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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the Berkeley Review of Education, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published online and edited by students from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Review of Education engages issues of educational diversity and equity within cognitive, developmental, sociohistorical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. The BRE encourages submissions on research and theory from senior and emerging scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. To submit a paper, please click on "Submit article to this journal" in the side bar.

Spring/Summer 2020 Volume 9 Issue 2


Disrupt, Defy, and Demand: Movements Toward Multiculturalism at the University of Oregon, 1968-2015

This essay explores the history of activism among students of color at the University of Oregon from 1968 to 2015. These students sought to further democratize and diversify curriculum and student services through various means of reform. Beginning in 1968 with the Black Student Union’s demands and proposals for sweeping institutional reform, which included the proposal for a School of Black Studies, this research examines how the Black Student Union created a foundation for future activism among students of color in later decades. Coalitions of affinity groups in the 1990s continued this activist work and pressured the university administration and faculty to adopt a more culturally pluralistic curriculum. This essay also includes a brief examination of the state of Oregon’s and the city of Eugene, Oregon’s, history, and their well-documented history of racism and exclusion. This brief examination provides necessary historical context and illuminates how the University of Oregon’s sparse policies regarding race reflect the state’s historic lack of diversity.

South Asian Americans’ Microaggression Experiences in School: Retrospective Reflections on Interactions with K-12 Teachers

A study aimed to examine South Asian American experiences in schools, especially in context of interactions with teachers through qualitative, was undertaken, and used retrospective narrative responses about microaggressions from ten South Asian American young adults (from a broader sample, n = 85) reflecting on experiences in K-12 settings. Retrospective responses to constructed survey items about participants' experiences revealed four key themes, which are explored in this paper: (a) overt racism (“microassaults” and “microinsults”), (b) an expectation that South Asian American students serve as “spokespersons” for their cultural or racial group, (c) a tendency to expect students to be spokespeople even when the student is unqualified to do so, and (d) a willingness or unwillingness on behalf of some students to serve as spokespersons. Implications and recommendations, including that teachers refrain from positioning students of color as "spokespersons" for their perceived cultural or racial communities, are offered.

The Role of a Summer Field Experience in Fostering STEM Students' Socioemotional Perceptions and Social Justice Awareness as Preparation for a Science Teaching Career

This study aims to better understand the role that teacher exploration programs play in supporting science teacher education recruitment and retention in ways that are consistent with social justice goals. Utilizing reflective and descriptive journal data from 126 STEM undergraduate students engaged in an intensive and immersive four-day internship that took place in summer 2015 and summer 2016, this study examines how a well-integrated field experience prepares students to consider a possible future science teaching career in high needs schools. Findings indicate that students who participated in this summer field experience program developed classroom pedagogical knowledge and skills, as well as heightened interpersonal, socioemotional understanding with respect to students. As preparation for the possibility of entering a social-justice focused credential teaching program, the internships also exposed the STEM undergraduates to high-need schools, fostered interns' social justice awareness, and provided an opportunity for them to reflect experientially – in terms of their own educational privileges and from their field time in the classrooms – on educational inequities confronting schools and students. These experiences allowed the STEM interns to more deeply appreciate the importance of connecting with students and developing positive and constructive relationships with them, a valuable foundation for those who may choose to pursue a formal social-justice oriented teacher education program.

Early Childhood Education and Care and the Use of Digital Media in Informal Environments

Early childhood is a time of rapid development when children are constantly influenced by experiences and relationships formed in informal environments. In a world that is increasingly reliant on digital media, parents and other caregivers play an important role in managing their children’s use of it. Parents’ choices regarding digital media use heavily depend on their understanding of how children learn from them and how they impact children’s development at different ages and developmental stages. The use of digital media has potential benefits in terms of improved cognitive and literacy skills, but it also has potential risks in terms of lower executive functioning and social-emotional skills due to a lack of social interactions. This article informs the role of parents and other caregivers who can help children benefit from the opportunities that digital media present, while making sure that children experience real-life interactions that are vital to children’s overall development.