2019 ACT Conference

October 18-19, 2019 in Ann Arbor Michigan

University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex Building

Pre-conference Tour of Schools: October 17

Co-Constructing Learning Opportunities with Communities

Schools can be considered as “cultural, social, and political laboratories for ideas about education” (Guidici, C. 2017). Exchange among learners in the classroom community, the school and extended community, inclusive of families, businesses, and policy makers can lead to innovations in education and development research. 

Our Keynote Speakers

Catherine Compton-Lilly

John C. Hungerpiller Professor Education, Instruction and Teacher Education, University of South Carolina

October 18 

Transnational Awareness and Cosmopolitanism: Funds of Knowledge for Children in Immigrant Families

Children in immigrant families often have access to impressive and important knowledge about the world. Drawing on an eleven-year longitudinal collective case study, we explore how digital transnational practices of families enhance children’s transnational awareness. As we follow children from grade school into high school, we witness not only their awareness of the world, but also an emerging cosmopolitan stance that recognizes the humanity of people around the world. For example, Adam - whose family immigrated to the US from Morocco - was the only student in his eighth grade class wearing a shirt that read, “Pray for Syria.” Later that year, Adam chose to write an argumentative essay about the civil war in Syria. Not only was Adam teaching his friends about what was happening in Syria, but he was involved in organizing and hosting a “fundraiser for Syrian children” at the local Mosque. He reported that he had been involved in other similar activities noting: “You always have to remember, ‘cause there’s children there that are dying every day and stuff, so I think it’s an important thing you should know [about]. You should never be too unsocial, or NOT be connected to the world.”

Catherine's Bio

Catherine Compton-Lilly is the John C. Hungerpiller Professor at the University of South Carolina. As a professor in the College of Education, Dr. Compton-Lilly teaches courses in literacy studies and works with local educators. In her work, she follows eight of her former first grade students through high school. In a current study, now in its tenth year, she is exploring the longitudinal school experiences of children from immigrant families. Dr. Compton-Lilly has authored several books and many articles in major educational literacy journals including the Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, Written Communication, and the Journal of Literacy Research.

Christopher Burke, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Science Education & Director Doctoral Program University of Michigan - Dearborn

October 19

Constructing Communities by engaging student in the places they live, work and play

The increasing emphasis on assessment and the privatization of public education creates the opportunity for us, as educators, to recognize the potential to recreate education in new spaces, spaces where students and teachers live, work, and play. Education freed from the rigid constraints of the public-school building has the potential to construct new understandings and new communities. This keynote describes work done in collaboration with an elementary school classroom, a class of preservice teachers and several community partners to build a park. Grounded in this case study of a place based education collaboration we will explore the possibilities of expanding beyond the classroom and engaging the local community. How does connecting our practice to place provide educators with an opportunity to help students not only construct their understanding of science content and science process skills, but with an opportunity to construct a healthier, more sustainable, and more democratic community?

Christopher's Bio

Christopher Burke Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Science Education and the Director of the Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Through his work Dr. Burke has cultivated collaborative relationships with Non-profit organizations, youth development organizations, schools, universities, and community groups who are engaged in promoting democracy and education to construct a more just, equitable, sustainable and engaged society. His scholarship focuses on engaging pre-service teachers and k-12 students in these community based activities as a means of cultivating their science agency.

Register Now for the 2019 ACT Conference

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Conference Schedule


8:00-8:45 am
Breakfast & Registration

9:00 am
Keynote: Dr. Catherine Compton Lilly

10:45 am -12:00 pm
Session 1

12:10 pm -1:10 pm

1:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Sessions 2, 3 &4


7:30 am - 8:00 am

8:00 am
Session 1

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Keynote: Dr. Christopher Burke

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

12:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Sessions 2 & 3