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Given the vast array of reforms that are at play in and transforming the landscape of education, how can ethnographers contribute to more insightful analyses of the interplay of inequality, poverty, and educational experiences and outcomes, particularly with economic disparities growing in our current era? How might ethnographers continue to challenge problematic and pathologizing assumptions to provide more powerful explanations of the influence of poverty and racialized class inequality on education?
At a time dominated by high stakes testing and increased surveillance in educational settings, ethnographers have an ever-increasing role to play in reframing dominant discourses of accountability in policy and practice conversations. A primary purpose of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Urban Ethnography (CUE) from its founding in 1970, and of the Ethnography in Education Research Forum since its beginnings in 1980, has been to encourage and support field research applying anthropological, folkloristic and linguistic skills to the study of American cities, with priority given to the study of ethnic groups in Philadelphia. An early CUE research effort was an ethnographic project in Philadelphia public schools directed toward collaborative monitoring of the effects and consequences of programs and policies in terms of countering educational inequities and advancing social justice.
In keeping with this research tradition, and in today’s transformed educational landscape, the 36th Ethnography Forum invites exploration of methodological alternatives and modes of collaboration in ethnographic research on education. How do proposals such as ethnographic monitoring, practitioner inquiry, decolonizing methodologies, culturally responsive methodologies, and other participatory ethnographic approaches invite, value and respect the teachers, learners, schools and communities we work with? How might ethnographers invite deeper engagement and self-reflection by all of us as we work to create more socially just educational policies and practices?
For proposal submission, visit http://www.conftool.com/forum2015/. The proposal deadline is October 1, 2014.
Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Wakanyeja "Sacred Little Ones" ECE Initiative , American Indian College Fund
Angela Valenzuela, University of Texas at Austin
Kathleen Hall, University of Pennsylvania
Valerie Kinloch, The Ohio State University
Mere Berryman, The University of Waikato
The Ethnography in Education Research Forum, convened by the Center for Urban Ethnography at the University of Pennsylvania every year since 1980, is the largest annual meeting of qualitative researchers in education. The Forum has from the beginning excelled in nurturing ethnographic research and researchers in schools. The Forum is known for its friendly and supportive atmosphere for fledgling researchers and for the spirit of relaxed and open dialogue embracing newcomers and experienced researchers alike. Areas of emphasis include: multicultural issues in education, practitioner/teacher/action research, critical and feminist ethnography, ethnographic evaluation in education, language issues in education, uses of ethnography in math and science, and indigenous language revitalization.