Professor Publishes Article in National Newsletter

by Office of Marketing | Nov 25, 2014
Marianne Modica
Associate professor Marianne Modica, Ph.D., has taught in the Department of Education at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) for 17 years. Her passion for education began in the childhood education field and has grown to teaching and equipping future educators. Modica is also an accomplished writer, having published her first novel “The R Word” in 2011. Last year, she successfully defended her dissertation and received her doctorate in childhood studies from Rutgers University. Now, Modica has published an article in the October newsletter for The Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group (ACYIG). 

In the article, Modica discusses her recent dissertation research that reconciles two theoretical frameworks, childhood studies and critical race theory (CRT). Childhood studies scholars support and give voice to children’s opinions and ideas. The ultimate goal of CRT is social justice. It encourages individuals, both youth and adults, to become aware of racism, and work against it. In the article, Modica explains how she sought to “understand students’ ideas about race by analyzing their responses within the context of their cultural location,” thereby including both views on human development in her research. 

The ACYIG is part of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). The AAA is dedicated to the study of humans, with an extensive selection of specialized topics within humanity such as genetics, development, social change and education. The ACYIG consists of a group of scholars who study the experience of children throughout the world. 

The UVF Department of Education prepares education students in a Christian environment to receive their certifications and learn the technical approaches to prepping a classroom and daily lessons; however, education is comprised of much more. Modica's background in childhood studies enables her to explore topics that future educators and leaders will have to confront, such as racism. "In the classroom setting there has to be room for critical thinking," Modica said. She continued, “Being a teacher is not only about being a technician. You need to have the bigger societal issues in mind as well."

Modica has two more publications that will be released in the coming months. Her next article accepted for publication is called “Unpacking the Colorblind Approach,” which investigates why some teachers prefer to ignore racial classifications altogether than to discuss the topic. It will be published in Race, Ethnicity and Education — an international journal from the UK. Her book, Race Among Friends: Exploring Race in a "Friendly" Suburban School, is under contract with Rutgers University Press and will be released next year.