Building capacity for educational research in China

Participating Peabody faculty gather during the summer at Beijing Normal University for the annual Vanderbilt Academic Week.

For more than 10 years, Peabody College has been partnering with institutions in China to create more opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate and make a stronger impact globally. Building the capacity of junior faculty members and graduate students to conduct rigorous educational research has been a top priority.

Each summer Peabody faculty headline the annual Vanderbilt Academic Week at Beijing Normal University, giving lectures on key educational topics for a wide-reaching audience. Peabody also hosts a two-week summer research-design institute in Nashville for visiting BNU graduate students.

In 2019 students learned from Christopher Candelaria, assistant professor of public policy and education; Marisa Cannata, research associate professor of leadership, policy and organizations; Xiu Cravens, PhD’08, associate dean for international affairs and associate professor of the practice of educational policy; Douglas Fuchs, Nicholas Hobbs Professor of Special Education and Human Development; Mollie Rubin, research assistant professor of leadership, policy and organizations; Tamra Stambaugh, research associate professor of special education; and several Peabody doctoral students.

“We share the same goals, and we have so much to share and learn from each other,” says Professor Qian Zhao of Beijing Normal. “But often when we try to collaborate, we find that we might not speak the same ‘research’ language. That is why these opportunities are so important to all of us.”