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Erik J. Byker

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Department of Elementary Education, Stephen F. Austin State University

Erik J. Byker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary Education at Stephen F. Austin State University.  He teaches courses in elementary and middle level social studies methods, culturally responsive teaching, instructional design, and global education.  Byker has a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy from Michigan State University and holds a M.Ed. Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. Byker's research is international and comparative in scope as he has conducted ethnographic field studies in England, Cuba, India, South Korea, and across the United States on how students and teachers use and construct meaning for computer technology. Over the 2010-2011 academic year, he lived in Bangalore, India, and collected dissertation data on how an economic cross-section of Bangalore's elementary schools were using computer technology in their schools.


Related Articles
Erik J. Byker

Department of Elementary Education, Stephen F. Austin State University

Navigating hybridity: investigating the dance between culture and values within the cuban national education system. By E. J. Byker, B. L. Fox

Abstract: Hybridity is the dynamic relationship between local and global factors that push and pull on people and nations. Hybridity is deeply situated in socio-contextual factors, like cultural beliefs, education, and political systems, that aid and hinder a people’s navigation of globalized phenomena. Simply put, hybridity is how people and societies adapt to a changing world. This article examines the case of Cuba in response to hybridity.

Specifically, the article’s purpose is to examine ways that the Cuban National Education System impacts how Cubans navigate the global march towards hybridity. The article reports on a focused ethnographic study of a week long education trip to Cuba during February 2013. The ethnography includes over 100 hours of data collection, including semi-structured interviews with 26 Cuban participants. The study uses Freire’s (1970) notion of “humanizing pedagogy” to analyze how the impact of the Cuban National Education System values in the context of Cuba and larger global context. The study found that three values in particular, amor, solidaridad, and conciencia de derechos y response, were deeply embedded in the Cuban National Education System and effect the way that Cubans navigate the complex hybridity that situates their island nation.

Keywords: hybridity, common good, Cuba, educational schooling system, Freire.