Annie Mogush Mason is collaborating with Head Start teachers on the White Earth reservation and U of M colleagues Mia Dubosarsky, Gillian Roehrig, and Stephan Carlson to contribute a chapter to an edited volume entitled, "Voices of Native American Indian Educators." The chapter, based on an ongoing professional development project, will tell their story of harnessing collective wisdom to achieve cultural relevance in pre-K classrooms.
December 2009 Archives
Looking back, I realize now that issues of culture and teaching have always been salient in my life. I earned my undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia), where I studied anthropology and education. After college, my first teaching job was in the Peace Corps, where I taught English to elementary, middle, and high school students in Corlateni, Moldova. My Peace Corps experience deepened my interests in culture and teaching.
After spending two years in Moldova, I moved to Minnesota and earned my master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on children's literature. Lee Galda was my advisor in the program and continues to be an important professional and personal mentor for me. She encouraged me gain experience teaching in the United States. I moved back to the east coast to teach third grade just outside of Boston. My first year of teaching "state side" was a shocking wake up call to the reality of how politics operate in schools. It was also one of most satisfying professional experiences.
But I missed the Twin Cities! So, after a year, I headed west again, this time settling into a teaching job at a Minneapolis charter school serving Somali immigrant students and families. I was home. This experience, in which culture and pedagogy intertwined in powerful and sometimes uncomfortable ways, compelled me to enroll as a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where I now focus on the educational experiences of immigrant students and families in U.S. schools. In the Culture and Teaching track, I work closely with my current advisor, Bic Ngo. Bic has been instrumental in helping me develop as a scholar. And so have my colleagues. Culture and Teaching students are teachers, as well as learners. Their support has been invaluable.
My current research interests center on the experiences of Indian immigrant youth and their families. As a third year graduate student, I am conducting a pilot study with Indian immigrant parents at a community-based organization. This work sustains me--and continually reinforces for me that I am in the right place.
Bic Ngo and Sarah Hansen presented at the 6th International Conference on Teacher Education and Social Justice. The conference was held at the University of Illinois, Chicago, December 5-6, 2009. Bic and Sarah's presentation was called "Witchcraft and Gender Concerns in U.N. Refugee Camps: Implications for the Resettlement and Education of Refugee Women and Girls."
Bic Ngo and Jill Leet-Otley presented at the 6th International Conference on Teacher Education & Social Justice. The conference took place at the University of Illinois-Chicago, on December 5th and 6th, 2009. Their presentation was entitled, Is There a Hmong Gender "Norm"?: Perspectives of Hmong American Policymakers on Gender, Early Marriage and Education.