Recap of IUME’s Inaugural Colloquium feat. Dr. Benji Chang

| December 13, 2011

This past Friday, IUME held its inaugural Colloquium at the Edmund Gordon Campus of Teachers College in Harlem where IUME Post-Doctoral Scholar Benji Chang presented his past research and spoke to a group of about 40 people over great food and even better company. We were extremely excited to see everyone there and humbled by the great turnout–hopefully it is the first of many fruitful events at the Gordon Campus. Before Dr. Chang began his presentation, IUME Director Ernest Morrell spoke a little bit about the history of Theresa Tower (where the Gordon Campus is) and what it means to IUME and Teachers College, in addition to some of our current projects and other information. As usual, Dr. Morrell’s words were poignant and important.

Following his introduction, Dr. Chang began his presentation, entitled “Disciplined & Organization, Is How I Handle Mine: Community Engagement Approaches to Literacy, Pedagogy & Social Justice.”

Dr. Chang spoke about his research, in which he worked as an elementary school teacher and followed a group of students–who were extremely diverse both ethically and linguistically–that were labeled the “bad” students. Yet, through unique pedagogical approaches and a set of strategies that Dr. Chang addressed, he helped many them succeed through school and gain the highest test scores in the school a couple of years after he started with them. Dr. Chang spoke passionately, with humor and insight, about what it takes to work with students in the classroom and the type of pedagogy, humility, and community engagement that is required to reach each student and parent, as well. In addition, Dr. Chang spoke about current misconceptions of culture; culture, he said, “is a process and not a static form.” In today’s era of school reform on test scores and mislabeled “multicultural education,” Dr. Chang’s research was thoughtfully packaged together in an insightful, critical, entertaining and most important, important presentation that to speaks to the heart of teaching and learning is all about. Here are a few pictures from Friday’s event:

To learn more about Dr. Chang, check out this great interview via the the TC Press Room or visit our “People” page to learn about his research. We look forward to seeing you at our next event soon!