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Research Interests

Youlin Aissa
University of the Pacific

Math Achievement-
Common Core
Rate of language
acquisiQon v. host


Resliency as a taught trait

Parent role in bullying-
middle-class parents-


Teacher Development-
what works? make it more
Principal Development-is
this the key?


Role of Class

Lareau's work-unqual
What factors overcome
So far readings nd me
asking "So what?"

Selecting a dissertation topic is no easy task. I applied for the doctoral program thinking I had an
idea in mind, and believing that I would have more time to choose or refine my topic. I am finding that
the pressure (self-imposed) to select a topic early is greater than I anticipated. In light of the very good
advice of loving my topic, as completing a doctorate is a quest in persistence, has me questioning my
initial interests. Additionally, the question of what do I want to be an expert in, what do I want to be
known for has added another layer of pressure in picking the right topic. I initially began with an
interest in English Learners, as I myself, am an English Learner. I thought to explore the performance of
English Learners on the new Common Core mathematics testas the standards are much more reliant
on language and reading. As I skimmed a few articles on English Learner performance on standardized
math tests I found myself bored. I thought about school improvement and the role of teacher and
principal development, but I do not have a specific enough question to narrow that field. I thought
about a current topic in my workbullying and the idea of resiliency as an answerbut at this point, I
am unsure as to how I would go about studying that particular aspect, but it is one that does not bore
me yet. I found Annette Lareaus work on social class and childrearing to be fascinating, and this is an
area I would like to explore deeper, perhaps finding a specific question to explore. With the few pieces
of hers that I have read, I find myself asking the question so what, this is interesting work and I find the
information fascinating, but what do we do with it? I need to read more of her work, I have begun
reading her book, Unequal Childhoods, to see if I can come up with an answer to my question or if it
helps me formulate my own research question. Finally, through the course of a discussion with a
colleague I have stumbled upon the idea of conducting a self-study, one that focuses on the rate of
language acquisition with a minority first language. I need to do more reading on this topic to see if it is
one that I can fully develop. Needless to say, I am still unsure of my research path.