Events Archive

GSOE Welcomes Education Pioneer Deborah Meier and Educator Emily Gasoi on February 21

RSVP HERE by Feb 15.

The Graduate School of Education will host longtime educators and authors Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi during an upcoming installment of the GSOE Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

Please join us for a moderated discussion and book signing with Meier and Gasoi focused on their recently released book, “The Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon Our Public Schools.”

In their book, the authors describe how the last two decades of education reform have been characterized by “a disconnect” between the original purpose of education and anything remotely resembling foundational ideas about democracy. “Schools that have pioneered and that have attempted to sustain their innovative, democratic, or just demonstrably good practices—are in danger of disappearing,” the authors caution. “In 2017, our very institution of free, universal education is at risk of succumbing to the forces of free-market ideology, which have overtaken our national sensibilities.”

WHO: Dean Thomas Smith will give an introduction to a conversation with veteran educators and authors, Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi, moderated by GSOE professor Leigh Patel

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Barn at UCR. Complimentary parking provided with RSVP.

About the authors: 

Deborah Meier, author of the acclaimed books The Power of Their Ideas and In Schools We Trust, has spent more than five decades working in public education as a parent, school-board member, teacher, principal, writer, and advocate. Meier ranks among the most acclaimed leaders of the school reform movement in the United States. Among her numerous accomplishments, she helped found the Coalition of Essential Schools in the 1980s, under the leadership of Ted Sizer. In 1987, she received a MacArthur award for her work in public education.



Emily Gasoi has been an educator for more than two decades and was a founding teacher at Mission Hill School in Boston. In 2012 she earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Gasoi currently lives in Washington, DC, where she adjuncts at Georgetown University and is cofounder of Artful Education, an organization focused on helping schools and arts organizations improve practices related to creative teaching and learning.

To learn more about the democratically governed school that Meier and Gasoi discuss in the book, see this series of 10 shorts entitled A Year at Mission Hill School.

Moderator/GSOE Professor Leigh Patel is an educator, writer, and sociologist. She is the author four books, including the award winning “Youth Held at the Border and Decolonizing Educational Research: From ownership to answerability.” She is a proud member of the grassroots organization Education for Liberation which sponsors the Free Minds Free People conference. Prior to working in the academy, she was a teacher, journalist, and state level policymaker.


12th Annual UC SPEDDR Conference

UC SPEDDR Student Advisory Council

On January 19 and 20, 2018, doctoral students in special education at UCR joined students and professors from eight UC campuses for the 12th annual student-run University of California Collaborative for Research on Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk (SPEDDR) conference, held at UC-Davis.  

This conference is one of several activities of the University of California Collaborative for Research on Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk (SPEDDR), founded in 2005 by UCSB professor Michael Gerber and UCR professors H. Lee Swanson and Rollanda O’Connor, which links faculty and doctoral students with shared research interests across the UC system.  

As the organization spread to eight of the UC campuses, faculty routinely brought their students along to the twice-yearly meetings and students soon formed their own organization, the Doctoral Student Advisory Committee, which now runs the conference annually on their own (with just a little help from faculty mentors).

Participating UCR students included Yasamine Bolourian, Megan Ledoux, Juan Chen, and Elizabeth Isralowitz.  

Dr. Rollanda O’Connor, center, with UCR students Juan Chan & Megan Ledoux.

In addition to attending the conference, faculty from seven of the UC campuses (Riverside, Davis, Los Angeles, Merced, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and San Francisco) discussed their current research and findings, primarily in the areas of learning disabilities and autism, with Richard Gifford from the California Department of Education.  

The SPEDDR Student Conference is supported partially through the generous endowment of the Eady/Hendrick fund to the GSOE. 

Check out UCSPEDDR’s Facebook page here.

Dr. Joseph Kahne Partners with Teaching Channel

Who says kids can’t be politically active? Headed by Graduate School of Education professor Joseph Kahne and Erica Hodgin, UC Riverside’s Civic Engagement Research Group recently collaborated with Teaching Channel in curating “Educating for Democracy,” a collection of videos, blogs, research articles, and other resources designed to help educators prepare youth for civic engagement.

The collection, part of Teaching Channel’s “Deep Dive” series, serves as a jumping-off point for teachers looking to influence young people’s participation in democracy. Subjects covered include how to assist students with researching social issues that interest them, how to encourage healthy and productive dialogues both inside and outside of the classroom, and how to guide budding activists to mobilize in their own communities.

Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Kahne, who holds the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Chair in Educational Policy and Politics at UCR, conducted extensive research on young people’s inability to discern fake from real news in digital spaces. With that in mind, “Educating for Democracy” also features videos and web links to lesson-planning materials geared toward teaching students new techniques to better determine the accuracy of information found online. Those interested in learning more can access the collection here and follow @Ed4Democracy on Twitter.

Tess Eyrich

This article is written by Tess Eyrich and was originally published in UCR Today.