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Scholar Series this Wednesday, October 25

by Anna Karras on 2023-10-23T13:28:00-04:00 | 0 Comments


Join us for lunch and a lecture by Dr. Hasan Aydin, Professor of Multicultural Education in Leadership, Technology & Research, titled "When Your Scholarship Makes you an Enemy of the State: Research Under Totalitarian Regime." All are welcome; lunch will be served in person, or join virtually via Teams:


Dr. Hasan Aydin is Professor of Multicultural Education in the Department of Leadership, Technology & Research. A significant amount of his work has centered on Southwest Florida as a living laboratory, focusing on educational programming, particularly for the multicultural and multilingual, and for students with intellectual disabilities. 

In work with the FGCU’s R.I.S.E., a comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities, Dr. Aydin and his team delved into the program’s foundations, how it was conceptualized and launched. Among the lessons learned were the importance of participants choosing their planning committee team members, the role of the University President and Provost, the Board of Trustees, and the Dean of the College of Education in building campus support, and the fostering the inclusion of the participants in the workforce so they may live independently and contribute to the local community and businesses. 

Dr. Aydin has also examined international students and students of immigrant families. In a study of doctoral programs to prepare educators and educational leaders to work with students from diverse and ethnic backgrounds, Dr. Aydin found limited course work available. Furthermore, that coursework came close to the end of their program, limiting students’ opportunities to explore multicultural education topics further. 

Dr. Aydin’s team thus undertook a study of participants in the doctoral program who completed a multicultural course. They found that the participants reported a transformation in the awareness of their thinking and outlook as the coursework, discussions, and assigned readings all provided the participants with a lens through which to view their perceptions and biases and those of people close to them. At the same time, however, they felt helpless, feeling unable to bring about change even after acquiring new knowledge

This call for a deeper understanding of multiculturalism and diversity to serve staff and students effectively is all the more pressing for first- and second-generation students. A study of such students found that perceived parental support, teacher enthusiasm and the adaption of instruction were associated with improved academic performance, while student experiences of bullying were associated with more substantive negative academic outcomes. Furthermore, the opportunity to participate in creative extracurricular activities was associated with improved academic performance. School staff and teachers thus play a critical role in supporting the academic development and integration of immigrant students by creating a safe and supportive climate, extracurricular options, an enthusiastic teaching cohort, adapted instruction and parent–school support structures.

A second scholarly thread centers on social justice and human rights, particularly in Syria and Turkey. For example, in an important essay reflecting on the failure to critically address educational human rights violations around the world, specifically in Turkey where the Turkish government damaged the university system and targeted academics in a crackdown after the failed coup attempt in 2016, Dr. Aydin examines the transcripts of in-depth interviews about those experiences and critical life stories of 20 individuals then living in the United States, Canada and Europe. His work found violations to the right of education: schools closed, educators and students summarily dismissed, academic freedom of thought suppressed, shuttering of publication houses, banning of education unions and punishing parents or children based on the educational institution attended. Such violations have created a brain drain of educators fleeing the country. These toxic changes in the Turkish education system serve as a warning to all as they have had severe social and political effects, producing an education system that fails to meet the country’s needs. Dr. Aydin continues this thread in this talk entitled “At Your Peril: Conducting Research in a Totalitarian Regime.”

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