A pathway to discovery

Mar 8 2018

A few weeks into her new job training teen volunteers at Pacific Science Center how to take up issues of equity and social justice in their work, Pilar Letrondo noticed something concerning mid-way through a session she was leading on identity.

"All the white kids sat on one side of the table and all of the non-white kids sat on the other," she said. "[I] realized that I needed to address the seating situation.”

It was a striking example of how physical spaces can impact teaching and learning, and even more so, the challenge of overcoming bias in educational spaces.

Taking on bias in special education

Feb 27 2018

As a novice teacher in a Denver elementary school, Nathan Hoston recalls his growing discomfort with how students were being referred to special education services.

“The first year," Hoston said, "the system seemed biased and subjective in a way that made me uncomfortable."

Hoston, who at the time was teaching kindergarten through second grade students with high-incidence disabilities, saw black boys disproportionately represented in special education services at his school and surrounding schools.

Education students design innovations to better serve immigrant youth

Undergraduate students collaborate
Jan 24 2018

Over 24 intense hours, teams of University of Washington education students drew upon design thinking processes to craft new ideas for better addressing the educational needs of immigrant and refugee youth and families.

Closing the potential gap

Jan 22 2018

While visiting two high schools on opposite sides of Chicago, Rhoan Garnett (PhD ‘18) experienced first-hand the detrimental effects of the college information gap.

Garnett, then assistant dean of admissions for Bowdoin College, started his day visiting a well-resourced school in north Chicago. He remembers students at the school being respectful and interested in speaking with him.

Doctoral student explores nuance of ‘Blackness’ in student experience

Adaurennaya Onyewuenyi
Jan 9 2018

Growing up, Adaurennaya Onyewuenyi was a straight A student. She knew early on that college was in her future.

Yet navigating school didn’t come nearly as easy for her brothers and cousins, even though they were close in age and attended the same schools.

“From elementary school all the way through high school, they were getting punitive punishments that were more racialized,” Onyewuenyi said. “I wondered, ‘Why are the educational pathways and experiences so different between myself and my brothers and cousins?’”

Student looks to advocate for early learners

Beverly Dosono
Dec 19 2017

As a first-generation college student, Beverly Dosono’s path to becoming an advocate for underrepresented students started at an early age.

Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the 1980s determined to achieve a better life and settled in a small, rural town in Eastern Washington populated mainly by other immigrants. Though having little formal education themselves, Dosono’s parents encouraged their daughter to excel in academics.

Experiences with bullying provide motivation

Nov 20 2017

As an elementary school student, Caroline Black remembers being invited to a classmate’s house, where the group decided to play school. Black’s all-female peers told her to pretend to be a child with special needs who needed a walker to cross the room, then suddenly began kicking and pushing her while yelling derogatory comments about her mental and physical abilities.

Student aims to advance opportunity for all

Jazmyne Kellogg
Nov 15 2017

As a little girl, Jazmyne Kellogg recalls that her mother would always say her favorite color was black. Every doll Kellogg played with was black and every painting in her family’s house was of a black person.

Leading for system-wide change

Scott Seaman
Nov 8 2017

Freshman year of high school was difficult for Scott Seaman. He was a disengaged learner who struggled to apply himself in the classroom.

Yet Seaman’s Spanish teacher recognized his potential and challenged him to step up. Seaman responded, going on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and become a teacher at Capital High School in Olympia.

At Capital, Seaman found himself drawn to those students who weren’t affluent and college-bound, who didn’t always have an adult pushing them to fulfill their academic potential or aim for post-secondary education.

Doctoral student's mission: Training the great teachers of tomorrow

Weijia Wang
Nov 2 2017

For the past decade, Weijia Wang has been on a journey to discover what makes an excellent teacher.

That journey started in China when, as a high school student, Wang heard reports that there was a large gap in teacher quality, especially in English, across the country. Wang would go on to earn her master’s in English education at Shanghai International Studies University, but despite earning excellent grades, she soon realized that she was unprepared for the rigors of real-world teaching.