WEB NEWS RELEASE
Rebecca Silverman Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant to Teach in Myanmar
During her time in the country, Dr. Silverman plans to work with faculty and teacher education students, adapting and applying evidence-based literacy practices focused on comprehension and critical thinking skills that have been successful in the U.S.
She will also work with the Myanmar Education Consortium, leading professional development related to multilingual education in ethnic minority areas of the country, as well as developing and evaluating a program for the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar to help disadvantaged students learn English.
Dr. Silverman, director of the Maryland Language and Literacy Research Center, will be working on these projects as Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is emerging from decades of isolation under military rule, and its new democratic government is working to implement a wide range of reforms to promote national development, with education as one critical area of reform, she said.
“While there is a high rate of literacy in Burma, the education system is founded on memorization and rote learning,” Dr. Silverman said. “This is problematic because higher-level literacy skills such as comprehending complex arguments for and against particular propositions are needed to fully engage in the democratic process and the information economy that will become ever more important as Burma modernizes.”
Having an international perspective in the classroom will be increasingly important in the future, Dr. Silverman said, because by 2050 more than one-third of U.S. students will be immigrants or children of immigrants, according to projections from the Pew Research Center.
“Learning how evidence based literacy practices recognized in the U.S. translate will help me better prepare U.S. teachers to work with these students, develop interventions to meet the needs of these students, and conduct research in the schools where these students are served,” Dr. Silverman said. “Furthermore, this experience will allow me to extend my own focus on teaching and research to the international context in the future.”
For more information on the College of Education, visit: www.education.umd.edu