Dreeben School of Education Quartet to be Published

January 18, 2023

Dr. Sandra Guzman FosterDuring the pandemic, educators had to adapt their teaching methods to best serve their students. In one class at UIW, Contemporary Issues in Adult Education: Popular Education for Social Change, Dr. Sandra Guzman Foster (associate professor in the Dreeben School of Education (DSE) Graduate Studies Department), and three DSE students examined how their experiences outside of school were impacting their learning inside of the classroom. Through this examination, they wrote Paulo Freire in the Pandemic Classroom, an article which is now being included as a chapter in Breakthrough: From Pandemic Panic to Promising Practice, a volume in the book series History of Education.

Students in the class were required to read two texts by Paulo Freire, the Brazilian educator and philosopher who inspired American educators to challenge learners to examine power Amanda Sinfronio Silva structures and patterns of inequality within the systems we live. Each writer was then asked to write about what they learned from the texts, as well as how the framework connected to their own experiences and lives as scholars. According to Guzman Foster, the three students were open to sharing “their experiences and their vulnerability” because of the inequity they have witnessed over the past few years.

“We have experienced multiple pandemics – COVID-19, civil and social unrest, etc. – over the past few years, and many of us could relate to what was happening in this world of uncertainty,” said Guzman Foster. “I thought about the scholars in my classroom and asked if they would be interested in co-authoring with me, because I had witnessed their transformation in the classroom from what we were learning together.”

Patrick TumwineIn their chapter, the four authors explain that events that happen outside of the classroom are not forgotten when students enter the classroom, and teaching methods must consider those experiences and come up with strategies to help students stay engaged in their studies. Despite hearing the term “education post pandemic,” the quartet of authors asserts “we are not in a post pandemic era, but rather we are still in the midst of health, social, economic, and political pandemics.” Entering a classroom, whether in-person or virtual, does not separate the student from those factors and threats.

For the students, who were all first-time authors, being published was the cherry on top of getting to be part of such an inclusive learning environment.

“In my experience, it is rare for students to feel truly seen by a teacher and these meaningful connections allow students to find their voice,” said Amanda Sinfronio Silva, a third-year master’s student with a concentration in General Education. “I feel immense gratitude to see this in action and be included in this work.”

“It is so exciting to have my name on a book chapter,” shared student Patrick Tumwine. “As my Catherine Rogers-Casarez first publication in a series of more publications in the pipeline, the mentorship of Professor Guzman Foster has opened doors to more possibilities, and the sky is the limit. As I progress with my fifth year in the Ph.D. program with a concentration in Organizational Leadership, I am grateful to UIW educators for providing me with a conducive atmosphere for my academic growth.”

“The opportunity to amplify our voice, write, and represent UIW is an honor,” added Catherine Rogers-Casarez, a fourth-year doctoral student with a concentration in Adult Education, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Ultimately, the intention of writing is to serve others and authentically impact change in practice. As a member of our cohort of writers, it is with gratitude that we put UIW's Mission into action.”