Faculty & Staff

CLARA VAZ BAULER

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

EDUCATION, RUTH S. AMMON SCHOOL OF

HARVEY HALL
ROOM 130

f - 516-877-4097

e - CBAULER@ADELPHI.EDU

 

Back to Faculty Listings


Print the Profile



Recent Courses

Applied Experience In Tesol
Master'S Seminar In Tesol: Action Research

Personal Statement

In thinking about the guiding principles that orient my practice as a teacher, I immediately think of dialogue. Dialogue, according to Paulo Freire, is “an existential requirement, an encounter that allows us to pronounce and enact the world with others.” In this perspective, dialogue involves the idea that teachers and students learn together with each other. By engaging in genuine dialogue, teachers become learners and learners become teachers. This process involves humility, trust, mutual admiration and respect, as well as the belief that teacher-students and student-teachers can together construct knowledge and transform their worlds. It is my hope that in every educational encounter I have with students, we commit to be working together as partners, co-instructors and learners to design learning-rich as well as culturally and socially-responsive educational environments.

I am always eager to learn with students, finding and inquiring into ways to foster thoughtful, careful, reflective and informed teaching-learning practices. Throughout this journey, the students and I may sometimes feel frustrated, thinking that our circumstances constrain what, when, and how we design environments for learning. However, I always wonder, “if we do not experiment, make mistakes, and discover wonderful new ways of acting in education now and here with each other, when would be the best time to do it?” To me, the great reward of teaching lies in another of Paulo Freire’s ideas: Teaching is a form of intervention in the world. I firmly believe that we have to embody change to make it happen. This involves trying out and crafting new ways of thinking, believing, doing, being, and knowing with each other.

Driven by these principles, my main goal as a teacher has always been to foster and facilitate a collaborative and potentially transformative learning environment in which every member is responsible for each other’s growth. My ideal classroom is a place where teacher and students form a community of peers that not only strive for cultivating an affectionate atmosphere, but also challenge and push each other's thinking. This classroom demands that teacher and students take risks, and are not afraid of considering alternative and less explored ways of thinking and acting in the world. This classroom also demands attentive listening and openness to being moved by other people's ideas and concerns. In this context, students and teacher not only develop “skills,” but also engage, together, in a critical dialogue and process of discovery and exploration.

Research Interests

I am a language educator, who is interested in the relationship among Language Learning, Literacy Development, and Technology within and beyond academic settings. My research interests include Second Language Teaching and Learning Practices, Second Language Writing, and Technologies as Educational Environments in social settings inside and outside of formal instruction. Being trained in Applied Linguistics, I see my work as interdisciplinary, firmly grounded in practice, and deeply concerned with real-life problems.

My Ph.D. dissertation research entailed careful investigation of ways in which multilingual writers used online forum discussions as resources for expressing self and developing arguments in academic contexts. Overall findings of the study revealed that online forum discussions provided a rich place for multilingual students to use language in meaningful ways, employing expressions of modality to express and dispute their opinions for academic purposes. Implications of the study for pedagogical practices for language and literacy development directly challenge the idea of the frequent role of the teacher as the sole audience in more conventional academic writing practices. As a result, online forums can become valuable digital media for the design of more participatory environments in writing classes, in which multilingual writers become authentic readers and collaborators in each other’s writing and development of ideas for interpersonal as well as academic communicative purposes.

Currently, I am directly involved in studying ways in which pre-service teachers in the area of Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences, World Languages, and English Language Arts collaborated to design interdisplinary projects to ensure that English language learners would be able to both access content and actively participate in the higher-level thinking activities required for the accomplishment of these projects. In integrating projects into their content classes, K-12 pre-service teachers provide rich and vibrant learning environments and tasks that demand active student involvement while fostering language learning and engagement in higher-level thinking skills.

Research areas that I wish to continue to explore include:
-Inquiring into ways in which engagement with new digital literacies challenge long-established views and perspectives on language learning and literacy development, especially on what counts as “English,” “correct,” etc. These research practices can help illuminate ways of understanding how multilingual speakers/writers, on their own right, know how and what to do what they do in the very specific contexts in which they operate and relate to others in society.
-Continuing examining online forum discussions and other digital literacy practices when used for both professional and pedagogical purposes besides expressing and disputing opinions for persuasion and argumentation, especially considering other practices of digital literacy specially used for language learning and literacy development.
-Finding out ways in which emerging practices of digital literacy can be used to foster freedom of expression, engagement in public spheres through argumentation on the World Wide Web, and education for democracy through rehearsal in the practices of arguing and discussing with others. This area is particularly relevant in the context of English being used as an international language or Lingua Franca.