Touro College’s Lander Center for Educational Research to Present at National AERA Conference

Date: March 14, 2008
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

Demonstration of Operation Lab Coat, a Public Health/Education Initiative for Children, Planned for Prestigious Meeting.

New York, N.Y. - A group of Harlem kindergartners wearing white lab coats will be among the thousands attending the 2008 conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in New York City next week. The children, from Public School 197 in Central Harlem, represent the inaugural class of Operation Lab Coat, the early childhood component of a public health/educational program of Touro College.

The AERA, considered the most prestigious educational research organization in the world, is expecting 16,000 attendees from the United States and around the world. The conference will take place over three days, from March 24th through March 26th, at several mid-town Manhattan hotels.

Operation Lab Coat will be presented on Tuesday, March 25th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Times Square. The presentation is under the auspices of Touro’s Lander Center for Educational Research, founded in 2005 to expand educational research with a focus on underserved populations. The Center recently was awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition to provide high school teachers in New York City with the skills needed to educate students with limited proficiency in English.

Earlier on Tuesday, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Dr. Carol Bearse, associate professor of education and literacy at Touro’s School of Education and Psychology, Graduate Division, will lead a discussion with four teachers and a language specialist from the New York City Board of Education on strategies for enhancing education for students with limited proficiency in English. With its federal grant, Touro recently launched a new program, “Language Development in the Context of the Disciplines” targeted at city high school teachers who provide instruction to students whose first language is not English. The panelist-teachers are students of Dr. Bearse in the Touro program.

“Touro College is expanding its role in the research community,” said Dr. LaMar P. Miller, director of the Lander Center and chair of the Ed.D. Program at Touro’s School of Education and Psychology, Graduate Division. “The programs Touro is presenting at this year’s annual meeting demonstrate our commitment to research on schools, neighborhoods, and communities and empowering a sense of civic responsibility - the theme of the Conference.”

A kindergarten class and a professor of medicine from the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TOUROCOM) will demonstrate a lesson from Operation Lab Coat, which has introduced the kindergarten class of P.S. 197 to the potential of careers in health-related fields. Participants at the conference can observe the children wearing their lab coats and real stethoscopes as they learn about healthy bones, joints and the heart. Operation Lab Coat is part of Project Aspire, a Touro College K-12 public health initiative.

Other presentations at the AERA meeting by Touro professors include:

  • “Identity Construction of Anglo and Latino Adolescents in a Two-Way Immersion Program,” led by Dr. Carol Bearse and co-investigator Dr. Ester deJong of the University of Florida. Monday, March 24th, 12 noon to 2 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square. Professors will report on their findings that both Spanish and English-speaking students benefit when taught in a single classroom.
  • “How Teachers ‘See’ Assessment: Change in Conceptions of Assessment Among Preservice and Practicing Teachers,” led by Dr. Christopher Charles Deneen and Dr. Osnat Zaken, both of Touro College. Tuesday, March 25th, 12:25 p.m. to 1:05 p.m., Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.
  • “Equality of Transformational Learning in Male and Female Business School Undergraduates,” led by Dr. Sabra E. Brock of Touro College. Tuesday, March 25th, 8:15 a.m. to 8:55 a.m., New York Marriott Marquis, Times Square.