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CEHHS Professor leads 2019 ACT Conference

November 19, 2019

Dr. Seong Hong, professor in Early Childhood, organized the 36th annual Association for Constructivist Teaching conference. This is the first time that the national conference is held in Michigan.

The Association for Constructivist Teaching (ACT) organization was the evolution of the Annual New England Piaget conference that began about 50 years ago. Since its organization in 1990 ACT has held a national and international presence with the annual conferences rotating around the country. This year the 36th annual ACT conference was organized by the conference chair, Dr. Seong Hong within the context of collaboration between University of Michigan-Dearborn Department of Education and Ann Arbor’s Children’s Center Programs as hosts. The conference was held at the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex Building in Ann Arbor from October 18 to 19, 2019.  A preconference session on October 17 was organized around visits to two constructivist schools.

Dr. Seong Hong, Professor in Early Childhood
Dr. Seong Hong, Professor in Early Childhood
Dr. Seong Hong

Dr. Hong has been involved with ACT for 18 years as a member and a board member before taking on the role of president this year.

"The ACT organization has contributed to my professional and personal growth over the years", Hong said, "I was very happy to host this wonderful conference for the first time in Michigan."

This year's presenters tapped into constructivist pedagogy with a focus on community and exploring the learning opportunities within communities. Dr. Stein Brunvand, Associate Dean of UM-Dearborn College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and Jennie McAlpine, Senior Director of Work Life Program, provided opening remarks. Dr. Catherine Compton-Lilly, from the University of South Carolina, shared her research work on Transactional Awareness of Cosmopolitanism during her keynote presentation on Friday and Dr. Christopher Burke, from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, focused his keynote presentation on Constructing Communities by Engaging Students in the Places They Live, Work, and Play. Their thinking in relation to community set the exciting tone for the conference.

The ACT conference gathers together a community of teachers, students, university faculty members and administrators from across country. There were presenters from over 20 states and over 40 sessions were available for the conference attendees, with sessions from all levels of education (birth to higher education) in all education disciplines. There was a strong presence from the UM-Dearborn doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students, UM graduates, many university professors, as well as educators from a variety of schools in Michigan.

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