Yamaguchi awarded grant for research presentation

Dr. Misato Yamaguchi, Professor of Education at Georgia Regents University, was awarded a $500 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning grant to give two presentations at the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo.

Her paper, “Online Autobiographies and Discussions in Global/Multicultural Education: Creating a Safe Place for Dialogue,” showcased methods by which educators can engage students in meaningful discussions on culture, identity, power and privilege.

“Teachers in k-12 classrooms need to understand how their life experiences, interactions, cultural beliefs and traditions shape who they are, what they know, and their views towards other people, in order to produce more culturally sensitive and relevant teaching,” Yamaguchi said.

Her poster presentation, “A Closer Look at the Culture of the Far East: China, South Korea, and Japan,” explored the effective ways in which secondary social studies teachers can teach about the Far East. Yamaguchi recommends using the compare and contrast approach, and to also connect those countries to the United States. Her findings show that students more effectively obtain information and understanding when teachers can connect differing pieces of information, and can personalize that information for students.

“Understanding the individual cultures of each country today, and how those different cultures have interacted with each other throughout their long histories, allows educators to better teach material related to these three countries, by providing a more holistic historical and geographical perspective,” Yamaguchi said.

For this presentation, Yamaguchi also developed a set of ready- to-use materials for classroom teachers, in collaboration with two social studies teachers, one from China and one from South Korea.

The grant review committee evaluated proposals on the likelihood of advancing scholarship of teaching and learning at GRU and the likelihood of local interest in presentation at Local Scholars Speak session.

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