The College of Educational Studies is proud to share the amazing work of our faculty. Many wonderful things are taking place, and we are pleased to highlight the recent work of Dr. Suzanne SooHoo. Clearly, Dr. SooHoo illustrates why the College of Educational Studies is “Changing Education – Changing the World!”
Between the fall and spring semester, Dr. Suzanne SooHoo made her trek to New Zealand again for the fifth time. The first time she went to NZ in 2009 was as a mother, supporting her daughter in Peter Jackson’s film, Lovely Bones. In 2009, Suzanne spent her sabbatical joining a Maori research team observing culturally responsive pedagogy in secondary classrooms. Before starting the spring semester, Suzanne’s most recent trip involved giving a keynote presentation, “Freire Must Have Been Maori” to the Te Kotahitanga annual conference of academics and school pracitioners. This conference was held on a traditional tribal marae in Whakatane so that the founding elders could give their blessings to the new expansion of the project supported by the Ministry of Education. One cannot come onto a marae unless they have been “called on” – a song chant. Upon entering the marae, visitors remove their shoes and participate in lengthy ritualized introductions that terminate with a hongi, a nose-to-nose greeting with each guest. It is from these sacred rituals that the community of school reform springs. This is culturally responsive pedagogy from a Maori Te Kotahitanga world view.
As a result of this work with New Zealand and the inspiration by students in the Decolonizing Methodologies class, CES doctoral students and faculty have co-authored a book, Culturally Responsive Methodologies (2013) with University of Waikato doctoral students and faculty, edited by Dr. Mere Berryman, University of Waikato and Dr. Ann Nevin, faculty associate and faculty emerita, Arizona State University. Suzanne believes this model of collaborative scholarship has enriched both institutions and fostered an international community of scholars among students and faculty.
Culturally Responsive Methodologies (2013) is available for purchase through Amazon.com.
By Marisol Rexach, Ph.D. in Education Student