s modeling allowed her to learn to “look at pedagogy with a critical eye,” a central goal of the capstone project. Nazima Abdybekova described her advisor as a “lighthouse” that kept her from “drowning” in the information that she had to navigate, and Aiperi Arystanbekova wrote that “cooperative work with my advisor made my research paper interesting, original, and academically strong.” Altogether, fourteen AUCA candidates worked with Bard alumni and faculty in 2020-21.
The project will continue with a new cohort of AUCA candidates in ENTEC’s second year. Based on feedback from the first year, candidates and advisors would benefit from a longer engagement that brings the Bard advisors on board earlier in the process. Tamo Chattopadhay and Derek Furr, MAT directors at AUCA and Bard, respectively, are currently working on a timeline that will start the next round of projects in the fall of 2021.
Post Date: 08-11-2021