Ph.D. in Education, 2015
School of Education
October 1, 2010
“I really feel that we all have a duty, one way or another, to give back to our communities in meaningful ways.”
Noted children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman said it best, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”
Huy Chung, a second year student in the PhD in Education program at the University of California, Irvine, has long ascribed to this notion. What first became a quest for self-improvement through education has led him to research ways to improve the lives of others, especially marginalized children.
“I really feel that we all have a duty, one way or another, to give back to our communities in meaningful ways. If I can help change, for the better, the educational climate for teachers and students through my research endeavors, then I will be satisfied with my work.”
Huy’s concentration is in Learning, Cognition, and Development with concurrent interest in Literacy, Language, and Technology. His ever-evolving research interests are in teacher education, classroom discourse, interdisciplinary curriculum, studies in volition, and comparative education.
My intention is that this research agenda can translate to student gains on achievement in and outside of the classroom.
Huy recently completed his first year project under Dr. Elizabeth van Es’ apprenticeship. The project is entitled “The Many Faces of Teaching: Comparing and Contrasting English Pre-service Teachers’ Conception of Teaching.”
Applying qualitative research methods on the teaching portfolios of a purposeful sampling of credential candidates, I found that these credential students need better supports and models to enact collaborative learning, holding high expectations in regards to writing tasks, providing learner feedback, and studying classroom discourse to promote reflective changes in teaching. I hope these findings can help improve teacher education program curriculum and policies.
Huy’s next project (in progress) will follow a cohort of practicing U.S. history teachers from middle and high schools in Orange Unified School District who are participating in professional development with the History Project, sponsored by the Department of History at UCI. He will be looking for the ways participating in professional development influences or not the teachers’ conceptions of diversity, curriculum planning, and inter-grade collaboration. The goal of this study will be a manuscript suitable for publication to reach a wide variety of audiences interested in teacher professional learning and issues on equity.
What attracted Huy to UCI’s program are opportunities to conduct research such as those mentioned above, the supportive faculty and students, and the strong academic program. As a firm believer in personal professional development and service, Huy has found such opportunities here as well. He recently served as a Teaching Assistant for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program during this past summer. He is a member of the Associated Graduate Students, served as a student reviewer for the Journal of Learning Through the Arts, is a student liaison for the Education Ph.D. Students’ Professional Development Seminar series, and participates in the Teacher Learning Research Group and the Learning to Notice Teaching and Learning Lab Group.
Prior to coming to UC Irvine Huy taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for three years as a middle school English/History/Humanities teacher after earning his M.Ed. and Multiple Subject Teacher Credential from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program (TEP). His master’s action research paper explored how the response to a literature unit can be a forum to build empathy, critical thinking, and writing skills in sixth grade students at an urban middle school.
During his tenure as a middle school teacher, Huy gained valuable leadership experience in a variety of positions. At John Liechty Middle School he served as a founding member and as secretary for the School Site Council, as the Small Learning Community Representative on the advisory planning committee, and as a facilitator for their Learning Teams initiative. Additionally, he served as a Beginning Teaching Support and Assessment (BTSA) support provider and as a guiding teacher for two candidates from UCLA’s TEP. While at Berendo Middle School, he was the lead teacher for the Los Angeles Opera’s In-school Opera Program and a member of the English Learners Advisory Committee.
Huy’s academic background reflects his personal commitment to scholarship, service, and leadership. During his master’s studies at UCLA, Huy was a curriculum intern with the Museum of Tolerance, a program representative for the Graduate Students Association in Education, and a member of the Graduate Students’ Writing Center committee. While earning his BA in comparative literature from UC Berkeley, Huy was involved in organizations that helped served under-privileged youths in nearby Oakland and attributes these experiences as an impetus to go into teaching following graduation.
Tutoring at the various sites for nearly four years clearly painted a picture of how equity is still an issue for many students. Even after graduation, when I took a year off to explore education in various capacities, I found the same issues at home as I did up north. I wanted to be part of the solution to these problems, and I felt that teaching was one way to approach it.
After earning his doctorate, Huy’s goal is to become a professor of education focusing on curriculum and instruction, teacher learning, qualitative methods, and the psychology of teaching. As a professor, he would like to help establish a professional learning center to support teachers and schools by providing quality professional development and training.
Huy’s education has generously been funded by the Gates Millennium Scholarship sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a Department of Education Fellowship at UCI, a Vera Strayer Fellowship at UCLA, and various one-time scholarships at UC Berkeley including a Cal Bears scholarship and various awards most notably from the Tylenol Corporation.
During his free time, Huy enjoys spending time with his family who reside in Orange County as well as dabbling in writing children’s literature, drawing, and studying languages. He also is an avid reader of fantasy novels.