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ITE doctoral candidate will attend ESERA’s PhD Summer School in Kapadokya, Turkey

Brittany Garvin, ITE doctoral candidate in the Teaching and Learning Program received some very exciting news from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)…

The NARST is an international association that promotes the improvement of science teaching and learning through research.

After a competitive application review, the NARST has selected Garvin to receive a $2,500 scholarship. Garvin is one of only two doctoral students that NARST funded to participate in doctoral schools around the world. The main purpose of the funding is to support the learning experiences of science education doctoral students by providing an opportunity to meet with science education researchers and peers from other parts of the world.

Garvin’s NARST scholarship application focused on her dissertation research – An Investigation of a Culturally Responsive Approach to Science Education in a Summer Program for Marginalized Youth. The dissertation study investigates the impact of a culturally responsive approach on student attitudes, interests in STEM education, and STEM career fields, and science content knowledge before and after their participation in a summer learning program.

Garvin has chosen to use the scholarship to participate in the 2014 European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) PhD Summer School that will take place on August 24-29, 2014, in Cappadocia (Kapadokya in Turkish) in Central Anatolia, Turkey.

ESERA PhD Summer School participants will engage in peer group discussions, attend keynote lectures and workshops by distinguished professors, and receive invaluable feedback and insight on their doctoral studies /dissertation work. Garvin will be given the opportunity to discuss her work with other fellow doctoral candidates under the supervision of two science education professors experienced in advising doctoral students while receiving valuable feedback on her dissertation. “I am really excited about this amazing opportunity to share my research and interests with scholars across the country and I appreciate all that the USC College of education and Graduate School has done to help me excel” says Garvin.

Last week, Garvin successfully defended her dissertation proposal and will be collecting data this summer. Garvin’s dissertation co-chairs ITE Associate Professors Dr. Tambra Jackson and Dr. Stephen Thompson both wrote letters of recommendation to NARST for Garvin. They are very proud of her seeking out such an opportunity.

“Brittany’s goal is to provide students science learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom and are relevant to students’ experiences in their families and communities” says Jackson. “The opportunity for her to visit Turkey and learn how her research interests connect globally is invaluable.” Thomson also supports Garvin in expanding her understanding of how culture influences learning in science fields. “To this point” says Thompson, “her work has primarily centered on culture within the United States. The ESERA experiences will move her thinking beyond 'local culture' and provide a clearer understanding of 'global cultures', thereby enhancing her emerging research agenda."

One of Garvin’s favorite inspirational quotes is by Ernest L. Boyer: “To push for excellence today without continuing to push for access for less privileged students is to undermine the critical but incomplete gains that have been made. Equity and excellence cannot be divided.” Boyer helped to shape American education as Chancellor of the State University of New York, as United States Commissioner of Education and as President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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