Ali Soken

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I am a Ph.D. student in Education, Math, Science, and Learning Technologies in the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at UMass Amherst. I have experience with many projects related to educational technology and instructional design at various levels and contexts. Recently, I teach a gen-ed course called Education and Film aiming to teach critical media analysis through Holywood movies. Also, I work with my advisor Professor Florence Sullivan in a robotic project that aims to explore how middle schoolers learn co-robotics.
My research interests are teacher education, critical media literacy, and informal learning. I work to improve teachers’ media literacy skills to ensure they can decode the dominant narratives and taken-for-granted assumptions. Currently, I am working on my dissertation proposal.
As a first-generation college student, I have experienced first-hand how a high-quality education is transformative for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I believe that critical pedagogy is critical to ensure our democracy, and teachers play a critical role to empower their students.

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