East Asian Studies at IU
A Commitment to Collaboration and Research
Director of EASC
Heidi Ross is constantly engaged with the latest developments in Chinese education and society. She has investigated gender socialization and environmental education in Chinese schools and the difficulties faced by faculty at China’s private colleges and universities as China experiences an unprecedented demand for higher education. With School of Education colleague Laura Stachowski and support from the center, Ross has also helped to establish a placement site in China’s Shandong Province for Teacher Education majors through IU’s Cultural Immersion Projects program. Most recently, Ross, with other IU and Chinese colleagues, has begun work on her project, “Developing National Student Engagement Surveys for Chinese Secondary and Higher Education: Effective Practice for an Era of Mass Schooling.” The project will include implementation of IU-developed surveys that measure student engagement.
Ross often collaborates with the many graduate students she mentors. She regularly co-presents conference papers and co-authors articles with students. Ross has also partnered with the University of Illinois to establish the IL/IN East Asian Education Network Dissertation Workshop. The two schools have co-hosted four workshops, giving doctoral students from other universities the chance to present their research and to get feedback and support.
“The longer I’m in academe the more I’ve felt that living as a scholar, teacher, and occasional administrator demands vigilance about the ends of education, to understand what is crucial to our work—and what we are willing to give up,” says Ross. “I realize the two things I can’t give up are collaboration and inter-disciplinary research. Both are crucial to my health as a scholar and human being. Trying to redress problems collaboratively, comparatively, and globally—well, that is a kind of hope in the possibility of taking a journey of solidarity.”