Graduate Special Interest Groups (GSIGs)

GSIGs help build community among our graduate students who study similar or overlapping themes in education. Groups meet throughout the year to give research feedback and provide a space for discussion around topics of interest to their work.

Upcoming GSIG events

Current GSIGs

GSIG: Addressing Social Justice Issues In and Out of School

Social justice education teaching and learning practices mean recognizing students’ voices and seeing students as valuable contributors to the classroom space.  This GSIG puts a lens on literacies and practices in and out of school that helps develop student identity. We consider social justice pedagogy and how the ELA curriculum can be a mechanism for addressing race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and politics to improve school and community.


Joy Valentine, C & I: Literacy, Language, & Culture (

GSIG: Critical Literacies Writing

In this GSIG, we attempt to redefine Freire’s concept of Critical Literacies within contemporary, interdisciplinary contexts through reading and writing activities related to our own critical research on literacy in its broadest senses.  At the beginning of each session, we will discuss a specific topic related to Critical Literacies and its relationship to our own respective work.  We will then set writing goals and have time for individual and collaborative writing.  At the end of each session, we will debrief on our progress and discuss how the day’s work has changed or advanced our thinking on Critical Literacies.


Ellen Oberto, C & I: Curriculum Studies (

GSIG: Higher Education

In this new higher education GSIG, members will work together to define the GSIG’s goals and objectives. Possible topic areas cover college access and inclusion, student learning, and civic engagement and research methods may vary.

Leader/Group Contact:

Tracy Sikorski, Educational Psychology (

GSIG: Literature and Media in Early Childhood

The group aims to explore issues and research on children’s literature and media as a medium to instruct content knowledge, such as math, science, social studies, and language arts, in educational settings. The group will discuss biases and stereotyped representation in children’s literature and media and ideas for utilizing them in curriculum.


Sunah Chung, C&I: Language, Literacy & Culture (
David Banzer, Educational Psychology (

GSIG: Teacher Education and Professional Development

This GSIG utilizes a transdisciplinary approach to consider various theoretical and methodological perspectives on both pre-service and in-service teacher education. We explore issues of design and implementation of teacher education and professional development approaches that link theory to practice and support teachers as critical educators and agents of change.


Angela Joy Fortune, C & I: Literacy, Language, & Culture (
Fatima Brunson, Educational Policy: Organizational Leadership (


The open GSIG is a meeting space for students who would like to build collaborative research efforts that exist beyond the current available content GSIGs. Students will be free to explore research engagement possibilities and build networks of interest while socializing with peers. Connections made at these meetings, ideally, will lead to the emergence of new content groups. The open GSIG is also to extend space of comfort and solidarity with students as they navigate the graduate process and university terrain through areas of not only research but publications, conferences, courses, teaching, and simply building bonds with faculty and students that are valuable and productive.


Candice Mason, C & I: Curriculum Studies (

About the Graduate Special Interest Groups