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Cheryl Matias Receives Major Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Cheryl Matias

Cheryl Matias, PhD, assistant professor from University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education & Human Development was awarded the 2014 Innovations in Research on Diversity in Teacher Education Award from the America Educational Research Association (AERA) Division K – Teaching and Teacher Education on April 4, 2014 at the AERA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

This international award recognizes research that demonstrates innovation in addressing issues of diversity in teaching and/or teacher education. The award honors work that explores and/or demonstrates powerful new ways to think about diversity in teaching and teacher education, giving direction to educators and to policy makers; offers an expanded vision of a theoretical framework, research methodologies, or practices regarding diversity in teaching and teacher education; or provides new models of research that give direction to the field concerning diversity in teaching and teacher education. Dr. Matias’s work on using a feminist of color approach to deconstructing the emotionality of whiteness in urban teacher education rose to the top in an internationally competitive group of very strong nominations. In fact, the letter of award states that “Dr. Matias is clearly emerging as a national leader in approaching urban teacher education practice and scholarship in this important way.”

Some of her publications used to determine the award are as follows:

Matias, C. E. (2013). Check Yo’Self Before You Wreck Yo’Self and Our Kids: Culturally Responsive White Teachers? Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning. 3(2). 67-80. [Peer-reviewed journal]

Matias, C. E. (2013). “Tears Worth Telling: Urban Teaching and the Possibilities of Racial Justice” Multicultural Perspectives 15(4). 187-193. [Peer-reviewed journal]

Matias, C. E. (2013). “On the Flip Side: Unveiling the Dangerous Minds of White Teacher Candidates” Teacher Education Quarterly. 40(2). 53-74. [Peer-reviewed journal]

Matias, C. E. (2012). Who you callin’ White? A Critical Counterstory of Colouring White Identity” Race, Ethnicity, and Education. 16(3), 291-315. [International Peer-reviewed journal]

“I’m honored to received the award, especially since the study of diversity in teacher education often focuses on learning about the Other (students of color) without ever giving credence as to why the perspectives of people of color were never studied in mainstream education in the first place,” says Dr. Matias. “Since the teaching field is almost 90% white, it therefore becomes imperative that we study the emotional barriers that stem from whiteness and how, by learning it, we can engage teachers, who are a majority white, in prolonged projects of antiracist teaching.” Dr. Matias identifies herself “as a motherscholar of color” who continues to “struggle towards social justice in all realms of our society for the hope of a better fuller humanity.”

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