B.A. in Psychology, 1987; Ph.D. in Education, 2014
School of Education
August 1, 2010
“The goal of my own research is to raise the awareness of faculty in technical fields to the pedagogy.”
Dan Flynn is a doctoral student in Education currently specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context. Dan spent more than a decade teaching 4-6 grade in a clinical day treatment setting for attention and behavior disordered students. During that time he drew from his BA in Psychology (UCI, 1987) and a Masters in Clinical Social Welfare (UCLA, 1990). His unique clinical background made a good match for the interdisciplinary team in a clinical day treatment setting. He had the opportunity to be involved with clinical medication trial research as well as undergraduate and graduate intern instruction. He also was a field instructor for graduate social work interns from USC as well as an adjunct faculty for a local private graduate school of education.
When Dan’s interests shifted to teaching adult vocational and technical skills, which required a bachelors degree in a technology-related field, he did the untraditional thing and went back to receive a second bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology (CSULB, 2009). During the pursuit of his second bachelor’s degree, he realized that the convergence of the disciplines of education and engineering could benefit beginning engineering students and this became his focus.
Dan specifically chose UCI for his doctoral program because the campus offered both a Department of Education and a School of Engineering and provided the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration. During his first year Dan worked with J. Michael McCarthy from the School of Engineering on research in the effects of freshman project course participation on academic achievement.
Dan’s second year of doctoral study included employment in the department as a Teaching Assistant. His interest in higher education pedagogy made his Teaching Assistant position a rich experience.
As a TA, I see the process through different eyes. I enjoy watching not only how the students respond to different instructional methods, but how masterfully the instructors combine instructional techniques and pedagogy with their content areas of interest. The goal of my own research is to raise the awareness of faculty in technical fields to the pedagogy.
Dan stated specialization in Educational Policy and Social Context does not limit his emerging interests in cognition and technology.
Being in a focused yet diverse department makes for incredible opportunity. When my own research requires cognitive expertise, it is right here in the department.
Dan believes it goes without saying that the faculty and instructors contribute to a rich environment at the DoE, but he is quick to point out the richness of fellow doctoral students.
It is true that my fellow students will be my colleagues in our future academic pursuits. Working with, supporting, and being supported by such a high caliber group of peers creates an environment that just fosters growth.
For the upcoming year, Dan is particularly excited to be further exploring the synergy of technology and cognitive sciences through coursework in functional Magnetic Resonant Imagery (fMRI).
In addition to his professional pursuits, Dan enjoys sailing and is an avid scuba diver when time permits.