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Idea sharing beneficial to grad students

College of Education graduate students will get feedback from peers on their research ideas - minus any pressure - at the 7th Annual Graduate Student Research Colloquium today.

The colloquium will be from noon to 8 p.m. in the upper level of the Student Union Building. Denise Dion, the colloquium's coordinator, said the event is a place for graduate students to present research at any stage of its development.

She said students have used the colloquium to float dissertation ideas, test national conference presentations or present preliminary research.

"It is a rich diversity of scholarship within the College of Education," Dion said.

Susan Metheny, a doctoral student in Educational Linguistics, said graduate students know the pressure of presenting in front of strangers, but the colloquium encourages a more relaxed atmosphere.

She added that the College of Education has many programs and not enough opportunities exist to find out what others are doing.

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Metheny said the college encourages first-time presenters, such as masters' students who haven't done much research, but still have professional backgrounds.

"A lot of them are teachers and have a lot of experiences to share," she said.

Metheny will be part of a roundtable presentation, where she will share her research on the Russian psychologist Lev Zygotsky. She said Zygotsky came up with innovative ideas about how to assess children with disabilities, but though his work was accomplished in early 21st century Russia, it wasn't translated until the 1960s.

She said professionals are still using techniques he devised in the 1920s and '30s. Metheny said his methods are also used in Russia, but she wonders if his research is as effectual in Russia as it is in the western world.

The colloquium also features keynote speaker Tom Barone, a professor in the College of Education at Arizona State University. According to the ASU Web site, Barone teaches courses in curriculum studies and qualitative research methods. It states he has also written two books that explore "the possibilities of a variety of narrative and arts-based approaches to contextualizing and theorizing about significant educational issues."

She said although the presenters are students from the College of Education, anyone in the campus community is welcome to watch.

For more information on the colloquium or for a schedule of events, visit // or call 277-3638.

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