Taking Educational Psychology Abroad Seminar Series

In this presentation I will discuss the process of conducting research and teaching abroad, with a focus on Tanzania. I will summarize research findings from the #PowerUp: Youth Civic Engagement Project. Tanzanian secondary school youth in this project identified pressing social concerns needing attention that are consistent with the literature in other countries, but they also articulated intersecting concerns of larger social and political structures which remain largely unexplored in the research on civic engagement. Youth expressed clear ideas about what types of changes are needed to promote democracy in their environment and how they see themselves becoming active to make a difference in the communities in which they belong.

Economic and social change have proceeded at breathtaking pace in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1970s. Education has been changing, too, but I think at a much slower pace. I will offer my impressions of Chinese education and show two video clips of Chinese children responding to a new learner-centered pedagogy far different from standard Chinese instruction.

In this presentation I will discuss recent research I have been doing in Tajikistan in collaboration with the Aga Kahn Foundation. In particular, I will describe the process we used to determine the cultural and contextual relevance of existing social-emotional measures and discuss the development of a new measure for use in rural Tajik communities. Additionally, I will summarize findings from a preliminary study of the impacts of Early Childhood Education on children’s language, mathematics and social skill development and highlight how these findings informed an ongoing longitudinal impact study in Tajikistan. Finally, I will illustrate how we have taken this research and are using it to create sustainable practice in Tajik schools in an attempt to improve classroom quality across early childhood.