From classroom teaching to partnership research
Faith Kwon is angry, and she’s doing something about it. What angers her is a “broken” public education system, she says, which places so many burdens on teachers that many of them eventually leave the profession. In fact, that’s what happened to her – and she’s channeling the pain of her experience into the energy she needs for her doctoral program at the GSE.
A Southern California resident who traveled to snowy Minnesota for her undergraduate degree at Macalester, Kwon earned her master’s in the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and taught for five years in the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto. During her second year there, she met GSE professor Jennifer Langer-Osuna, who was conducting research in Kwon’s classroom.
“The kind of classroom environment I wanted to create was so often at odds with the system that wanted to turn students into test scores,” Kwon says. “It caused a lot of conflict for me. But having Dr. Langer-Osuna in my classroom reflecting with me and supporting me was so meaningful.”
Now a student in the GSE’s Race, Inequality and Language in Education (RILE) and Curriculum and Teacher Education (CTE) doctoral programs, Kwon is also pursuing the school’s new Certificate Program in Partnership Research, which certifies that candidates have completed a set of training requirements for partnership research in the field of education.
As part of the program, she is working again with Langer-Osuna and with a former fellow teacher at Ravenswood, Mary Trinkle, applying the “lens of curiosity” instilled by Langer-Osuna to inform her work, she says. “What can we do as researchers and scholars, even understanding that the system is broken, to help teachers and students thrive?”