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Moin Syed and Steve Yussen Awarded Faculty Interactive Research Program Grants

Photo of Moyen Said

Moyen Said, Department of Psychology

Photo of Steve Yussen

Steve Yussen, Institute of Child Development

May 4, 2011
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The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs is pleased to announce Moin Syed (Psychology) and Steve Yussen (Institute of Child Development) as the recipients of this year′s Faculty Interactive Research Program grants.

Syed, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, will investigate how institutional racism—the combination of policies and practices inherent in social structures that create, perpetuate, and amplify race-based inequalities—operates in the context of early childhood education. In collaboration with the YWCA of Minneapolis, Syed and colleagues will collect data from parents and staff of early childhood education facilities using a narrative approach. Analyzing participants’ stories will allow the investigators an opportunity to understand the cultural, contextual, and psychological aspects of individuals’ experiences with the educational system. The results of the research will be used to support advocacy efforts to
increase and reprioritize funding for early childhood education programs that serve communities of color in Minnesota.

Yussen, professor in the Institute of Child Development, will assess the impact of alternative teacher licensure in Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton recently signed into law an amendment to the Minnesota statute governing teacher licensure that authorizes the State Board of Teaching to approve alternative teach licensure programs and the State Department of Education to approve temporary, two-year teaching licenses for individuals who are college graduates and admitted to one of these programs. Yussen and his colleagues will study the impact of this alternative teacher licensure provision during the first 18 months it is implemented in relation to several key intended outcomes: new alternative programs are developed, prospective teachers with diverse backgrounds are attracted through the initiative, the teacher shortage is addressed, and highly qualified teachers are produced.

CURA′s Faculty Interactive Research Program supports University faculty members to carry out research projects that involve a significant urban-related public policy issue for the state or its communities, and that include active engagement with groups, agencies, or organizations in Minnesota involved with the issue. Awards are made annually during spring semester.