Developing global partnerships and opportunities to collaborate internationally is a hallmark of the Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership Department (EPPL), which offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in both K-12 and higher education administration. If you ask any EPPL faculty member or visiting scholar what they would identify as the primary benefit of their international research, the likely answer is “collaboration.” Increased efforts in international collaboration have sharply grown throughout the past year in the department.
A visiting scholar from Turkey
In Spring 2016, the department was proud to welcome Ufuk Erdogan as a visiting scholar from Firat University in Turkey. Erdogan is hosted by Michael DiPaola, chancellor professor of educational policy, planning and leadership. Erdogan approached DiPaola due to the latter’s work with the Organizational Citizenship Behavior Scale (OCB Scale), which measures an individual’s voluntary commitment within an organization above and beyond the responsibilities regularly assigned.
Erdogan began his research in Turkey but through his collaboration with DiPaola has been able to identify the cultural differences in applying the OCB Scale to the Turkish educational system. Erdogan has been able to refine his research to increase the validity of his findings in this context. Likewise, DiPaola has been able to refine his OCB Scale to understand its international interpretation using innovative quantitative methodologies that are the trademark of Turkish research. Through this collaboration, Erdogan and DiPaola have worked together on three different data sets and three manuscripts.
Erdogan values his time here, even extending his stay by several months to continue the partnership with the faculty. In part, he attributes much of the value of his time at the School of Education to the support of DiPaola and all of the EPPL faculty, both in his research and in his efforts to bridge communication barriers to develop a shared research language. Erdogan will return to Turkey in December to defend his dissertation, obtain his Ph.D., and begin his career building on the educational research work he developed while a visiting scholar in the EPPL department. He intends to return to the United States for future research and collaboration at some point.
A visiting scholar from China
This past fall, the department also welcomed Lifang Li as a visiting scholar from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Lifang is hosted by James Barber, associate professor of higher education. Li’s journey is the product of an ongoing collaboration between Barber and Fudan University, which began in 2016, when Barber visited Fudan University as part of EDUC 500: Global Studies – Teaching and Learning in China. When the opportunity arose for a visiting scholar from Fudan University to attend William & Mary, Li applied and was accepted. Her research interest centers on higher education governance, and she will be working on her dissertation research and will also assist Barber with some of his research projects.
Li is not only conducting research while she is a visiting scholar. While Li has completed her own Ph.D. program coursework in China, she is eager to learn about the higher education governance system in the United States. To that end, she will be sitting in on several EPPL classes and is currently attending EPPL 601 Educational Policy: Development and Analysis. Li will return to China in May 2018 where she will continue her Ph.D. program by completing her dissertation. She hopes to become a professor in China.
International research and speaking engagements
The EPPL department has strong international connections beyond the visiting scholars program, which are growing stronger each day. EPPL faculty regularly conduct international research and are invited to be keynote speakers at international conferences based on their thorough and thought-provoking research. Here are a few highlights of recent and future partnerships:
- James Barber was a keynote speaker in March 2017 at NYU Shanghai’s Colloquium on Supporting the Liberal Arts in Global Contexts. His talk was titled “Student Learning Outcomes of Liberal Arts Education: Toward Wise Citizenship.” Barber also led William & Mary’s summer program in Santiago, Spain.
- Pamela Eddy, professor of higher education, will be hosting a Global Studies Ireland trip in May 2018, with a focus on educational policy and teaching and learning.
- Christopher Gareis, professor of curriculum leadership, has an ongoing collaborative relationship with the Singapore Academy of Principals. He regularly travels to Singapore to present and share his work with K-12 schools and performance-based assessments.
- Judith Harris, Professor and Pavey Family Chair in Educational Technology, will be a keynote speaker at a research symposium in Monash University, Melbourne, Australia on the topic of teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge.
- James Stronge, Heritage Professor of Education and Leslie Grant, associate professor and associate dean for academic programs, (with Xianxuan Xu, Ph.D. ‘11) are continuing a multi-year research study of teacher effectiveness in China. The current phase of the project is the study of attributes and practices of effective teachers working with high-risk students.
- Megan Tschannen-Moran, professor of educational policy, planning and leadership, has several ongoing collaborative relationships with international scholars that have and continue to inform her international research. The first is a collaboration with Eyvind Elstad of the University of Oslo. From this partnership, Tschannen-Moran traveled to Norway in Spring 2017 to teach a course on teacher professionalism and was part of a research collaboration at Reykjavik University in Iceland. Through a second collaboration, in February 2018, Tschannen-Moran will be hosting Nitza Schwabsky from the Gordon College of Education in Israel. Schwabsky and Tschannen-Moran will be collaborating on translating Tschannen-Moran’s school climate measure into Hebrew. As part of this collaboration, she previously traveled to the University of Hifa to teach a three-week graduate level course.
Pamela Eddy, who serves as chair of the department, noted the importance of these international efforts on the part of the faculty. “In an increasingly global economy, it is important to support internationalization of higher education,” she said. “The efforts of the faculty to bring global topics into their teaching, research, and partnerships is critical to our students and to the university.”
In 2016, William & Mary received the highly acclaimed Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The influence of EPPL faculty members extends beyond the walls of the School of Education.