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LEADING THE WAY Education Professor John McNeil and UCLA Celebrate Their Centennials PAGE 34


UCLA IDEA National Survey: School and Society in the Age of Trump American High Schools Challenged by Political Incivility, Racial Tensions

The challenges confronting our communities are not separate from our schools, and may fall hardest on our students,” John Rogers, professor of education and director, UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) says. “When high schools experience societal challenges, it is students themselves who bear the brunt of the impact.

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Making Radio: Early Radio Production and the Rise of Modern Sound Culture The work of Information Studies Assistant Professor Shawn VanCour, “Making Radio: Early Radio Production and the Rise of Modern Sound Culture” explores the forms of creative labor pursued for the medium in the period prior to the better-known network era. PA G E 1 6

Scientist at the U.S. Bureau of Standards measuring radio wavelengths to regulate the new phenomenon of commercial radio.



Embodying the principles of individual responsibility and social justice, an ethic of caring, and commitment to the communities we serve.

3 Message from the Dean 4 English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools and Lives A Consensus Study Report of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, co-authored by Professor Alison Bailey 10 Catastrophic Migrations Excerpts from the Introduction of “Humanitarianism and Mass Migration: Confronting the World Crisis,” edited by Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco 16 “Making Radio: Early Radio Production and the Rise of Modern Sound Culture” Excerpts from the book by Information Studies Assistant Professor Shawn VanCour 20 UCLA IDEA National Survey: School and Society in the Age of Trump Summary of the report based on survey of 505 U.S. high school principals across the country 26 Q&A with Miriam Posner, Information Studies assistant professor Museums in the Digital Age 30 Community-Research Partnerships in Indigenous Science and Language Learning Faculty Research of Teresa McCarty and Ananda Marin 34 John McNeil: Lessons from a Life Well-Lived Emeritus professor of education, who turns 100 this year, continues to teach and engage students in the importance and relevance of education today.

On the cover: John McNeil, emeritus professor of education in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA. Both John and UCLA turn 100 years old this year. Photo: Robin Weisz



Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Ph.D. UCLA Wasserman Dean & Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Laura Lindberg Executive Director External Relations, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies EDITOR

Leigh Leveen Director, Annual Fund and Donor Communications, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies lleveen@support.ucla.edu CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Joanie Harmon Director, Campaign & Development Communications, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies harmon@gseis.ucla.edu John McDonald Director, Sudikoff Family Institute jmcdonald@gseis.ucla.edu Mackie Loris, ’19


Robin Weisz Design © 2019, by The Regents of the University of California




s we publish this issue, the University of California, Los Angeles is marking its 100th year. We are enormously proud to take a leading part in celebrating 100 years of solidarity, excellence, and engagement in Los Angeles, California and the world. The UCLA of today traces its origins to 1882 and the Los Angeles Normal School, whose mission was the training of teachers. In 1919, some 1,250 students pursuing the study and practice of education would join with 250 others in Letters and Science to form the first class of what was then known as the Southern Branch of the University of California, and would become UCLA in 1927. We are honored to be a part of the foundational history of one of the nation’s most important public research universities—today, as then, we have endeavored to play a critical role in addressing the challenges in the domains of education and information studies. The cover of this issue is graced by a photograph of UCLA Emeritus Professor John McNeil, who also turns 100 this fall. John headed the UCLA Teacher Education Program in 1956. All these years later he is still teaching, joining with Octavio Augustus Pescador (’93, B.A., Political Science; ’03, Ph.D., Education), to lead an honors class in International Development. In our story, “Lessons from a Life Well-Lived,” you will learn about the contributions John has made to our university and our nation. In this issue, we take a look at ­Professor Alison Bailey’s work on The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Consensus Study Report on English language learners in STEM subjects. As Professor ­Bailey notes, the report can be instrumental in helping teachers, administrators and others to propel EL students onto a STEM-ready trajectory for college and employment, a path that has until now been extremely limited if not downright prohibitive. Also in this issue, we take a deep look at the forces that are driving migration at our border and across the globe with an excerpt of a new book, Photo: Jennifer Young

“Humanitarianism and Mass Migration: Confronting the World Crisis.” The outgrowth of a conference our graduate school hosted at UCLA in 2017, the book published by UC Press last month draws on the work of leading scholars, practitioners, activists, policymakers, and faith leaders to examine how climate change, environmental disaster and failing states are the drivers of new catastrophic migrations the world over. The book also shines a light to a path forward from the crisis. I had the responsibility to serve as editor for this volume, and was delighted to engage a cadre of international experts including Professors Pedro A. Noguera and Carola Suárez-Orozco from UCLA Education in its development. From the preservation of rare books to exploring the challenges of the Internet Age, our graduate school colleagues in the UCLA Department of Information Studies are engaged in some of the most interesting work on the UCLA campus. Here we showcase the research of Assistant Professor Shawn VanCour, with an excerpt from his book “Making Radio: Early Radio Production and the Rise of Modern Sound Culture,” and we dig into the work of IS Assistant Professor Miriam Posner in a Q&A examining the changing role of “Museums in the Digital Age.” Professor Teresa McCarty and Assistant Professor Ananda Marin explore diverse cultures and teaching practices for heritage language learners in their ongoing research, and we share an overview of their work here. And I would be remiss here if I did not also offer my warmest congratulations to Professor McCarty on her recent election to the National Academy of Education. While I am at it, let me also acknowledge and congratulate Professor Sylvia Hurtado on her selection to that esteemed body. GSE&IS scholars are at the forefront of basic research and translational work in some of the most important issues in our times. These awards remind us all of the excellence and relevance of our colleagues’ collective endeavors. This issue also includes the groundbreaking research of Professor John

Rogers, director of the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. John’s new national survey of high school principals, “School and Society in the Age of Trump,” finds schools greatly challenged by political division and racial tension, and riven by mis­ information and the omnipresent use of social media. The survey also offers a window into how the opioid crisis, tensions over immigration and the threat of gun violence are affecting schools, making clear the troubling impact on schools in these tense times. Professor Rogers is a scholar of John Dewey, and while the findings of the survey are troubling, we find hope in the work of America’s premier educator-philosopher. Dewey saw schools— at their best—as authentically connected to their communities and central to the pursuit of democratic ideals. In the survey responses you can see high school principals struggling to address the most pressing needs of the moment, and in the work of some, an effort to lay the moral and civic groundwork for a better, more just, democratic future. In these efforts, one can see the long-term virtue of cultivating mutuality in the relationship between school and society. Cultivating synergies and commitments, animated by the spirit of equity and excellence, public schools can, over time, develop more caring, engaged, community-minded adults. In that effort, you can see a glimmer of the hope of Dewey’s vision for schools and communities. It is a vision that has served UCLA well in its first 100 years, and one that helps to guide us as we venture into the next Bruin Century. Enjoy— Marcelo

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco

Wasserman Dean & Distinguished Professor of Education UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies




A Consensus Study Report of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine


he report is a state-ofthe-art review of the STEM field regarding English Learners’ education by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine,” says Alison Bailey, co-author of the report and professor of education at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. “There is almost no research on the technology and engineering piece of that; it’s nearly all science and math. The report argues that many English learners are simply not getting access to the pipeline for STEM subjects, especially at the high school level when things become more specialized.” Bailey, whose research centers on the assessment and experiences of English learners (ELs) in PreK–12, contributed to several introductory chapters and served as lead on the classroom assessment portions of the report. Among the NASEM report’s findings is the fact that decisions concerning EL’s STEM achievement can be made more accurate when they are based on multiple sources of information and when test scores are combined with other, qualitative forms of assessment best suited to ELs’ STEM learning. Studies that the report reviewed found that static and dynamic visual aids, collaborative tasks, and dividing tasks into multiple parts yielded fairer and more valid interpretations of EL student performance in STEM disciplines.

“Since 2001, with the passage of No Child Left Behind, the purpose of acquiring English was brought closer to the academic subjects and why schools should care,” says Bailey. “This nexus of language and content areas popularized the use of the term ‘academic language’ … and needing alignment between what was going on in English language development and what was going on in actual classrooms, whether it was math or science, English language arts or social studies.” Professor Bailey notes that the report can be instrumental in helping teachers, administrators and others to propel EL students onto a STEM-ready trajectory for college and employment, a path that has until now been extremely limited if not downright prohibitive. “The whole EL experience often excluded students from [STEM] classrooms because they were pulled out [of class] for English language development during math and science,” she says. “And then there were students who were not necessarily getting access to high-­ quality, well-taught elective classes.”

Studies that the report reviewed found that static and dynamic visual aids, collaborative tasks, and dividing tasks into multiple parts yielded fairer and more valid interpretations of EL student performance in STEM disciplines.


FROM THE SUMMARY English learners (ELs) bring a wealth of resources to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, including knowledge and interest in STEM-related content that is born out of their experiences in their homes and communities, home languages, variation in discourse practices, and, in some cases, experiences with schooling in other countries. ELs are those students ages 3 through 21, enrolled in an elementary or secondary school, not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English, and whose proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English. The diversity of ELs includes heterogeneity in cultures, languages, and experiences that may have an impact on these students’ education (including the contexts that expose them to risk factors that may have negative impacts). Federal, state, and local policies can either facilitate ELs’ opportunities in STEM or constrain teaching and learning in ways that are detrimental. This report addresses the factors that affect ELs’ access and opportunity to rigorous, grade-appropriate STEM learning. The National Science Foundation commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to examine the research on ELs’ learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM subjects, including the role of language in learning STEM, successful programs for ELs or interventions both within the United States and abroad, and the learning needs of preservice and in-service 6 UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2019

STEM teachers with respect to ELs in PreK–12. The committee was asked to consider the complex social and academic use of language delineated in the new mathematics and science standards, the diversity of the population of ELs, and the integration of English as a second language instruction with core instructional programs in STEM. The committee was also asked to consider all children and youth who are learning and speaking a language other than English at home (often referred to as dual- or multi-language learners) and give particular attention to students who have limited English skills and may have been formally identified as such by the school or district. What follows are some core findings discussed within the different chapters of the report.

CORE FINDINGS EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT Inconsistencies in the classification of ELs is an undercurrent that has substantial implications for understanding ELs’ performance in STEM, given that it affects everything from policy to research to instruction. The practice of excluding recently English-proficient ELs from the EL accountability group leads to overestimation of academic achievement gaps in STEM between ELs and non-ELs, and consequently to misperceptions of ELs’ STEM proficiency and ineffective policy responses. Moreover, some schools operate under the incorrect assumption that English proficiency is a prerequisite to meaningfully engage with STEM learning. However, the research suggests that a shift is needed by recognizing the assets that ELs bring to the classroom and understanding that some deficits in student performance arise from lack of access and not from limited ability, language proficiency, or cultural differences.

STEM LEARNING AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT ELs develop STEM knowledge and language proficiency when they are engaged in meaningful interaction in the classroom that includes participation in the kinds of activities in which STEM experts and professionals regularly engage. Whereas there is no language without content, there is some content that is less dependent on language. STEM subjects afford opportunities for alternate routes to knowledge acquisition (i.e., experimentation, demonstration of phenomena, and demonstration of practices) through which students can gain a sense of STEM content without resorting predominantly to language to access meaning—it is through this experience that language is also learned. The committee acknowledges that just as language develops, students develop increasingly sophisticated understandings of core disciplinary ideas; as such, engaging ELs early in their education when their peers are also gaining exposure to STEM content is important.

EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES AND TEACHER EDUCATION A review of the evidence on instructional strategies suggests that teachers of ELs who effectively engage with these students are more likely to understand that language is learned through meaningful and active engagement by ELs with language in the context of authentic STEM activities and practices. They encourage ELs to draw on their full range of linguistic and communicative competencies and resources while guiding them toward a focus on STEM meaning-making. Effective teachers of ELs also engage in experiences that foster self-reflection about their assumptions regarding diverse students’ and families’ engagement with STEM and STEM education. However, although the committee identified many instructional strategies that show great promise for ELs in building disciplinary content knowledge, access to practices, and language proficiency, less effective instructional strategies are still used. This may be related in part to the evidence showing that STEM teachers are not adequately prepared to provide robust learning opportunities that foster simultaneous content knowledge and language development in their classrooms.

ELs develop STEM knowledge and language proficiency when they are engaged in meaningful interaction in the classroom that includes participation in the kinds of activities in which STEM experts and professionals regularly engage.


THE ROLE OF FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES Children are members of families and larger social communities that help to shape their knowledge and interest in school and in STEM. Families and communities are resources that can bolster schools’ efforts to engage ELs in STEM learning. Effective family and community engagement models for ELs in STEM recognize and make connections to families’ and communities’ cultural and linguistic practices as they relate to STEM topics. Such models can help teachers and schools shift to an asset orientation toward ELs’ STEM learning, can increase the engagement of families of ELs in other school-based activities, and can improve ELs’ motivation in their STEM learning.

ASSESSMENT The committee identified several challenges in EL testing practice and policy to include the fact that language is the means through which tests are administered, limiting the extent to which

appropriate generalization can be made about ELs’ academic achievement based on test scores alone. With respect to classroom formative and summative assessments, the research is nascent with respect to ELs, limiting the understanding of linguistically diverse groups and classrooms. Overall, it is imperative that ELs be included during large-scale and classroom-level test development and teacher preparation/professional learning to better reflect the heterogeneity of EL populations, leading to fair, valid, and reliable assessment measures.

BUILDING CAPACITY TO TRANSFORM STEM LEARNING Policies at the federal, state, and local levels can either facilitate ELs’ opportunities in STEM or constrain teaching and learning in ways that are detrimental to ELs’ access to and success in STEM learning. School districts demonstrating success with teaching ELs in STEM have leaders who attend to system coherence and do so by designing and implementing organizational structures that

enable the integration of language and content within and between levels (i.e., state, district, school) and components of the system (e.g., instruction, curriculum, assessment, professional development, policies for categorization of ELs). Integration of STEM learning and English language learning is possible but may require adjustment to the allocation of fiscal and human resources. Some systems that have succeeded in supporting ELs in STEM have demonstrated flexibility in allocating and aligning fiscal and human resources in service of their desired objectives.

R E CO M M E N DAT I O N S RECOMMENDATION 1: Evaluate current policies, approaches, and resources that have the potential to negatively affect English learners’ (ELs’) access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning

Curriculum developers, educators, and EL researchers should work together to develop curricular materials and resources that consider the diversity of ELs’ needs as the materials are being developed and throughout the design process.


opportunities, including classification and reclassification, course-taking, classroom instruction, program models offered, professional development, staffing, and fiscal resources, etc. These evaluations should be made at the federal, state and district levels. RECOMMENDATION 2: Develop a highquality framework to identify and remove barriers to English learners’ (ELs’) participation in rigorous science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities. District and school leaders should identify and enact norms of shared responsibility for success of ELs in STEM both within the district central office and within schools, developed by teams of district and school leaders associated with STEM and English language development/English as a second language education. States should take an active role in collecting and sharing resources across schools and districts. RECOMMENDATION 3: Equip teachers and teacher candidates with the requisite tools and preparation to effectively engage and positively position English learners (ELs) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content learning. Preservice teacher education programs should require courses that include learning research-based practices on how to best support ELs in learning STEM subjects. Preservice teacher education programs and providers of in-service professional development should provide opportunities to engage in field experiences that include ELs in both classroom settings and informal learning environments. English as a second language teacher education programs and providers of in-service professional development should design programs that include collaboration with teachers of STEM content to support ELs’ grade-­ appropriate content and language learning in STEM. Teacher educators and professionals involved in pre- and in-service teacher learning should develop resources for teachers, teacher educators,

and school and district leaders that illustrate productive, research-based instructional practices for supporting ELs in STEM learning. Preservice teacher education and teacher credentialing programs should take account of teacher knowledge of large-scale STEM assessment interpretation, classroom summative task d ­ esign, and formative assessment practices with ELs. RECOMMENDATION 4: Develop highquality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricular materials and integrate formative assessment into classroom practice to both facilitate and assess English learners’ (ELs’) progress through the curriculum. Curriculum developers, educators, and EL researchers should work together to develop curricular materials and resources that consider the diversity of ELs’ needs as the materials are being developed and throughout the design process. EL researchers, curriculum developers, assessment professionals, teacher educators, professional learning providers, and teachers should work collaboratively to strengthen teachers’ formative assessment skills to improve STEM instruction and promote ELs’ learning.

Report’s authors: David Francis and Amy Stephens, Editors Committee on Supporting English Learners in STEM Subjects; Board on Science Education; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Consensus Study Reports  published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peerreview process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

RECOMMENDATION 5: Encourage and facilitate engagement with stakeholders in English learners’ (ELs’) local environment to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning. These include families and caregivers, community organizations and organizations that focus on informal STEM learning. RECOMMENDATION 6: Design comprehensive and cohesive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) assessment systems that consider English learners (ELs) and the impact of those assessments on STEM academic achievement for all students. RECOMMENDATION 7: Review existing assessment accommodation policies and develop accessibility resources.



EXCERPTS FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF “Humanitarianism and Mass Migration: Confronting the World Crisis”



n the first two decades of this century, millions of people have been forced to escape from their homes into the unknown. Humanitarianism and Mass Migration examines the uncharted contours of this mass migration. The volume’s interdisciplinary and comparative approach showcases new research that reveals how current structures of health, mental health, and education are anachronistic and out of touch with the new cartographies of mass migrations. Envisioning a hopeful and realistic future, this book provides clear and concrete recommendations for what must be done to mine the inherent agency, cultural resources, resilience, and capacity for self-healing that will help forcefully displaced populations. Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco is the Wasserman Dean and Distinguished Professor of Education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His previous edited volumes include Latinos: Remaking America; Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue; Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education; and Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millennium. This volume contains contributions from Jacqueline Bhabha, Richard Mollica, Irina Bokova, Pedro Noguera, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, James A. Banks, Mary Waters, and many others.


In the twenty-first century, mass migration is the human face of globalization—the sounds, colors, and aromas of a miniaturized, interconnected, and ever-fragile world.

ince the dawn of the new millennium, the world has been witnessing a rapid rise in the numbers of migrants in a wide array of categories— voluntary and involuntary, internal and international, authorized and unauthorized, and environmental—as well as victims of human trafficking. All continents are involved in the massive movement of people as areas of immigration, emigration, transit, and return—and often as all four at once. Yet migration is as old as mankind. Migrations elude simple mechanistic models of causality because they unfold in complex ecologies involving demographic factors, economic variables, political processes, cultural models, social practices, historical relationships, the environment itself, and multiple combinations thereof. In the twenty-first century, mass migration is the human face of globalization—the sounds, colors, and aromas of a miniaturized, interconnected, and ever-­ fragile world. Today “migration is a shared condition of all humanity.” While there are as many motivations and pathways for migration as there are migrant families, large-scale migration is not random. It is ignited and then gathers momentum along predictable corridors. At the proximate level, migration is a strategy of the household. Distinct patterns of kinship, household, and social organization carve the pathways for worldwide migratory journeys. The fundamental unit of migration is the family—variously defined and structured by distinct, culturally coded legislative, economic, reproductive, and symbolic forms. At the distal level, immigration is multiply determined by labor markets, wage differentials, demographic imbalances, technological change, and environmental factors. However, up close it is the family that makes migration work. Immigration typically starts with the family, and family bonds sustain it. Immigration profoundly changes families. “Love and work,” Freud’s eternal words on the well-lived life, are useful to think about migration as an adaptation both of and for the family.

A NEW MAP Migration is increasingly defined by the slow-motion disintegration of failing states with feeble institutions, war and terror, demographic imbalances, unchecked climate change, and cataclysmic environmental disruptions. Symbiotically, these forces are the drivers of what I will call the catastrophic migrations of the twenty-first century. Catastrophic migrations are placing millions of human beings at grave risk. In the first quarter of the twenty-first century, the world witnessed the UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2019 11

largest number of forcibly displaced human beings in history: while precise numbers are both elusive and changing, UN data report that more than sixty-eight million people—the equivalent of every man, woman, and child in Lagos, São Paulo, Seoul, London, Lima, New York, and Guadalajara—are escaping home into the unknown (UNHCR 2019). The majority of those seeking shelter are internally displaced persons (IDPs), not formal refugees across international borders. In addition, approximately nine in ten international asylum seekers remain in a neighboring country—Asians stay in Asia, Africans in Africa, Americans in the Americas. While migration is a shared condition of humanity, it is increasingly catastrophic: “The majority of new displacements in 2016 took place in environments characterized by a high exposure to natural and human-made hazards, high levels of socioeconomic vulnerability, and low coping capacity of both institutions and infrastructure.” By the end of 2016, there were 31.1 million new internal displacements due to conflict and violence (6.9 million) and disasters (24.1 million), “the equivalent of one person forced to flee every second” (IDMC 2017).

WAR AND TERROR War and terror are pushing millions of human beings from home. Millions of people linger in perpetual limbo in camps far away from the wealthy cities of Asia,


Europe, North America, and Australia. The world is experiencing what Sánchez Terán (2017) calls the “forced confinement crisis” of the twenty-first century. Millions have been internally displaced, millions are awaiting asylum, and millions more are living in the shadow of the law as irregular or unauthorized immigrants. The United States, the country with the largest number of immigrants in the world, has an estimated 11.3 million undocumented immigrants and approximately five million children with at least one undocumented immigrant parent. In 2017, just three countries—Syria, Iraq, and Yemen—accounted for more than half of all internally displaced persons. Likewise, in 2017, more than half of all international refugees under UNHCR mandate originated in four states: Syria (approximately 5.5 million), Afghanistan (2.5 million), South Sudan (1.4 million), and Somalia (900,000). The conflicts in these countries are disparate and incommensurable in nature. Yet they share a chronic, protracted quality. These conflicts have endured longer than World War I and World War II combined. In each case, environmental dystopia and extreme weather patterns antecede and accentuate the catastrophic movement of people. Syria continues to represent “the world’s largest refugee crisis.” While Syrians are escaping interminable war and terror, in its collapse, Syria also embodies the noxious synergies among the

environment, war and terror, and mass human displacement. In the Americas, a new migration map is also taking form. First, by 2015, Mexican migration to the United States, the largest flow of international migration in U.S. history, was at its lowest in over a quarter of a century. Second, for the first time in recent history, more Mexicans were returning (voluntarily and involuntarily) to their country than were migrating to the United States. According to data analyzed by the Pew Hispanic Center, “… more Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here since the end of the Great Recession … The same data sources also show the overall flow of Mexican immigrants between the two countries is at its smallest since the 1990s, mostly due to a drop in the number of Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S. From 2009 to 2014, one million Mexicans and their families (including U.S.-born children) left the U.S. for Mexico, according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics. (ENADID 2014).” As Mexican migration decreases, uncontrolled criminality, terror, climate change, and environmental dystopia put Central Americans at the center of the new map. Indeed, the Americas gave the new immigration map a new contour: mass unauthorized immigration,

unaccompanied minors, children forcibly separated from their parents at the border, and mass deportations. The sources of the forced movements of people in Central America have disparate and complex histories, finding their distal ­origins in the Cold War, inequality, and uncontrolled criminality.

CHILDREN ARE A SIGN “[Children] are a sign of hope, a sign of life, but also a ‘diagnostic’ sign, a marker indicating the health of families, society and the entire world. Wherever children are accepted, loved, cared for and protected, the family is healthy, society is more healthy and the world is more human” (Pope Francis 2014). Crying children are the face of the catastrophic migrations of the twenty-first century. Worldwide, one in every two hundred children is a refugee, almost twice the number of a decade ago. According to UN data, in 2016 there were ­twenty-eight million children forcibly displaced. Another twenty million children were international migrants. Their total number is now larger than the populations of Canada and Sweden combined. Millions of children are internal migrants. In China alone there were an estimated thirty-five million migrant children in 2010 and a staggering sixtyone million children who were left behind in the countryside as their parents migrated to the coastal cities.

War and terror are pushing millions of human beings from home. Millions of people linger in perpetual limbo in camps far away from the wealthy cities of Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia. The world is experiencing what Sánchez Terán (2017) calls the ‘forced confinement crisis’ of the twenty-first century. UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2019 13

Catastrophic migrations and violent family separations disrupt the essential developmental functions necessary for children to establish basic trust, feel secure, and have a healthy orientation toward the world and the future.


Few of the forcibly displaced children ever make it to high-income countries. The vast majority of children seeking refuge will remain internally displaced or will settle in a neighboring country. By 2015, the world had witnessed a record number of unaccompanied or separated children, with 98,400 formal asylum applicants—mainly Afghans, Eritreans, Syrians, and Somalis—lodged in 78 countries. “This was the highest number on record since UNHCR started collecting such data in 2006” (UNHCR 2016). By the end of 2016, a new record had been set, with at least “300,000 unaccompanied and separated children moving across borders … registered in 80 countries in 2015–16—a near fivefold increase from 66,000 in 2010–11. The total number of unaccompanied and separated children on the move worldwide is likely much higher.” In 2014, the United States experienced a significant spike in unaccompanied children fleeing Central America, and between 2015 and 2016, in North America 100,000 unaccompanied and separated children were apprehended at the Mexico–U.S. border. Thousands of children, the majority of them Central American, were incarcerated with their parents in harsh and punitive U.S. facilities, according to Jacqueline Bhabha (this volume), “simply because they [could not] demonstrate a regular immigration status, despite a broad international consensus opposing detention of children for immigration reasons.” By 2019, 15,000 migrant children were in government detention. That figure is growing by the day as the number of migrant families crossing the southern border reached an 11-year high this February. Of the 76,103 migrants apprehended at the border more than 40,000 were families travelling together. Children and newborns continue to be taken from their parents even as the Administration claims to have rescinded the order to forcibly separate migrant families. In Mexico, the United States’ de facto immigration buffer zone, detention of child migrants is even more oppressive and pervasive. The number of forcibly displaced children and youth arriving in Europe and the United States is but a small proportion of the global total. These children, Bhabha argues,

face a “protection deficit.” The twenty-first-century map suggests new forms of migration that do not fit existing policy frameworks. The architectures in place to protect the forcibly displaced, refugees, and asylum seekers are now out of date and out of touch with the current catastrophic kinetics of forced migration. First, most forcibly displaced migrants today linger as internally displaced in their own countries or in camps in neighboring states with weak institutions, often in subhuman conditions with few protections. Indeed, millions of human beings now are “lost in transit.” Second, protracted conflicts are sending millions fleeing with no expectation of returning. Third, the architectures in place are generally blind to the developmental needs of children—a topic of grave urgency. Even when temporary protection is possible or desirable, children in flight need more than a safe haven. They need a place to grow up. They need the safety of home. Fourth, the architectures are not aligned with the best evidence and current thinking on physical health, mental health, and trauma; legal protections; or education. Mass migration and demographic change are, under the best of circumstances, destabilizing and generate disequilibrium. Catastrophic migrations produce multiple additional layers of distress. The forcibly displaced undergo violent separations and carry the wounds of trauma. Millions of human beings are caught in permanent limbo, living in zones of confinement—Stathopoulou’s “no-man zones.” In these zones, “humiliation is re-created in the camp environment when individuals are not allowed to work, grow food, or make money.” Catastrophic migrations assault the structure and coherence of families in their legislative, social, and symbolic functions. The outright rejection of unwanted refugees, asylum seekers, and unauthorized immigrants compounds the trauma they suffer. In many receiving countries, too, we have identified zones of confinement where de facto and de jure policies are forcing millions of immigrant and refugee families to live in the shadow of the law. In the United States, the country with the largest number of immigrants, millions are separated, millions

are deported, millions are incarcerated, and millions more inhabit a subterranean world of illegality. Catastrophic migrations and violent family separations disrupt the essential developmental functions necessary for children to establish basic trust, feel secure (Erickson 1950), and have a healthy orientation toward the world and the future. Catastrophic migrations tear children from their families and communities. Furthermore, physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are normative features of forced migrations, especially when they involve human trafficking and the subhuman conditions that prevail in many migrant camps. Catastrophic migrations remove children and youth from the proscribed pathways that enable them to reach and master culturally determined

developmental milestones in the biological, socioemotional, cognitive, and moral realms required to make the transition to adulthood successfully. Catastrophic migrations are life-thwarting, harming children’s physical, psychological, moral, and social well-being by placing them in contexts that are inherently dangerous. When immigrants and refugees manage to settle in new societies, they bring new kinship systems, cultural sensibilities (including racial, linguistic, and religious), and identities to the forefront. These may misalign with (and even contravene) taken-for-granted cultural schemas and social practices in receiving societies. The world over, immigrants and refugees are arousing suspicion, fear, and xenophobia. Immigration is the frontier pushing against the limits of cosmopolitan tolerance. Immigration intensifies

the general crisis of connection and flight from the pursuit of our inherent humanitarian obligations concerning the welfare of others. Reimagining the narrative of belonging, reclaiming the humanitarian call, and recalibrating the institutions of the nation-state are a sine qua non to move beyond the current immigration malaise the world over. In the long term, we must retrain hearts and minds, especially younger ones, for democracy in the context of demographic change and superdiversity. We need to convert a dread of the unfamiliar “Other” into empathy, solidarity, and a democratizing desire for cultural difference. In this book we endeavor to cultivate the humanistic ideal to find oneself “in Another” (Ricoeur 1995) in the refugee, in the asylum seeker, and in the forcibly displaced.





Early Radio Production and the Rise of Modern Sound Culture BY SHAWN VANCOUR


he early twentieth century witnessed a profound transformation in the history of modern sound

media, with workers in U.S. film, radio, and record industries developing pioneering production methods and performance styles tailored to emerging technologies of electric sound reproduction that would redefine dominant forms and experiences of popular audio entertainment. Focusing on broadcasting’s initial expansion during the 1920s, “Making Radio” explores the forms of creative labor pursued for the medium in the period prior to the better-known network era, assessing their role in shaping radio’s identity and contributions to broader regimes of early twentieth-century sound recording.

Left: Operating the Michigan Radio Network board, 1937


The opening decades of the twentieth century ushered in a new era in popular sound entertainment in the United States, with producers across the nation’s expanding film, music, and radio industries developing production practices and performance styles tailored to emerging technologies of electric sound reproduction. “Making Radio” explores these emergent processes of mediamaking, focusing on the forms of sonic labor pursued by early twentieth century radio workers and tracing their contributions to broader changes in popular sound culture. The programming forms, production practices, and performance styles developed by radio workers during broadcasting’s initial boom period in the 1920s, I argue, not only established key precedents for network-era productions in the decades that followed, but also created formative styles and sensibilities that resonated across neighboring record and film industries. Perched on the cusp of a new era of electric sound reproduction, early radio workers pioneered production practices that shaped the future of U.S. broadcasting and contributed to a series of broader transformations in modern sound culture. In mapping the institutionalization of mediamaking practices for aural broadcasting, this book stages a strategic departure from previous radio scholarship and fills a persistent gap in larger histories of modern sound media. Historical work on radio has been defined by two main waves of scholarship, to which “Making Radio” remains deeply UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2019 17

Broadcast radio station, circa 1929

indebted but which it also works to supplement and challenge. The first wave, inaugurated in the 1960s and early 1970s, privileged top-down forms of historical agency exercised by inventors, policymakers, and broadcasting executives, analyzing the technologies developed for the medium, the laws created to regulate it, and the economics of what for decades constituted one of the country’s biggest and most profitable entertainment industries. A second wave of radio scholarship emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, as part of a larger cultural turn in media studies; shifting attention to the audiences served by broadcasters and social debates surrounding broadcast media, work within this tradition sought to map the complex interplay of macrolevel industrial forces and grassroots cultural forces. While these twin traditions in dominant modes of media historiography have shed important light


on radio’s institutional structures and cultural contexts, too often lost to both top-down and bottom-up approaches has been an important middle ground occupied by everyday workers who performed the brunt of early broadcasting labor. Situated within a stratum of broadcasting history below that of entrepreneurial inventors, federal regulators, and corporate executives, but above that of audiences and social pundits, this new class of professional sound workers was responsible for producing the day-today programming that filled the nation’s airwaves and made radio more than just technologies, laws, and accounting figures, while giving its ever-growing publics something on which to project their competing interests and desires. To these programmers, producers, and performers went the task of “making radio” in the fullest sense, developing content and techniques of practice that

secured their medium’s larger cultural identity. In exploring the contributions of these mediamakers, “Making Radio” proposes a new, aesthetic turn—a third wave of scholarship that moves to the spaces of the studio and writer’s room to explore the pioneering programming forms, production practices, and performance styles through which an emerging group of sound workers struggled to define their professional identities and that of radio itself. While most sound historians have focused on the expansion of the commercial network system in the 1930s as the formative moment in radio’s development, I argue that the network era did not so much innovate as consolidate programming and production practices that had already achieved institutional inertia in the prenetwork period of the 1920s. New stations proliferated during this decade, rising from only 20 in 1921 to a peak of almost 700 in 1927, then stabilizing around 600 by decade’s end. Sales of receiving sets underwent similarly dramatic growth, with revenues swelling from $60 million in 1922 to over $842 million by 1929, while the number of radio households grew with equal rapidity and by 1930 included almost half of the homes in the country. Most important for present purposes, however, are the new forms of cultural labor to which this expanding industry gave rise. The prenetwork period spawned new groups of programmers, writers, directors, engineers, and on-air talent, who worked to develop best practices for broadcasting and win cultural recognition for themselves and their medium. As “Making Radio” shows, the programming forms, production practices, and performance styles they innovated were often highly contested, developing through a process of extensive experimentation and debate. However, by the mid to late 1920s this process had achieved provisional closure, resulting in standards of practice that continued to inform subsequent network-era productions. These included influential structures of broadcast flow developed in response to demands for live, continuous programming streams and techniques for managing

listener attention that shaped dominant modes of engagement with that programming. As producers and critics pushed for more conscious cultivation of the medium’s aesthetic properties, ideas of radiogénie helped to legitimate emerging sound genres and instill a soundmindedness in mediamakers and audiences alike. In addition, this decade spawned foundational studio techniques for radio broadcasting, including standard microphone setups and mixing methods for musical presentations; narrational strategies for radio drama; and performance styles for radio music, drama, and talk, all carefully tailored to the perceived demands of radio’s aural mode of address and new instruments of electric sound reproduction. The programming forms, production practices, and performance styles that radio workers developed during this period had both centripetal and centrifugal effects. Programmers, producers, and performers negotiated a series of industry-specific pressures, including top-down pressures from federal regulators, corporate station owners, and early sponsors, as well as bottom-up pressures from expanding audiences and professional critics. Within this context, radio workers strove to shore up the boundaries of their fledgling industry, define their professional identities, and win public acceptance for their medium. However, the standards they adopted also had much broader ramifications for an evolving twentieth-century sound culture. Radio workers developed novel solutions to the technical and aesthetic challenges of electric sound production that were soon echoed in techniques pursued by film and music producers, while retooling public listening sensibilities for a new type of sound that quickly spread across a series of related sound media. As the following chapters show, radio was not merely a symptom but rather a key contributor to these larger transformations in the nation’s sound culture, forming a vital but often neglected link in the twentieth century’s transition from acoustic-era production to a new culture of electric sound.

While most sound historians have focused on the expansion of the commercial network system in the 1930s as the formative moment in radio’s development, I argue that the network era did not so much innovate as consolidate programming and production practices that had already achieved institutional inertia in the prenetwork period of the 1920s.

Shawn VanCour is assistant professor of Media Archival Studies in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies. His research includes work on history of media technologies, media industries and labor practices, media archiving and preservation, and music and sound studies.



School and Society in the Age of Trump American High Schools Challenged by Political Incivility, Racial Tensions


The report is based on an online survey conducted in the summer of 2018 by UCLA’s Institute for Democracy Education and Access (IDEA) of 505 high school principals whose schools provide a representative sample of all U.S. public high schools. UCLA IDEA also conducted 40 follow-up interviews with principals who participated in the survey selected to be representative of the larger pool of schools. The research was led by John ­Rogers, professor of education and director, IDEA. He specializes in issues related to equal access to education, parental and community involvement in schools, urban education and the role of race in education. UCLA’s IDEA is a research institute seeking to understand and challenge pervasive racial and social class inequalities in education. In addition to conducting independent research and policy analysis, IDEA supports educators, public officials, advocates, community activists, and young people as they design, conduct, and use research to make high-quality public schools and successful college participation routine occurrences in all communities. IDEA also studies how research combines with strategic communications and public engagement to promote widespread participation in civic life.



he survey finds America’s high schools greatly impacted by political incivility and riven by untrustworthy information and the omnipresent use of social media. In this highly-charged environment, schools are struggling to address many of the same critical issues confronting the nation, including opioid abuse, immigration and gun violence. These issues are impacting students and schools and taking needed time away from the efforts of school principals to strengthen teaching and learning. For the survey, the researchers asked school principals about five key challenges confronting their schools. These include:

1 Political division and hostility 2 Disputes over truth, facts, and the reliability of sources 3 Opioid addiction 4 The threat of immigration enforcement 5 The threats of gun violence on school campuses

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE: A CONTENTIOUS SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT Responding to the survey, ●● Almost nine in ten principals report that incivility and contentiousness in the broader political environment has considerably affected their school community. ●● An overwhelming majority of principals report problems such as highlycharged classroom environments, hostile exchanges outside of class, and demeaning or hateful remarks over political views. ●● More than eight in ten principals report that their students have made derogatory remarks about other racial or ethnic groups. ●● More than six in ten principals say their students have made derogatory remarks about immigrants. In interviews with principals, the most commonly reported instances of racial hostility echo President Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, with several principals recounting stories of white students chanting “Build the wall!” to demean and threaten students of color. Principals also say that the boundaries of public school grounds have been breached by ideologically driven animus pointing to examples of vitriolic and “inflammatory” attacks on teachers and schools and social media pages reflecting a “local atmosphere characterized by bullying, hate speech and indoctrination.” In the words of one principal, “across the board, we have seen what could be considered kind of a breakdown in civility.”

UNTRUSTWORTHY INFORMATION IN AMERICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS The vast majority of high school principals surveyed and interviewed report experiencing problems at their schools related to the flow of untrustworthy or disputed information. Principals across a broad cross section of schools

Principals also say that the boundaries of public school grounds have been breached by ideologically driven animus pointing to examples of vitriolic and ‘inflammatory’ attacks on teachers and schools and social media pages reflecting a ‘local atmosphere characterized by bullying, hate speech and indoctrination.’ In the words of one principal, ‘across the board, we have seen what could be considered kind of a breakdown in civility.’ 


Social media is destroying school safety and climate. OHIO PRINCIPAL

also highlight ways that students’ abilities to access and share unfiltered and untrustworthy information through social media platforms have upset both classroom learning and school climate. One principal said students arrive at class committed to “outrageous” viewpoints. The result can be “polarizing” with students using the information as weapons against each other. Rancorous battles over competing “truths” play out both inside and outside of classrooms. The omnipresent use of social media is also fueling and furthering division among students and between schools and their communities. In this environment, students struggle to discern fact from opinion, identify quality sources, or participate in inclusive and diverse deliberations on social issues. School climate suffers as students use social media to call one another names or spread rumors. Perhaps the most substantial impact of social media has been the surge of cyberbullying at schools. More than nine in ten principals in the survey report that students have shared hateful posts on social media. “Social media,” says a principal in Ohio, “is destroying school safety and climate.”

●● Principals said opioid addiction in students’ families has resulted in student concerns about their own well-being or the well-being of family members, lost focus in class or missed classes.


●● About one-third of principals offer professional development opportunities for their faculty to support students with addicted family members.

The opioid crisis has continued to play out in communities and states across the nation during the first two years of the Trump administration. Eleven million Americans misused opioids in 2016, resulting in 42,249 deaths from overdose, or more than 130 deaths every day. ●● Sixty-two percent of high school principals in the survey reported their schools have been impacted by the opioid crisis.

●● Parents and guardians have had difficulties in supporting students and participating in school activities. ●● Almost one-third of principals interviewed report fatal overdoses occurring within their school community, often including recent alumni or within student families. ●● Many principals also described how students’ lives are upended when parents become addicted, impacting their mental health and also often resulting in extreme financial hardship. ●● The vast majority of principals report talking with individual students about their concerns, connecting students to counseling or social welfare services, and/or partnering with community-based organizations adept at providing supports for students and families.

●● Principals feel somewhat unprepared for dealing with the opioid crisis. Most principals do not have protocols or systematic plans to deal with student addiction or dangerous drug use at this scale.

THE THREAT OF IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IN AMERICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, students across the country have experienced mounting uncertainty and fear over their family’s immigration status. A “climate of fear” pervades many immigrant communities, creating stress and anxiety for parents and children alike. More than two-thirds of the principals surveyed report that federal immigration enforcement policies and the


political rhetoric around the issue have harmed student well-being and learning, and undermined the work of their schools in general. Principals say: ●● Students from immigrant families have expressed concerns about their well-being or that of their families due to current policies or political rhetoric related to immigration. ●● Students from immigrant families often experienced difficulty focusing on class lessons or missed school altogether. ●● Immigrant parents and guardians have experienced difficulty participating in school activities or supporting their students’ wellbeing and academic progress at home, and they have been reluctant to share information with the school.

●● About 92 percent of principals say their school has faced students’ concerns about the threat of gun violence in school or in the surrounding community, lost focus in class or missed school time, and had parent and community member concerns about the threat of gun violence in the school or surrounding community. ●● From California to Connecticut, principals said that, in comparison with all other challenges, this topic (gun violence) “has captured the most attention,” represents the “largest stress,” and poses the “gravest concerns.” ●● The threat of gun violence impacts schools across all demographic and regional categories, schools with large proportions of students of color have been affected most.

The impact of the heated rhetoric about immigration on students is likely underreported. “This is serious fear,” says one principal. A number of principals said that students and parents are reluctant to discuss their citizenship status with school personnel, particularly in areas most immigrants perceived to be most affected by immigration status. Interestingly, principals whose schools are located in congressional districts that voted strongly for President Trump in 2016 are less likely to report student concerns due to immigration policies than principals in congressional districts that voted strongly against President Trump.

THE THREAT OF GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS There were 1,611 gun-related homicides of fifteen- to nineteen-year-olds in the United States in 2016. An average of 20 students are killed each year on K-12 campuses, representing 1–2% of all youth homicides. Between the school shootings in Columbine, Colorado in 1999 and Parkland, Florida in 2018 there have been shootings at 193 schools, affecting more than 187,000 enrolled students. Almost all of the high school principals surveyed and interviewed said that their schools have been impacted by the threat of gun violence.

Principals say they spend more time addressing problems associated with the threats of gun violence than any other challenge they currently face.


●● Principals say they spend more time addressing problems associated with the threats of gun violence than any other challenge they currently face. ●● One in five principals interviewed recounted incidents involving firearms on campus, an experience another principal says “scares her all the time.”

CUMULATIVE EFFECTS: SOCIETAL CHALLENGES AND AMERICA’S HIGH SCHOOLS The principals who participated in the study come from schools that reflect the rich diversity of public high schools across the United States. Virtually every one of these principals experienced at least one of the five challenges addressed in the study. Often they experience several challenges at once. Certain types of schools are more likely to be impacted (and impacted severely) by particular challenges. ●● Almost all schools experience at least two challenges, more than nine in ten experience at least three challenges, more than seven


in ten experience at least four challenges, and more than three in ten experience all five challenges. ●● Schools enrolling predominantly students of color are most impacted by the threats of immigration enforcement and gun violence. ●● Predominantly white schools are most impacted by the opioid crisis. ●● Differences across regions are relatively modest, with the exception of the opioid crisis, which is experienced most severely in the Northeast, and the threat of immigration enforcement, where the greatest impact is felt in the West. ●● Schools located in congressional districts that voted strongly for Donald Trump in 2016 are slightly more likely than other schools to experience political incivility and the opioid crisis. It is important to note that when multiple challenges occur within a school site, they interact with one another in complex and mutually reinforcing ways.

THE IMPACT ON STUDENTS, PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOLS “The challenges confronting our communities are not separate from our schools, and may fall hardest on our students,” Rogers says. “When high schools experience societal challenges, it is students themselves who bear the brunt of the impact.” Across the survey, principals said that these societal challenges resulted in students losing focus in class or missing classes altogether. Many students feel greater anxiety, stress, and vulnerability as a result of forces outside the school. Additionally, parental opioid misuse and aggressive immigration enforcement have both resulted in greater material deprivation for young people including unstable housing, insecure food supplies, and a lack of other necessary supports. “They also have a direct impact on the lives and work of school principals, taking away from time needed to address the needs of students and strengthen teaching and learning,’’ Rogers says. The average principal in the study reports spending six-and-a-half hours a week addressing the five societal challenges examined in the survey. That time represents lost opportunity costs, taking time away from efforts to meet students’ academic needs and enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

RECOMMENDATIONS The focus of the study’s recommendations lies with changing conditions and practices in America’s high schools. It calls for relationship-centered schools that attend to the holistic needs of young people and their families, while building social trust and understanding. In such schools, caring and well-trained professionals support student development, link young people and families to community-based services, encourage thoughtful inquiry, and foster respectful dialogue. Creating and supporting such schools requires an educational policy framework that responds to the demands of the Age of Trump.

Establish and communicate school climate standards emphasizing care, connectedness, and civility and then create practices that enable educational systems to document and report on conditions associated with these standards.

Build professional capacity within educational systems to address the holistic needs of students and communities and extend this capacity by supporting connections between school-based educators and other governmental agencies and community-based organizations serving young people and their families.

Develop integrated systems of health, mental health, and social welfare support for students and their families.

Create and support networks of educators committed to fostering care, connectedness, and strong civility in their public education systems.





The challenges confronting our communities are not separate from our schools, and may fall hardest on our students. When high schools experience societal challenges, it is students themselves who bear the brunt of the impact. JOHN ROGERS

The full report, including a full summary of key findings with recommendations, is available at https://idea.gseis.ucla.edu/publications/ school-and-society-in-age-of-trump/




ith her explorations of such diverse topics such as surgical instruction films of the 1920s and the growth of chain stores in America, Miriam Posner seeks to find out how the creation of data on these subjects results in cultural, social, and economic impact. Her work, which focuses on the intersection between information studies and humanistic inquiry, encompasses a range of topics, including the history of medical visualization, the history and philosophy of “data,” and the movement of data and goods under globalization. “I tend to be interested in what happens when you take, just stuff in the world, and turn it into data, and what are some of the unintended consequences, how do people interact with it, how does it create a system that circulates,” says Posner. “Those questions are relevant to lots of things.” In 2017, Posner joined the faculty of UCLA’s Department of Information Studies as an assistant professor of IS and Digital Humanities. For the last two years, she has taught a course on the growing field of digital environments and museums. Her interest in science and technology has led to her forthcoming book, “Depth Perception: Narrative and the Body in American Medical Filmmaking.” Her most recent publications include the articles “Data as Media” (with Lauren Klein) in Feminist Media Histories; “Tracing a Community of Practice” (with UCLA IS alumna Marika Cifor, ’17) in The Moving Image; and the chapter, “What’s Next: The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities” in “Debates in the Digital Humanities” (University of Minnesota, 2016). Posner was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Scholarship Commons at the Emory University Library, researching, designing and writing a grant to fund a new library-based digital humanities center. She has also served as an instruc­tional innovation intern at the Yale University Instructional Technology Group; and associate curator at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY, curating, maintaining, and developing its collection of 125,000 artifacts. At UCLA, Posner has taught a number of courses, including “Selfies, Snapchat, and Cyberbullies: Coming of Age Online,” “Digital Labor, Materiality, and Urban Space,” and undergrad and graduate levels of “Introduction to Digital Humanities.” From 2012 to 2017, she served as coordinator of the UCLA Program in Digital Humanities, working with students on projects focused on early African American cinema in Los Angeles, the Origin of the Species, and the Getty Provenance Index, which earned the students a Sotheby’s Institute


of Art Research Award. Assistant Professor Posner was recognized by Inside Higher Ed as one of the “Rising Stars of Digital Humanities” in 2017. She earned her Ph.D., Master of Philosophy, and Master of Arts in Film Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Posner published a recent piece in Logic Magazine about her exploration of global supply chains and has been invited to write a series for The New Yorker based on that research. This spring she is teaching a course for UCLA graduate students and faculty on how to teach with digital methods. UCLA Ed&IS Magazine had a conversation with Assistant Professor Posner on the growth of digital museums and the possibilities for more social equity in museum environments through community engagement.

How are you preparing students at UCLA IS for the new digital environments of the museum fields? MIRIAM POSNER: A lot of Information Studies students are in-

terested in going into the museum fields. Museum professions are changing rapidly right now with bulk digitization projects and a lot of data management questions. There are some museums that choose to be exclusively online. So, the class is an introduction to digital practices in museums from a lot of different angles. They want to know how you can incorporate digital technologies into exhibits and how you manage data behind the scenes. Then there are questions on how you build online collections or exhibits.

How does the ability to digitize collections dovetail with the goal of access to museums for all populations? POSNER: I think that there are still a lot of unanswered ques-

tions about what it means to be a museum right now and I think one of them is how to meaningfully reach underserved communities in a digital way. No one’s got it worked out, but we’ve certainly seen various institutions experimenting with social media, hosting museum selfie days—taking a picture of yourself at a museum and posting it online—engaging with people on different social media channels. So, we’ll see if people find that compelling or if it just becomes part of the wallpaper.

How can museums make the general public— underserved communities in particular—more aware of museum going and making it part of their culture? POSNER: Just because a museum is free doesn’t mean it’s

necessarily super accessible. Anyone who’s ever been to a museum, even people who come from families that go to museums, knows that there is something a little bit intimidating about having to stand there and look at art or artifacts right next to a security guard, or knowing what the protocol is in terms of what we can carry [into a museum] or how to behave in a museum. Of course, if you ask people of color about their experiences in museums, before very long you’ll start to hear about being followed by security guards or being made to feel like they don’t belong there. So, actually there are tons of barriers

Just because a museum is free doesn’t mean it’s necessary super accessible … if you ask people of color about their experiences in museums, before very long you’ll start to hear about being followed by security guards or being made to feel like they don’t belong there.


to getting people from underserved communities meaningfully engaged with museums. So, people who are thinking about that are really interested in community engagement that goes beyond [simply] bringing a class into a museum and more about co-curating exhibits with certain communities, about bringing artifacts into the community rather than waiting for people to come to museums themselves, and about licensing images and content from museums less restrictively so that it can circulate more freely.

How do museums approach dealing with exhibits that require cultural sensitivity? POSNER: There are questions of what kinds of things should be

digitized and be made freely available online and what kinds of things should not be circulated like that. For example, indigenous artifacts often have cultural restrictions attached to them. If a museum is reckless about what it is digitizing and making available, it could really harm some people. And then there are some works of art that really bear some thinking about how freely we want the images to circulate without context.

So, there are questions of censorship in digitizing museums—how are museums preparing themselves to deal with that? POSNER: There are a lot of people thinking and writing about

this right now. One thing that I think is really good about teaching the museums class in an information studies department is that our students are really well prepared to think about those questions because they spend a lot of time in archives class dealing with exactly these questions about access and ownership and community engagement. So, it’s a really natural fit for them to think about it in relation to museum objects.


What do you think is unique about museums in Los Angeles? POSNER: Los Angeles is so special because it’s so colorful

and riotously mixed and lively. I think in the best cases we do see some of that diversity and energy reflected in museum collections and museum exhibitions. It’s wonderful to see the communities that are being discussed actually in there engaging with exhibits, talking back, seeing friends in photographs —it’s really special.

You have very diverse interests—from global supply chains to museums and access—how did that come about? POSNER: Some of my teaching really comes out of what stu-

dents need rather than what I am personally researching. I happen to be in a position to teach this museums course and I care about museums so I love teaching the class. It’s not my exclusive research focus but I know it’s a big area of interest among our students. We’ve had a good number of students who intern at the Fowler and the Hammer, the Getty. We have students at the Broad, LACMA, really all over town. Our students are definitely finding slots in museums all over L.A. We had a student go on a few years ago from my digital museums class, to work at the Studio Museum in Harlem. In the fall, I’ll be teaching “Information and Power,” which is a new undergraduate class. All of us are really interested in the urgent questions about who has access to what resources, how does misinformation spread online, how kinds of biases are embedded in algorithms—all these really urgent questions about power and the Internet.

Teaching the museums class in an information studies department means that our students are really well prepared to think about … questions around access and ownership and community engagement.




s a land-grant institution, UCLA sits within Tovaangar, the lands of the Gabrielino/ Tongva peoples, known in English as the Los Angeles Basin and South Channel Islands. Over the years this has been a place for rich community-based scholarship in Native American and Indigenous Studies. Within UCLA’s Graduate School of Education BY MACKIE LORKIS and Information Studies (GSE&IS) that scholarship has grown to include Native American and Indigenous education. Leading this scholarship are Ananda Marin and Teresa McCarty, faculty in GSE&IS and American Indian Studies (AIS) at UCLA. Both collaborate in teaching qualitative research methods courses, and they are involved in different but complementary projects on Native American educational practices. Through content and form, these pedagogies are designed to cultivate community-based languages and knowledges and promote Indigenous education equity and self-determination. ANANDA MARIN (African American/Choctaw/English descent), assistant professor of Social Research Methodology in GSE&IS and AIS faculty, has been involved in a decade-long community-research partnership focused on creating the contexts for remembering and imagining indigenous pedagogical practices, specifically for STEM. This partnership brought together community and university scholars from the American Indian Center of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Menominee Nation’s Language and Culture Commission, and the University of Washington Seattle. Principal Investigators on this cross-institutional collaboration are Megan Bang, a scholar of Ojibwe/Italian descent and professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University and Douglas Medin, a professor of Psychology at Northwestern University.


Photo: Mike J. Marin

Working together, community and university scholars carried out basic research to explore variability in how diverse cultural communities construct relationships between the natural world and cultural worlds (typically meaning human worlds), or nature-culture relations for short. Collaborators also used community-based design research (CBDR) to develop and implement science-rich programs. As a method, CBDR positions community members to be the decision makers on curriculum development, thus promoting educational self-determination. Much of this work took place in “informal educational contexts”—that is, youth and family programs that took place outside of school and across the seasons. Marin participated in CBDR projects at the American Indian Center of Chicago. A primary goal of those participating in the CBDR projects was to co-create contexts for Indigenous education in Chicago, home to a large, multi-tribal Native community. This meant privileging Native epistemologies, or ways of knowing, such as the importance of living in relationships. The team developed land-based education models, including teaching practices that foreground learning through relationships with land, waters, and more-thanhuman life. Walking is used as a primary methodology to explore both forest and urban landscapes, serving as the foreground for lessons about topics such as plant biology, the water cycle, and ecological systems. Practices were also developed to (re)story Chicago as a place of Indigenous migration and Indigenous homelands. “In other words,” Professor Marin says, “the team actively worked to resist historicizing narratives that simultaneously erase continuity in Indigenous experiences and spread deficit narratives about urban Indigenous communities.” Making Indigenous lifeways in Chicago present took shape in many forms. For example, along with community teachers, youth and families began to engage with a number of practices including gathering plants from the AIC Medicinal Prairie Garden and collecting maple sugar during the late winter and early spring seasons. Participants also became familiar with fire ecology

Professor Marin says, “the team actively worked to resist historicizing narratives that simultaneously erase continuity in Indigenous experiences and spread deficit narratives about urban Indigenous communities. Ananda Marin, Megan Bang and her daughter, and Adam Kessel on a forest walk in Chicago. Going on forest walks is a practice that community teachers regularly facilitated with youth and families. Teachers also incorporated forests walks into their curriculum design processes.

practices or fire technologies. Marin explains, “in contrast to digital technologies, fire technologies are just one of the many ‘original technologies’ among Indigenous peoples. Community teachers Adam Kessel (Lakota/Italian/German descent) and Eli Suzukovich (Little Shell Band of Chippewa-Cree/Krajina Serb descent) led our use of fire technologies to carry out spot burns in the Medicinal Prairie Garden.” Reflecting on these experiences, Marin commented on the holistic, interdisciplinary, and relational nature of STEM practices within Native communities. “When you talk to Native scientists and researchers, what you commonly hear is that STEM is embedded in most of our practices,” she says. “So, there’s not necessarily that kind of divide that we make in Western ways of thinking, like ‘this is science, this is math, this is engineering.’ It’s included in everything that we do.” In designing their curriculum, Marin and her colleagues have transitioned away from methodologies that privilege a single individual as an expert, imparting knowledge to others. Instead, making relationships with land, water, and morethan-human beings became the primary

context for education; thus, exploring the world through walking became an important tool for teaching and learning. Marin believes that this multi-faceted approach supports positive identity development among Indigenous youth and increases engagement with the sciences. One of the practices that Marin and her colleagues have studied in depth is family nature walks. In this line of work, Marin has conducted in-depth analysis of video recordings from Native families’ walks. Marin and her colleagues found that while on nature walks, families story or retell their experiences in ways that position land, water, and more-than-human beings as active subjects. In addition, young Native children between 5 and 8 years old use verbal and embodied resources to position themselves as knowers and contributors. Marin states that this kind of engagement is typical among Indigenous families; however, it is not always valued in school settings. She believes that STEM teaching methodologies that emphasize the links between human worlds and the natural world will benefit Native children and all children.


Parents who choose this pathway for their children are making a commitment to sustaining their Indigenous language and identity....More than a single curricular change, these are whole-community efforts.

Photo: Arizona State University

Teresa McCarty


ERESA MCCARTY is the George F. Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology at GSE&IS, and faculty in American Indian Studies (AIS) at UCLA. Together with a team of researchers, she has been exploring an innovative instructional approach called Indigenous-language immersion (ILI), in which all or most instruction is in the Indigenous language. The study, titled “Indigenous-Language Immersion and Native American Student Achievement,” is in its third year of a four-year grant from the Spencer Foundation. Co-principal investigators on the study, which is based at UCLA, are UCLA Professor of Social Research Methodology Michael Seltzer, Tiffany Lee, a Diné/Lakota scholar and chair and professor of Native American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and Sheilah Nicholas, a Hopi scholar and associate professor in the College of Education, University of Arizona. According to McCarty, the rationale for the study is twofold. First is the concern in Native American communities about the loss of Indigenous languages among younger generations. The decline in Indigenous language speakers is a consequence of settler colonialism and English-only policies that have been implemented across generations. Modern education practices generally have not been supportive of bringing children’s community-based experiences and knowledge, including language, into the classroom. “You have a situation of language loss coupled with continued disparities in Native American children’s school experiences,” McCarty explains. “Knowing English alone has not remedied education inequities for Native American students as a group.”

In light of these realities some Native communities have turned to an innovative approach in which all instruction is delivered in the Indigenous language, which children learn as a second language. “While we know of success stories using this approach,” says McCarty, “there is no national database that educators, researchers, parents, and policymakers can look to for information on these programs.” Herein lies the second reason for the study: to develop a national database that is both broad in terms of geographic location, language, and culture, and that looks in depth at specific programs as case studies across the United States. ILI schools emerged in the 1970s and early- to mid-1980s, first established by Mohawk communities in Canada and the northern U.S. and the Māori in Aotearoa/New Zealand, followed by Native Hawaiians and the Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest. From these beginnings, many communities across North America have established ILI programs, including summer, after-school, and adult programs. Within the U.S., the research team has identified about 250 ILI programs. Many immersion schools are community-based. For example, says McCarty, one of the very first immersion schools is completely parent-run; the parents built the school facility themselves and many are teachers there. While not all schools are completely community-run, all have high levels of community and parent involvement. “As one teacher told us the first day we visited one of the ILI preschools, ‘This isn’t a place where you bring your child to school and drop them off at eight and pick them up at five,’” says McCarty. “Parents who choose this pathway for

Learning math in Hawaiian at a full-immersion Hawaiian-medium elementary school. Photo: Tiffany S. Lee, Indigenous-Language Immersion Study

their children are making a commitment to sustaining their Indigenous language and identity. Often the parents take classes to learn the language to support their child’s learning at home. Parents volunteer and spend a great deal of time at the schools. We see parents in the classrooms, working side by side with the students at their desks and with teachers. “Parents and families often relocate from distant places so that they can be near one of these schools. They make a commitment to reengineering their lives so that their children have this opportunity. What also tends to develop is a close connection with other families at the school and across generations within families.”

Across the United States, ILI schools look quite different. Some offer multiple language immersion programs (for example, both Spanish and ILI tracks) while others offer both English-medium and Indigenous language-medium tracks. One thing Professors McCarty, Lee, Nicholas, and Seltzer are interested in is why parents with demographically similar backgrounds choose to enroll their child in ILI or English-medium schooling. What kinds of opportunities to learn and outcomes are evident for students from similar backgrounds in the two programs? And what can the two kinds of programs learn from each other? Although it’s too early to talk about findings, the very motivation to conduct the study arose from positive outcomes reported for some ILI schools. “We had evidence from certain sites that attendance, graduation, and college-going rates were higher, and that test scores were on par with or better than mainstream English programs, even though the tests were in English, not the language students were learning in,” says McCarty. “So, this is a promising practice, but we didn’t have any systematic data on that.” The work of Professors Marin and McCarty illustrates that equity in education can, and should, involve more than curricular changes alone. Youth, families, teachers, and researchers must together reexamine the end-goal of education, and ultimately be willing to shift established educational practices, in order to best benefit communities and support Indigenous futures. “It’s a different kind of innovative practice—more than a single curricular change,” says McCarty. “These are whole-community efforts, looking

forward from the work that they’re doing now to the next generation, and the next generation, and the next generation beyond that. So, it’s about something larger than getting students to do better on tests, or even helping students to learn their Indigenous language.” For both Professors Marin and McCarty, their community-research partnerships are bigger than improving educational outcomes alone. As they write, “It’s a commitment to decolonizing educational environments and much more— namely, cultural continuance, reclamation, and resurgence.”

Ananda Marin


John McNeil

Lessons from a Life Well-Lived Emeritus professor of education, who turns 100 this year, continues to teach and engage students in the importance and relevance of education today.



hile I was at Columbia in 1956, getting my doctorate in curriculum and instruction, UCLA needed someone to take over the Teacher Education Program, so they invited me to come here,” recalls John McNeil, former Head of the Teacher Education Program at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies from 1964–1971. “The salary was terrible; if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. But it was a tremendous opportunity, a tremendous place to live and spend one’s life.” Under the guidance of Dean Howard E. Wilson, McNeil was to realize the goals of civic engagement, social justice, and inquiry that remain the standard of UCLA’s GSE&IS today. Having served as an officer in the Navy during WWII, Professor McNeil was able to give back to his fellow veterans by leading a program that provided teacher training for retired military personnel. He also set the UCLA standard for preparing educators to serve all students in Los Angeles: Instead of giving his student teachers assignments in affluent West Los Angeles neighborhoods near campus as was the norm, he had these teacher

In 1964, Drs. John McNeil and Gordon C. Ruscoe plan for their visit to Mexico’s teacher training school in Iguala, where they represented UCLA in the interchange program between the two schools.

Courtesy of John McNeil


Professor McNeil makes time for all of his students. In the class, “International Development: Using your major for doing well and doing good,” students from many UCLA disciplines come together to work on entrepreneurial projects all over the world that improve our planet and quality of life. Professor McNeil works to assist the groups with obtaining funding for their enterprises. This class epitomizes Professor McNeil’s ultimate desire to make a difference through his teaching. Photo taken April 24, 2019

candidates—who were predominantly female—spend at least one of their apprenticeships in an inner-city school. “I put that as a rule, to get involved with the area that was [perceived as] more threatening at that time to our teachers,” says McNeil. “I’m trying to give a picture of the emotions of that time, and the racism was terrible. I got phone calls from students’ boyfriends and fathers—‘You can’t send my daughter … you can’t send my girl to Watts.’ But they went, they were willing to do it and it opened their eyes to a forgotten part of the city.” Dean Wilson also wanted his faculty to become more engaged in international research. Professor McNeil was sent to Mexico to write curriculum and conduct professional development workshops for teachers, and create a national reading program for Mexican schools. In addition, McNeil and a colleague, who had created the first computer instruction in schools, were invited to Mexico in 1960 by the wife of President Diaz Ordaz to demonstrate it there, underwritten by Howard Hughes.


McNeil went on to conduct similar projects and research in Latin America, Jamaica, and the Caribbean. He says that he learned to appreciate the value of parental and local educational interventions. “I learned in Jamaica that when the parents and students participate in the development of their own activities like learning math, for example, kids learn from their parents, and those [lessons] endure,” says McNeil. “But when outsiders come and say, ‘Take this program and use it,’ the books are put aside and students’ learning suffers.” McNeil taught through the turbulent Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protest years. “It was intense,” he recalls. “Police helicopters were hovering all over the campus. The students tore off the railings from around Moore Hall, it was so destructive,” McNeil says, shaking his head at the memory. “One quarter, I was asked to enroll former prisoners and revolutionaries into my class. It was a curriculum course, and there were about 30 of

What is education? We don’t know yet. That is our topic right now in the United States, right in [Moore Hall]. What do we mean by education? What should it be? Preparing for just a job, preparing for intellectual enlightenment? What is the purpose of education? What does it mean for your children? That’s where I am at the moment. JOHN MCNEIL

them, really kind of off the streets. But I liked them, they spoke honestly, and we all learned.” An awareness of those who need help has been a common thread throughout McNeil’s career. For the last three years, McNeil has co-taught a course with UCLA lecturer and former student Octavio Pescador (’93, B.A., Political Science; ’03, Ph.D., Education) on entrepreneurial philanthropy. UCLA undergrads worked on projects of their own invention that address issues including health, the environment, and reducing inequality. The big question, according to McNeil, who has been in the middle of the debate for decades, is “What is education?” He answers his own question saying, “We don’t know yet. That is our topic right now in the United States, right in [Moore Hall]. What do we mean by education? What should it be? Preparing for just a job, preparing for intellectual enlightenment? What is the purpose of education? What does it mean for your children? That’s where I am at the moment.” When asked what he is most proud of after 60-plus years on the UCLA campus, his naval service at the Battle of Normandy, and a global career in education, Professor McNeil demurs. “It’s more like … things I’m most grateful for,” he says. “It would take all afternoon to summarize it. It’s been the most wonderful experience. Even things that were disheartening—looking back on them they were really something. “The people—that’s one thing I am grateful for at UCLA. So many of the people I’ve known here are the greatest people. It’s the humanity, it’s the people. That’s one reason I’m not too concerned about time. They contributed so much to my life, every one of them. So many are not here anymore, they’re only in my memories, but I’m grateful for having known them.” For a video of Professor John McNeil by UCLA Newsroom, visit https://youtu.be/ kQbrvaiRjNg.



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Profile for UCLA Ed&IS

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine Spring 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. The cover of this...

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine Spring 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. The cover of this...

Profile for uclaedis