Dr. Patricia Hinchey gives opening plenary talk at educators' convention

Dr. Patricia H. Hinchey, professor of education at Penn State Worthington Scranton, recently gave two professional talks on multiculturalism to educators at the 41st Annual Convention of Puerto Rico Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (PRTESOL) in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The theme was: No One Left Behind:  Integrating Multi-Cultural Perspectives in the English Classroom.

Dr. Hinchey gave the opening plenary talk on Nov. 14, titled, What I've Learned Since I Learned I Was White: My Journey to Multiculturalism, which incorporated research indicating that all humans exhibit unconscious bias and that teachers need to monitor their practice carefully to guard against subtle and unconscious bias against students from other cultures as well as from different socioeconomic classes, genders and sexual orientations than their own.  

Prior to the start of the conference on Nov. 13, she presented a talk titled "Language and Identity: Complexities in the Classroom," to faculty and master's degree students at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

Sounding a similar theme, she urged all teachers to examine their own early educational experiences, when they were likely asked to abandon the language of the home for the language of the academy.

Such reflection, Dr. Hinchey explained, might help teachers to better understand the experiences of students who either speak no English, or who speak an English dialect other than standard English. Greater understanding and empathy, she urged, would lead to more effective instruction.

The convention drew over 350 attendees from several countries including the United States, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

Dr. Hinchey has been a professor of education at Penn State Worthington Scranton for over two decades and is a National Education Policy Center Fellow.

She has authored several books on education, including Finding Freedom in the Classroom: A Practical Introduction to Critical Theory; Becoming a Critical Educator: Defining a Classroom Identity, Designing a Critical Pedagogy; Student Rights: A Handbook; Action Research: A Primer; and with Isabel Kimmel, The Graduate Grind: A Critical Look at Graduate Education. She also co-edited a highly publicized book assessing quality of think tank research, Think Tank Research Quality: Lessons for Policy Makers, the Media and the Public.

She lives in Dallas, PA with her husband, Ed.