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Faculty

Efleda P. Tolentino

Director, Early Childhood Education ProgramAssistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

B.A., M.A., University of the PhilippinesPh.D., New York University

Description

Efleda Tolentino is director and assistant professor in the Early Childhood Program of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. Her teaching is inspired by her work with young children and her students, teachers and families. Being a social constructivist, she examines the teaching/learning context: the participants, the environment, and verbal and nonverbal narratives that unfold within; and the ways that teachers and early care and education providers respond to children. By studying children's narratives, she brings to the fore identities that remain invisible and voices that are drowned by dominant discourse. Through scholarly writing and presentations in local and international conferences, she shares documentation of children's discourse in the classroom and the role that teachers play in creating contexts that encourage dialogue. She believes in the role of teacher educators as agents of change, posing dilemmas that challenge students to think in more critical ways. Inspired by Paolo Freire's work, she asserts that teacher education is challenged to be not only a source of information but a vehicle for transformation. In this scenario, education becomes a space that provides students countless opportunities to reinvent themselves, shape their beliefs, as well as define and refine their practice. She also believes that the university classroom has the potential to become a learning laboratory that promotes critical discourse, dialogic inquiry and collaborative work between students and members of the community.

Specialties

Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Language and Literacy Development, Teaching English Language Learners in the 21st Century, Racial Identity and Awareness in Early Childhood, Cultural Pluralism and Social Justice in the Context of Education, Teacher Education in a Post-Modern World

Publications

  • Author, “‘How does it feel to have your skin color?’: Uncovering children’s inquiries about race,” published in “A Twenty-First century approach to teaching social justice: Educating for Both Advocacy and Action” (2009)
  • Author, “‘Why do you like this page so much?’: Exploring the potential of talk during preschool activities,” published in Language Arts (2007)
  • Author, “Me and My World” (1997)
  • Author, “The Effects of the Use of Filipino as Medium of Instruction in the K-2 Level,” published in the Alipato Journal of Education (1996)
  • Author “Living Language” (1996)

Presentations

  • Presenter, “‘I’m trying to make very special things for you’: The role of friendship in the writing life of preschoolers,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (2008)
  • Presenter, “‘Are they like everybody else?’: Developing Racial Literacy in the Early Years,” presented at the Association for Constructivist Teachers Annual Conference (2008)
  • Presenter, “‘How does it feel to have your skin color?’: Uncovering children’s inquiries about race,” presented at the Research Colloquium, University of Vermont (2008)
  • Presenter, “‘Did you know that’s backwards?’ Uncovering writing revelations in preschool,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (2007)
  • Presenter, “Honoring cultural and language diversity in kindergarten,” presented at the Vermont Kindergarten Conference, Vermont Department of Education (2007)
  • Presenter, “Writing in kindergarten,” presented at the Vermont Kindergarten Conference, Vermont Department of Education (2007)
  • Presenter, “Law practice from a Women’s perspective,” presented at the Women’s Division of the Vermont Bar Association (2007)
  • Presenter, “Authorship in preschool: Nurture children to develop a love for writing,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (2006)
  • Presenter, “Kindergarten teachers speak: Prevailing beliefs and practices in literacy instruction in Vermont public schools,” presented at the Annual Convention of The National Council of Teachers of English (2006)
  • Presenter, “Uncovering teaching and learning metaphors through autobiography and clay: The beginning of a journey for teacher education students,” presented at the Applications of Constructivist Theory for All Learners Conference, Association for Constructivist Teaching (2006)
  • Co-presenter, “International Faculty in the United States: An examination of their academic, social, and cultural experiences,” presented at the New Directions in U.S. Ethnic Studies Conference, University of Vermont (2006)
  • Presenter, “‘I don’t know if I can read this, but I can read the pictures’: Exploring the role of talk in emergent literacy,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (2006)
  • Co-presenter, “Ten years later: Examining effective teaching practices in the changing kindergarten context using the Vermont Kindergarten Survey,” presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference (2006)
  • Presenter, “‘I can help you read. Can you help me write?’: The role of friendship in the writing life of preschoolers,” presented at the 54th International Reading Association Annual Convention West (2009)
  • Presenter, “‘Did you know that’s backwards?’: Uncovering writing revelations in preschool,” presented at the 25th Southeast International Reading Association Regional Conference (2006)
  • Presenter, “‘One day, I was drinking water and it came out my ears…’: The role of children’s conversations in emergent literacy development,” presented at the 18th West International Reading Association Regional Conference (2006)
  • Presenter, “Exploring the Potential of Talk During Preschool Reading Activities,” presented at the University of the Philippines (2007) Co-exhibitor, “Vermont English Language Learners in Early Childhood Special Education,” poster presented at the Research Colloquium, College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont (2007)

Honors/Awards

  • Scholarship Recipient and Participant, Professional Study Group from North America: A Visit to Reggio Emilia Centers in Italy, University of Vermont (2006)
  • Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in American Education (2005)
  • Recipient, Faculty Fellowship in Service-Learning, University of Vermont (2004)
  • Nominee, Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, Assistant Professor Category, University of Vermont (2006)
  • Recipient, Teaching Fellowship, New York University (1997-2000)
  • Recipient, Foreign Faculty Fellowship, University of the Philippines (1996)

Affiliations

  • Member, Association for Childhood Education International
  • Member, Brown’s Response to Improving Teacher Education
  • Member, International Reading Association
  • Member, National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Member, Kappa Delta Phi International Honors Society
  • Member, National Council of Teachers of English
  • Member, Pi Gamma Mu International Honors Society
  • Member, Pi Lambda Theta International Honors Society

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