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2017 - ICA's 67th Annual Conference Words: 128 words || 
1. Joseph, Ralina. "What’s the Difference With “Difference”?: Equity, Communication, and the Politics of Difference" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ICA's 67th Annual Conference, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego, USA, <Not Available>. 2020-02-25 <>
Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: How can the word difference itself help us to re-think communication with equity central, with the politics of difference at its center, or, in other words, where a deviation from a norm is embraced as a positive part of the process of change-making? Does difference bring us to a place where racialized minorities are not just window dressing, the tokens that stave off allegations of racism? I briefly trace the genealogies of tolerance, multiculturalism, and diversity, before moving to difference in order to uncover the politics of difference. Linguistic change coincides with and can foment historical and political change. Interrogating the language around this potentially change-making word uncovers, in the words of Herman Gray (2005), a politics of difference unutterable without demands for equity.

2013 - 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 750 words || 
2. Huang, Shan. "What Is High Quality Undergraduate Teaching? Similarities and differences between teachers with different titles at different universities and departments" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans, LA, Mar 10, 2013 <Not Available>. 2020-02-25 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Quality is an intangible concept. However, often quality exercises have been implemented before a good understanding of what is quality actually entails. This has certainly been the case in China. Concerned about the quality of undergraduate teaching, the government issued the Guidelines on Enhancing Undergraduate Teaching Quality in 2001. The 2001 Guidelines assumed that high quality teaching would be achieved by, for example: recruiting teachers from postgraduate holders; asking professors to teach and using government recommended textbooks. However, the 2001 Guidelines did not define what high quality undergraduate teaching entailed. In the past 11 years, subsequent policies have been made. The government remains unclear about what constitutes high quality undergraduate teaching. Without this understanding high quality undergraduate teaching cannot be achieved.

This research attempts to address this question by collecting empirical data from the frontline teachers. Adopting a comparative approach, this study selects three universities in the same geographic region in China to compare the similarities and the differences in the perception of teaching quality between different universities and teachers. The three universities are selected from different perceived quality levels: a 985-project university, a 211-project university and a city university. The 985-project university is a university that has been selected by the 985 Project. The 985 Project has recruited 39 universities in China with an aim to nurture word class universities. The 211-project university is a university included in the 211 Project, which has selected 112 universities across China to nurture high quality universities in China. The city university has a shorter history and is mainly financed by the city council. Across the three universities, the very same departments were selected: one from the humanities, one from social sciences and one from natural sciences. Within each department, lecturers, associate professors, professors and heads of department were interviewed.

After interviewees’ accounts were analysed thematically, the dynamic nature of teaching quality became apparent. Data show that high quality teaching is not static, thus it cannot be ensured by a static quality assurance scheme without inbuilt flexibility. The idea that high quality teaching is an interactive dialogue between teachers and students was deeply rooted in interviewees’ minds. They believed that high quality teaching should be based on the careful observation of students’ responses. Students’ body language, responses to questions and enquires after class provided the interviewees with feedback which allowed them to decide what they should teach and how they should teach. High quality teaching cannot be complete without the involvement of students. Not only was providing feedback for teaching necessary, those who were interviewed felt the need for student to show their appreciation and interest in learning. The interviewees recognised that quality teaching is not just about delivering but also about gaining self-fulfilment. It was recognised that teaching is a mutual learning process and more importantly both teachers and students should enjoy the process.

The most popular belief shared equally by those interviewed of all academic ranks at different universities and departments is that quality teaching should promote students to think. Another popular and equally shared belief is that research provides a solid foundation for high quality teaching. When categorising interviewees by different disciplines, no particular pattern was established, except that fewer interviewees in the humanities regarded that it was essential to teach students problem solving. Interviewees across the different universities had more differences in their perceptions. More interviewees at the 211-project university and the city university thought high quality teaching should be interesting and teaching content should be up to date. More interviewees at the 985-project and the 211-project university mentioned that preparing lessons well is essential for high quality teaching.

Most differing viewpoints were observed between teachers with different titles or in different positions. None of the heads of department mentioned the role that interpersonal communication played in achieving high quality teaching. The higher the interviewees’ academic rank, the less likely they were to mention the importance of interpersonal communication with students. The same applies to classroom interaction with students. More heads were concerned about making teaching easy for students to understand and fewer professors mentioned that preparing lessons well is essential for high quality teaching.

However, the purpose of this research is not to make some generalised statements on certain groups. Instead, this research attempts to demonstrate the diverse and dynamic nature of the quality of teaching to address the question of what quality of teaching is in order to cast new light on how to ensure the quality of teaching in the context of higher education in China.

2011 - The Law and Society Association Words: 376 words || 
3. Liang, Bin. "WORK IN PROGRESS PAPER--ACCEPTED 07--Different Colors, Different Voices, and Different Experiences: Collective Memories of Students in Oklahoma during the Era of the Brown v. Board of Education" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2020-02-25 <>
Publication Type: Work in Progress Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In 1954, the US Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. The Brown case overturned a previous decision in the Plessy v. Ferguson case (1896), in which the Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana segregation law (Separate Car Act) and established the infamous ‘separate but equal’ principle. Along with four other cases from other states, the Brown case challenged the ‘separate but equal’ principle in public education. The US Supreme Court, this time, unanimously ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and de jure racial segregation violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Despite further resistance from some southern states (such as Kansas and Alabama), the Brown case paved the way for desegregation and the Civil Rights movement. Many claim that the Brown case is the most important civil rights case in the 20th century.
A little over half a century has passed since the Brown decision in 1954. Students who went to public schools (elementary, middle or high schools) and experienced this critical historical era are reaching their 60s, 70s, or even older. Their personal experiences both in the pre-Brown segregation years and in the post-Brown desegregation years are indeed valuable assets for the younger generations. Their stories could provide vivid first-hand lessons to our students, especially on their education pursuit and progress. Given their age, it is critical to document their stories as soon as possible.
As such an effort, the author along with a few students recruited and interviewed a number of folks who are currently living in Oklahoma but attended public schools during the Brown era. These in-depth interviews focused on these students’ public school experience both before and after the Brown decision, and explore if and how the Brown decision had impacted their personal lives and education. Their personal triumph, given the dramatic legal changes, provided live examples of how people managed to accommodate their personal lives with legal requirements on the critical issue of segregation in the field of public education. These interview stories present interesting results given diverse background of the interviewees (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, social class) and provide critical components to re-examine our normal thinking about the relationship between law, individuals, communities and society.

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