Graduate School of Education
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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Education
BioFor over 10 years, I have worked in the fields of international relief, development, and conflict resolution, building capacity in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as educating students in the U.S. and other Western countries who aspire to work in these fields.
I've worked as an academic and filmmaker, creating educational documentaries on liberation movements around the world, which I've then used with university students in my classrooms. I've had several programs distributed by the Discovery Channel, which has been rewarding, but what has been especially remarkable to me is the response of my students. I've come to appreciate the power of narrative and immediacy of film to transform students' perceptions of the world and their place in it.
I also focus on interactivity. On top of narrative and immediacy, I've built programs that draw students into the learning experience through exploration and interaction - with curriculum dynamically shifting based on student choice and response.
I've taken this work to scale. In my work for the U.S. Government and international humanitarian organizations, I've created courses that have been completed by more than 30,000 students and practitioners, not only at the State Department, USAID, and relief agencies in the U.S., but also at comparable institutions in other countries, and even in internet cafes and refugee camps around the world. I've earned about a dozen awards for these various efforts.
I'm continuing this work at Stanford. My focus now is using new media and technology to bring university students in the U.S. and other high-income Western Countries into extended contact with students in fragile states and zones of conflict, measuring advances in learning and shifts in attitude through qualitative and quantitative methods.
This is an extraordinary time for those who use media and technology in teaching and learning. Blended in smart combinations, especially with traditional in-person learning, the new tools we have are powerful:
- Visual narrative, through its expression in digital cinema
- Expanding and interconnecting networks of lifelong learners
- Complex interaction, including multiplayer computer simulation
- Targeted feedback, dynamically reshaping curriculum to meet individual learner needs
- Statistical data analysis, upon which to base informed iterative design
- Worldwide electronic distribution, especially to inexpensive mobile devices
If we do this right, the world will be much better for it.
Christopher J. Cormier
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Education
BioDr. Christopher J. Cormier is a former special education teacher in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. He has taught all grades from first through 12th exclusively in Title 1 schools. His research program is the social and cultural contexts of minoritized learners and teachers in special education. Under this overarching theme he examines two lines of scholarship. The first is the surrounding the professional and socio-emotional lives of minoritized teachers . The second is around culturally informed identification of minoritized students in special education. Dr. Cormier brings a comparative lens across national and international contexts to both of his research lines. He is the current President Elect for the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) of the Council for Exceptional Children and also serves as chair for the Research and Professional Issues Committee.
Current research projects include:
•Special education teacher burnout, stress and mental health and how it changes over three time points in the school year.
•Understanding the protective nature of Afrocentric schools in the United States and Canada and its impact on Black students with disabilities.
•The role of mentoring among Black male teachers