Tan Phan
Assistant Professor
Educational Psychology School of Teacher Education
College of Education
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1153
Tel: 619.594.0480
Fax: 619.594.7828
E-mail: tphan@mail.sdsu.edu

In documenting my teaching practices, I use the concepts of learning as "life space," 'the life space' in which so-called higher psychological processes in which human beings engage (i.e., in speaking, thinking, and problem solving), emerge, and develop within a context of solidarity, and shared human stories. Because educational psychology involves complex knowledge (both theory and practice), students in the learning community may benefit from sharing ideas, comparing products, or generating joint plans. I share this need to be a critical thinker; to explore the connections between knowledge and practice, and to address diverse perspectives. As an educator, I endeavor to generate excitement that is deeply affected by our interest in one another, in hearing one another's voices, in recognizing one another's presence. Within this framework, I am particularly interested in working on resiliency factors for at-risk children. Resiliency can be defined as strategies, attitudes, and behaviors that help one be successful in difficult situations.

For my research, I explore risk and resiliency factors. I want to help us think in ways that move beyond schooling to the larger domain of education, where there are and must be all kinds of openings to possibility. To encourage this thinking, I have tapped certain human stories, most particularly those that speak of breaking through. For my on-going research, I proposed a different way of looking at academic resiliency. The concept of academic resiliency is defined as resistance or defiance of negative predictions of success. I continue collecting the data gleaned from my field work in a story-telling framework (qualitative narrative research method). This new concept of academic resiliency has to do with various types of exploration in relation to learning and has resulted in unexpected discoveries. To tap into resiliency is to be able to break with what is supposedly fixed and finished, supposedly objectively and independently real. Each person's reality must be understood to be an interpreted experience - and the mode of interpretation depends on his or her situation and location in the world. Woven through my theoretical deliberations, feminist and race theories in education are reflections on the everyday, my teaching practices and my research explorations on culture, language, and tradition in understanding the individual-community dynamics in children's academic resilience.

  • Phan, T. (In Press). Resiliency as a coping mechanism: A common story of Vietnamese refugee women. In P. Wong (Ed.) Stress and Coping: A Multicultural Perspective. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Phan, T. (Submitted to Contemporary Educational Psychology). With Thoughts to the Future: Academic and Career Aspirations of Ten Vietnamese Adolescent Girls.
  • Phan, T. (Submitted to The Journal of general Education). A Post-Modern Cinderella: Story: Solo Dancing.
  • Phan, T. (Submitted to Adolescence). Life in School: Narratives and Motifs of Resiliency and Resistance Among Vietnamese-Canadian Youths:
  • Phan, T. (Submitted to Feminism and Psychology). Mothers' Work: Ways of Mothering that Support Vietnamese Refugee Children's Academic Socialization.
  • Phan, T. (Submitted to Gender & Society). Women's Work: Serving in Silence - The Vietnamese Women's Stories.






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